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Things to consider

Cost, proximity to campus or bus stops, included amenities such as laundry, parking, etc. These are just a few of the things you need to consider.

Rental Cost

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)
  • Furnishings
  • Laundry
  • 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!

ParkingDo you need parking? Is it available?

LaundryIs 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. 

Neighborhood

  • 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
  • Sobey’s
  • The Co-Op
  • Wal-Mart
  • Giant Tiger
  • Extra Foods
  • Independent Grocers
  • Wholesale Club

Housing Conditions

Roommates

  • Do you have a similar lifestyle to your roommates?
  • Is everyone aware of their financial, maintenance and cleaning responsibilities in the home?

Independence

  • Will you have enough privacy when needed?
  • Is there enough kitchen space, and the necessary appliances to cook at home regularly?

Housing style

  1. 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.
  2. Apartments:
    • 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
  3. Townhouse:
    • More common in newer areas of Saskatoon.
    • Smaller than houses, so can feel crowded with many roommates.
  4. House:
    • 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?
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