Searching for a place to settle down in Vancouver can be a difficult, overwhelming, and expensive experience – particularly if you’re a student or a newcomer. You might need guidance on where to begin and which apartment rental platforms in Vancouver are trustworthy.
At GEC Living, we are the biggest off-campus student accommodation provider in Vancouver. We have extensively utilized all available rental platforms in Vancouver and have collected tons of feedback from our residents. Here is a list of the best rental platforms that we recommend for you to use when searching for your new home in Vancouver as a student:
liv.rent is a Vancouver-based all-in-one rental platform for rents, landlords and property managers. Why GEC list liv.rent first? The platform looks modern and it makes your rental hunting more enjoyable. In addition, all the integrated features make renting smooth and secure; here are a few:
Besides its awesome renting and leasing features, liv.rent also provides many insights about the current rental market and tips on renting in Vancouver. You can read their blog post if you want more information about living in Vancouver.
Places4Students is one of the most highly suggested rental websites for students as it has partnered with over 190 campuses and schools across North America. The website enables students to search for off-campus housing accommodations safely and conveniently, while landlords must pay to advertise their listing on this platform. So, fraud or scam attempts are extremely rare.
Why Places4students is suitable for students:
If you would like to find a place that is near your campus with fewer scams or frauds, then Places4students is the right option for you!
OCH101 is an online rental platform helping colleges and universities to manage off-campus housing for their students. Local landlords are also welcome to list their properties on the website.
Key features that make OCH101 suitable for students:
OCH101 has a larger variety of school listings than Places4students. Schools like Langara College and NYIT can not be found in Places4students while appearing on OCH101. This can be an alternative option for students who are looking for off-campus housing that is close to your school.
Craigslist is arguably the most well-known advertisement website that not only covers housing rentals but also advertises jobs, sales, and even discussion forums. As it is a popular website for housing with very few regulations, which also implies that you may encounter scams or frauds easily.
Why do students use Craigslist to search for rental
The downside of renting on Craigslist as a student is that you’ll have to stand out among dozens of other applicants, and students are generally not favourable to landlords especially if you are looking for a private apartment rental.
Because of its popularity, scams and frauds also occur frequently on this website. To avoid it, here is an article published by Craigslist that tells you how to avoid scams on Craigslist (with examples of scams)
Kijiji is an online advertising website that operates in many provinces across Canada. It is a platform for people to buy, sell or trade almost anything. Rental is also a big sector served by Kijiji.
Why students should use Kijiji to search for rental
The key downside of Kijiji is that it doesn’t have a map option for you to see different listings’ locations. You may need to google the address to see the exact locations, which can be quite annoying.
Unlike Craigslist, Kijiji has certain guidelines for buyers and sellers, which has a relatively low chance of getting scammed. However, students should always be alert and stay away from users that act suspiciously.
Zumper is another online rental platform that Vancouver renters and landlords will likely encounter. It offers long-term, monthly, and vacation rentals, with different housing options for rent.
Key features that make Zumper suitable for students
Zumper is one of the rental websites that commonly used in Vancouver to find housing. Make sure to give it a try as well.
Facebook groups should not be unfamiliar to all of you. It is another popular buy/sell/rent online platform to hunt for cheap deals and is also well-known for people to rent apartments and houses in Canada.
By joining Facebook groups, members can post rental listings or rental request to lease out or rent their places.
There are a variety of Facebook groups that are suitable for students searching for housing, you can simply request to join and become a member of the group to see different posts and listings in the group chat. Here are four Facebook groups that we recommend:
This group is intended to help students who are going to school in Vancouver and looking for a place to live, and it has 69.4k members. You can easily find students that are looking for a place or roommates to share a place with. Members of the group can also sublet their housing to others in this group.
One of the most commonly used Facebook groups for Vancouver property rentals, it has over 67.5k members in this group. Landlords will post the housing pictures to the group chat will a brief description of that property, and you can write a post to request a housing unit that is based on your preferences as well!
This group is managed by liv.rent, and it has 43.9k members. One of the features is that it has a four-verification process to help you avoid scams, and all landlords are verified by liv.rent. It might be the safest group to rent from compared to other rental groups on Facebook.
This group chat is managed by Boom, a rental financial service provider and it has 22.4k members. Like other rental groups, Boom manages the group chat on daily basis, and their goal is to ease the whole process of apartment hunting, starting with connecting landlords with renters.
Facebook rental groups is one of the easiest platforms for students to rent a place. As you can simply post a rental request after joining the group, and someone will reach out to you if they have any listings that match yours. However, there are not many filters for you to customize your options. You may need to scroll down to view all different types of housing and not all of them can suit your needs.
Nestpick is a global housing rental website that covers regions from Asia to Europe, and it mainly offers furnished apartment rentals. It is a good platform for students, as most of them have just arrived in Vancouver, and they may not want to purchase all the furniture or equipment for their places.
Why should students use Nestpick for rental hunting
Similar to other rental website, Nestpick acts as a mediator to connect different rental websites and renters together. The major downside is that Nestpick’s listings are synced from other rental websites, such as Roomster. This may expore you to potential scam listings.
It really depends on each student’s situation:
If you haven’t landed in Vancouver and decided to rent a private apartment from oversea, we would strongly suggest liv.rent as it provides the most seamless rental process and all listings are verified. Available payment options also allow you to secure your place easily.
If you haven’t landed in Vancouver and decided to rent a shared apartment from oversea, we would suggest checking Facebook Marketplace as you can see people’s Facebook profiles and chat with them if it’s a good match for you to co-living with them in the future.
For those who are in Canada and decided to rent a shared or private apartment, we would suggest checking all platforms and narrowing down your preferred options. However, you should also be mindful and extremely careful about scammers out there.
We have also published a blog of top tips of renting process in Vancouver for you. You should briefly read it through as it explains smart steps to consider before starting your rental hunting in Vancouver, and how to avoid scams.
Lastly, GEC should be your first consideration for student housing in Vancouver. GEC is the largest off-campus student housing in Vancouver and served over 10,000 students from 70+ countries over the last few years. Make sure to inquire availabilities and rates at GEC so that you can compare them with other listings you found on the above rental platforms!