Housing is a big concern for any student coming to TRU. Where will you live? How much will you pay?
We always recommend first-year students to first try getting a spot in one of our on-campus, off-campus or homestay residences. All residences are already furnished, and homestay options already include meals!
If you haven’t been able to land a place in one of TRU’s residences, here are some tips for renting off-campus.
Where to look
TRUSU Housing Registry
The Student Union runs a housing registry where students can look for housing and list rental space.
One of the easiest ways to find housing in Kamloops is through online listings. The most popular ones are:
- Kelson Group
- Columbia Property Management
- Rent Faster
- Kamloops This Week
- Sunden Management
- CML Properties
- Gateway Property Management
There are also a few Facebook groups where you can find available rental units.
- Kamloops Rentals
- Off-Campus Rentals for TRU International Students
- Kamloops Home & Suites Rentals
- Kamloops – 4 Rent
- Kamloops BC Rental Properties
- Kamloops/BC Students-&-Alumni
Tips to help you with finding a place
You need to decide how much you can and are willing to spend per month on rent. Kamloops prices may vary, but you should expect to pay from $500-$750 for room rentals, and from $1000 and above for apartment rentals.
Keep in mind extra expenses such as utilities (electricity, heat, water), internet and rental insurance. Utilities and internet prices may vary, but you should budget for $150-$200 monthly.
2. Know what you are looking for
After deciding on a budget, you need to figure out the type of rental you are looking for and the neighbourhood. These affect pricing as well.
In Canada, you will find different types of rentals such as Basement Suites, Apartments, Townhouses, Houses and Room Rentals.
You should also be familiar with the neighbourhoods in Kamloops and decide what is the best place for you to rent.
3. Always check the place before renting
Pictures can be deceiving, so always check the place before making any commitments. You also need to be aware of any problems the place may have, so go prepared to ask your questions!
A few questions you should ask include:
- What is the parking and laundry situation?
- Does the unit come empty, semi-furnished or furnished?
- Is heating/electric/water service covered in the rent?
- How much money do I need to pay up-front before I sign a lease?
- How long is the lease for? Will I be able to renew the lease if I want to, or even go month-to-month afterwards?
- Who’s responsible for maintenance bills?
- Can someone enter my apartment without my knowledge?
- How would you like the rent to be paid? And which dates should the rent be paid by?
- How much notice will I get if you want to end the rental agreement?
4. Come prepared with a security deposit
Your landlord may ask you to pay a security deposit before you rent an apartment. These are typically used to cover potential damage to the rental unit. You’ll usually get your deposit back if you leave the rental unit in the same condition as when you moved in.
Generally, the security deposit is either half of a month’s rent or a full month’s rent.
5. Rental agreement
A rental agreement, or lease, is a contract between a landlord and a tenant. The landlord grants the tenant the right to occupy a rental unit. In return, the tenant commits to paying rent. The contract may also include other terms or rules. When you sign a rental agreement, you’re agreeing to respect those terms or rules.
6. Know your rights
It’s important to take the time to familiarize yourself with the B.C. Residential Tenancy Act website and all the rules of the B.C. Residential Tenancy Act.
Other helpful resources include:
- Tenant Resource and Advisory Centre
- Canada Mortgage and Housing rental guide
- Government of Canada – Renting your first apartment
7. Beware of scams
Watch out for any red flags. Some include:
- If the monthly rent is much less than the current market rate
- If you’re asked to leave a deposit without any formal rental agreement or lease in place
- If you’re asked to send a security deposit to a landlord outside the country
- If you’re offered a unit but no one does a background check on you
- When you ask about the apartment, you get an email that sends you to a website asking for personal or financial information
- Ads that show pictures of the outside of the property only, or pictures that don’t match the actual property