The cost of renting is always the first consideration when finding a place to live. Rental cost can vary greatly depending on the location of the property, age and condition.
Here is the average rental costs across Saskatoon:
- Bachelor suite*- $638 $819
- 1 bedroom - $797-$936
- 2 bedroom - $1.011-$1,193
- 3 bedroom - $$1,121 - $1,361
Source: City of Saskatoon
* A bachelor suite is small apartment which contains a bedroom, living room and kitchen in a single room
Possible additional costs
- Utilities (Heating, Internet, cable, etc)
- Security deposit (One-time fee)
- Pet deposit (if applicable, can be anywhere from $50-200 depending on pet)
- Tenant Insurance
- Transportation (parking, vehicle insurance and registration, gas, etc)
Assess why the landlord has set that price
- Are there any hidden costs? Ex. Utilities are often not included in the listed rental price.
- If the monthly rate is inexpensive, why is that the case? You could be living in a less than desirable neighborhood, in a home with maintenance issues, or a home that lacks access to amenities.
- Don’t just settle for the cheapest rental price. Factor in what you’re getting for that price, and how far you’ll be living from the University.
- If you take the bus, how long will your commute be? Rent may be cheaper farther from campus, but that could mean more time spent in transit.
What is included?
Utilities: The cost for utilities is typically separate from the rental price. Utilities could include heat, water, Internet and cable.
- What are your high-speed Internet demands? Note that the U of S has an extensive wireless network for all students.
- Do you control the thermostat? If you live in a basement suite you may not have access to it.
- Be sure to ask about winter utility costs. You’ll be using a lot of power to heat your home when it gets cold!
Parking: Do you need parking? Is it available?
Laundry: Is a washer and dryer available? If yes - is it coin-operated and do you have to share it? If no - where is the closest laundromat? How often do you need to use the laundry? With many roommates you could end up competing for the washer and dryer.
Furnished or unfurnished: Furnished apartments make sense for students living short-term, or on a budget. How much furniture will you have to purchase?
Appliances: What appliances are included?
Location and transportation
Closeness to campus and transportation
- How will you be getting to school? Sure, driving your car is more convenient, but parking on-campuscan be expensive for students. Remember, all students have access to a transit pass with unlimited rides.
- Are there many bus routes serving your area? Find out via Google Maps, or the Saskatoon Transit website.
- Do you have to walk far to the nearest bus stop? The Saskatchewan winter is harsh.
- Cyclists: Saskatoon is great for cycling in the summer, but the school year takes place during fall and winter when the roads are covered in ice.
- Make sure to find a community that suits your lifestyle. Ex. If you enjoy nightlife, a suburban neighborhood may not be for you.
- Will you feel safe in the neighborhood?
- Are you a student with a family, or a young single student? What kind of environment is best for you?
Groceries: How close is the nearest grocery store?
Here a list of the main grocers in Saskatoon. Find out where they’re located before signing a rental agreement.
- Real Canadian Superstore
- The Co-Op
- Giant Tiger
- Extra Foods
- Independent Grocers
- Wholesale Club
- Do you have a similar lifestyle to your roommates?
- Is everyone aware of their financial, maintenance and cleaning responsibilities in the home?
- Will you have enough privacy when needed?
- Is there enough kitchen space, and the necessary appliances to cook at home regularly?
- Basement suite:
- Separate living unit in the basement of a home. Should contain its own kitchen and washroom. Laundry is typically shared with upstairs tenants.
- Can be noisy depending on upstairs tenants.
- Below ground, so can be colder in winter. Thus, heating costs may go up.
- Offer the best privacy if living alone, but tend to be more expensive for single occupants.
- Ensure the rental agency is reputable. Not all offer the same level of customer service. Do a simple Google search for reviews
- More common in newer areas of Saskatoon.
- Smaller than houses, so can feel crowded with many roommates.
- Multiple renters within a single home
- Check to see if the rental price is for the entirety of the home, or just the unit you’ll be occupying.
- Who is responsible for collecting rent? The landlord, or someone within the home?
- Find out what elements of the properties upkeep you’re responsible for. For example: mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, minor repairs.
Condition of the house
Conduct a thorough walkthrough of the home before signing a lease.
- Walls and ceilings: Are there cracks?
- Is the home clean?
- Are there any visible signs of damage, or lack of upkeep?
- Outside: is the yard clean and safe?
- Does everything work?
- Smoke detector
- Lights and switches
- Appliances (stove, fridge, washing machine, etc)
- Toilets and sinks. Do they leak or drip?
- Door and Windows. Do they close and lock properly?
Rules and regulations
- Preferred method of payment for rent, and on which day of the month.
- Are pets allowed?
- Is smoking permitted?
- Are there rules about guests?
- Property maintenance: Who mows the lawn, shovels snow, etc?
- Who is responsible for fixing the appliances?
- What changes are you allowed to make without permission? (hang pictures, install blinds, paint, etc?) Will these improvements go against your damage deposit?