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UFV Housing

Off-Campus Housing

Before you move

There are lots of things to consider when moving to a new home. Most importantly how much it costs. Be sure to budget, not just for rent, but the basics like utilities (water, electricity, internet etc.), food and social activities.



Learn how to budget! People who budget tend to report little to no financial worries and are less likely to live paycheck to paycheck. The BC Credit Counselling Society has some great resources for learning how to budget.

When you create your budget, it is always good to have some savings put aside for emergencies for things you hadn’t considered. Below is a list of some costs to consider before moving out:

  • Utilities (electricity, water, heat)
  • Monthly bills such as internet, cable, cellphone
  • Security deposit (one-time fee and reimbursable but conditions apply. Know your rights as a tenant)
  • Rental of moving truck if needed (one-time fee)
  • Tennant insurance (protect yourself and belongings from damages/liability from fire or flood)
  • Parking fees, transit passes or car insurance, gas and payments if applicable
  • Laundry fees if not included
  • Food and cleaning supplies (first shop is always the biggest with the need for first time supplies and spices)
  • Furniture and supplies such as cooking utensils, dishes and cleaning products
  • Entertainment and social activities



Are you looking for an apartment, basement suite or shared housing? Some of these come with furniture, while most are unfurnished so you will need to bring your own furniture and belongings.


Apartments can be a great place to live and many have higher security to gain entry to the building. Features to look for in an apartment:

  • The water pipes and taps are in good condition and don’t leak
  • How much noise you hear from your neighbours above, below and/or beside you
  • Whether parking is included or an additional monthly cost
  • Where the laundry facilities are and costs if any
  • Ask about the rental policies if you smoke or own a pet

Basement suites

Basement suites are sometimes cheaper but usually colder as they are below ground. They can also be noisy, especially if there are children living above. Sometimes there is a backyard that the landlord will share give you access to green space. Most include utilities such as heat, water, internet and/or cable. Make sure you ask before you move in!

Shared housing

Shared housing is typically much cheaper since you are sharing the rent with others. This means that bills, space and chores are shared as well. Be sure to come up with a system that is fair to everyone. Expect to be interviewed by the person looking for a roommate. It is best to meet potential new roommates in a public place such as a coffee house or virtually.



If you don’t have a car it is important to make sure there is public transit to and from amenities like grocery stores, shopping centres, parks as well as class.

Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Mission are part of the BC Transit system. Other cities such as Langley and Surrey are part of the Metro Vancouver area and are on the Translink system. Some buses connect the two like the Fraser Valley Express #66 (Chilliwack to Langley) and may cost extra. Check with the Student Union Society to see what buses are free with the U-Pass or the different routes and times of the Campus Connector shuttle bus.



Be aware of scams. Do not send money to someone without looking at the place first, and do not go alone. Try to confirm who the owner is and be wary if you are asked for the money only in cash or wire transfer. Also, be very wary of places listed on sites like Craigslist and Kijiji as these sites are not secure. Protect yourself; learn about the common types of fraud and the warning signs that a listing is probably a scam. 

When you find a place



The first thing to do before any documents are signed, is an inspection. Make sure that you, or someone you trust, can do the inspection for you.

Take photos to prove any damages existed before the home is rented. This will protect the return of the damage deposit with proof that you are not to blame. Try all the appliances and taps to make sure everything is working properly. Notice if the paint is in good condition on the walls and if the carpets are cleaned. Do not rent or be very cautious of water damage (yellow spots on the ceilings) or if you see rodent droppings. These are indicators of future problems and neglected maintenance. Also, find out the terms of the living arrangements:

  • What is included in the rent and what is not? (Heat, water, electricity, cable, laundry, storage, parking etc.)
  • Can the walls be painted?
  • Are pictures allowed to be hung? (As this can damage the walls)
  • Are pets allowed?
  • What are the rules about smoking?
  • Will the carpets need to be professionally cleaned upon moving out?
  • What needs to be done to have the damage deposit returned upon moving out?


Documentation and signing agreement

Next, be sure to that any damages or anything that needs to be fixed is written in the agreement/contract before you sign. Both parties must initial beside each change if needed. Back up the damages with photos. Each party should have a signed copy of the agreement to refer to if any disagreements take place in the future. If moving in with others, be sure to get a roommate agreement signed and discuss shared responsibilities. Lastly, be sure to have proof of payment – pay by cheque or get a receipt.


Know your rights

Below are important resources to know your rights and help design agreements to for your new home.

Arrange utilities

 Sometimes it can take awhile to set up utilities so it is best to get a head start before the move in date. Also make sure to confirm how much notice needs to be given when cancelling, as some utilities ask for 30 days notice. BC Hydro is example of an electricity company in BC and be sure to ask for deals on packages combining cable, internet and/or phone for companies. It is best to research and compare prices before making a selection.


Get tenant insurance

Protect yourself and belongings against liability and damages. Most tenancy insurances also cover living expenses resulting from being forced to move due to fire or flood. It is highly recommended to get tennant insurance.

Off-campus accommodations


Abbotsford hotels (for short-term temporary accommodation)

Super 8 Motel: 1-800-663-9842 

Clarion Hotel: 1-888-411-1070

Best Western Plus Regency Inn & Conference Centre: 1-800-780-7234 

Brookside Inn: 1-604-856-3300

Coast Abbotsford Hotel: 1-800-716-6199 

Super Suites


Other helpful websites

BC Community Newspaper Classifieds




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