About 40 percent of all Ontario residents rent or lease their home. As a newcomer to Waterloo Region, renting or leasing can allow you to get to know the community better before deciding where you want to buy your own home. Renting is also a good option because you can move more easily if you need to and you usually don't have to pay for most repairs to the home. View the Region of Waterloo's Renter's Toolkit to learn more.

You can search for places to rent or lease through the following sites:

You may also want to learn about co-operative housing, which is managed by the people who live there.

International students looking for housing can contact the international students' office at their college or university for help finding short or long-term housing. Many schools have student residences on campus and keep a list of rooms and apartments for rent off campus. Some schools also offer programs that place you with a local family.

The following resources also provide more information on renting and leasing a home:


As a renter you may have to pay utilities on top of your rent, including water, electricity (hydro), gas or oil. To find out if these costs are included in your rent, ask your landlord. If they are included, make sure it is written in your rent or lease agreement.

If they are not included, you should call your utility company and ask for a move-in notice. Different companies have different services and rates. Do some research to find the best price and learn more about the services. Utility companies in Waterloo Region include:

After your utility services are set up, your bills will be mailed to you. You can pay by cheque or set up a pre-authorized payment plan through your bank. If you do not pay your bill by the due date, you will be charged additional fees. If you continue to miss your payments, your utility services may be stopped.

The Waterloo Region Energy Assistance Program helps people with low incomes pay utility bills.

Tenant's Rights

When you are renting a home, it is important to know your rights. They are listed in Ontario's Residential Tenancies Act and Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms. You also have responsibilities, including:

  • Paying rent on time
  • Keeping your home clean
  • Not disturbing your neighbours


Kitchener-Waterloo Multicultural Centre

102 King Street W, Kitchener ON

YMCA Immigrant & Employment Services

800 King Street W, Kitchener ON
258 Hespeler Road, Cambridge ON

KW Phone: 519-579-9622

Cambridge Phone: 519-621-1621

Email YMCA Immigrant & Employment Services