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Exchange students

Coming to McGill on exchange? Below you will find a list of questions frequently asked by exchange students just like you, and the answers you need to make your apartment search a success! For important information on common rental scams, please click here.

1.What do I do if I am only staying for 4 or 8 month?

Your housing search will depend upon your academic term at McGill University and the temporary nature of your stay in the city will require you to have some flexibility in your search process. As most leases for apartment runs for 12 month in Quebec we recommend you search for “Roommate Wanted” or “Room to Rent” ads.

For students who prefer to live in a private apartment by themselves instead of sharing, don’t worry you can always request a short term accommodation list from us via e-mail.

2.Can I just sign a 12 month lease and then just break it when I leave?

No. If you sign a lease for 12 months, you are legally responsible for the payment of rent for those 12 month or the length stipulated in the lease. You cannot break a lease in Quebec, even with a notice of intention to terminate three months before the end of the lease.

3.Can I sign a 12 month lease in the Fall and then sublet or transfer it to someone else for the winter semester?

Yes and No. If you are here for the fall semester, you can sign a 12 month lease and then transfer the lease for the remaining term when you will not be living there. For more information please visit the subletting/lease transfer page.

It is highly recommended, however, that you do not sign a 12 month lease if you are here for one or two semesters only. If you do not find anyone to take over your lease you will still be responsible to keep paying rent until it expires. Remember there are not as many students looking for apartments in the winter semester as in the fall semester.

4.Can I book an apartment from my country?

We highly recommend that you only sign documents and send money once you visit the apartment in person. Photos online can often be deceiving. Start out by booking a room in a hostel or hotel for the first couple of days, so that you have somewhere to stay and put your things when you arrive in Montreal. You can always request an accomodations list from our office via email.

Check the on-line listings the day before you come to Montreal and make some appointments with landlords for when you will be in Montreal. When you arrive, come see us at 3473 University Street (between cross streets Sherbrooke and Milton) as soon as you are able.

5.When sharing with other students or renting a room in a house, do I need a contract?

Yes, you want to have something in writing as it is hard to prove a verbal agreement. Visit our roommate page for detailed information.