A quick search of rentals in Guelph through the Realtor system produces just 10 results. Yes, that’s right: 10! For a city of 140,000 people it’s certainly a low number.

You’re much more likely to find a rental using services such as viewit, rentpanda, kijiji or even the Cannon for student housing in Guelph.

Rental prices in Guelph

Often we get asked what the going rate is for rentals in Guelph. Although there are general guidelines to follow, rent is influenced by a variety of factors:

  • Proximity to amenities, transit and parks in Guelph
  • The condition of the property
  • Type of property (2 bedrooms in a detached house is different from a 2 bedroom condo)
  • Parking availability
  • Whether utilities are included in the price

When we first compared rent prices in Guelph in April 2022 via Zumper, the average rent prices in Guelph were as follows:

  • Bachelor/Studio: $1,334 per month
  • 1 Bedroom: $1,816 per month
  • 2 Bedrooms: $1,943 per month
  • 3 Bedrooms: $2,765 per month

In June 2023, these same rents are:

Bachelor/Studio: $1,625 per month (increase)
1 Bedroom: $2,099 per month (increase)
2 Bedrooms: $2,362 per month (increase)
3 Bedrooms: $2,700 per month (decline)

Also, it’s worth noting that different areas of Guelph have different rents. For example, a 3 bedroom house for rent in Guelph in Victoria North is not the same rental price as a 3 bedroom house for rent in South Guelph. Same sized house, different area of town. Rental prices are often influenced by the demand of an area.

Why is it so expensive to rent in Guelph?

It became obvious to us last summer when University of Guelph students and their parents started calling.

The University of Guelph over admitted students and for the first time ever, publicly stated that they were not guaranteeing residence. This means that students spilled into what was traditionally known as non-student housing.

This competitive need for student rental property in Guelph caused a shortage of homes for rent and drove up prices. And not just in the area around the University- the entire city.

The Ontario Government announced More Homes Built Faster Act in 2022 to increase the supply of homes. It was also designed to loosen regulations on rental units on a property, such as tiny homes.

Is it a bad idea to be considering rentals in Guelph?

As a society, we have been taught the incorrect assumption that owning a home is the Canadian dream and anything less is inferior. This may have been true 100 years ago, but times have changed.

Considering rentals in Guelph can be an ideal option for many reasons, situations and future planning. Those wanting extra flexibility and less responsibility see renting as the best option for them. While buying a home can involve some serious saving and commitment, renting can help you maintain your flexibility and lifestyle. 

Especially for those in expensive housing markets, renting a house can be a simple way to get the space you want without having to spend years saving for a down payment. Renting also allows you a bit more flexibility than homeownership would, whether you’re in a house or an apartment.

With rentals in Guelph, you’re not tied to the property long-term. You’re also less responsible for saving for repairs, paying for taxes and insurance, and keeping up with other expenses. 

Renting gives you a home without any of the burdens of homeownership. It’s the easiest way to live in a house without the hassle.

However, when you are searching for homes on any rental site: viewit, Kijiji, RentPanda or anywhere else, always GO TO the property. Meet the landlord. Know what you’re renting in person!

Let’s look at a few reasons why renting in Guelph may be good for your situation.

You’re nervous about the housing market

It’s true, housing in Ontario has been on an upward trend for generations. Sure, you may get blips and corrections along the way. But, over the long term housing is a safe investment.

But what if you don’t want to be part of the “long term”?

Just the purchase of a home is very expensive. Land transfer tax, legal fees, real estate deposits and downpayments all apply to purchases. So if you’re only in the market a short time and need to sell, it can be expensive. Selling involves real estate commission and legal fees.

In short, if you only plan to be in the housing market for 1 year or less, it’s not worth buying. Of course there are exceptions to this such as a flip, fixer upper or a house hack.

Renting helps you avoid some major expenses

There’s no doubt about it: Owning the place you live is expensive. And it’s not always small expenses that add up, either. And, it’s not always related to older homes.

When you buy a house for sale in Guelph, a condo, or an apartment you’ll also need to be saving for repairs. With renting via a site like viewit, you’re not responsible for upkeep and maintenance- the rent that you see is the rent that you pay.

Furnaces, AC units, wiring, windows, foundation issues, roofs, driveways, broken appliances, yard maintenance and more are all costs of owning a home. With renting, you just pay your monthly rent amount and move on.

Do you really need tenant insurance for rentals in Guelph?

Won’t my landlord’s insurance cover me? In short, no it will not. If something happens to your unit, such as a robbery, a fire or a flood, your landlord’s home insurance, property insurance or condo insurance won’t cover the cost of replacing your damaged or missing belongings. 

Furthermore, let’s you damage your apartment. You start a kitchen fire that severly damages your unit and those nearby. Your landlord and neighbours could sue you for damages. Last but not least, if someone’s accidentally injured while visiting you, your landlord’s insurance won’t protect you against personal liability or cover your legal expenses. You could be on the hook for your guest’s medical bills. 

Without a policy for contents insurance or tenant liability insurance, any of these situations could cost you a fortune, not to mention cause significant stress. Note that insurance costs are not shown when viewing properties on viewit, kijiji or rentpanda- these costs are extra.

In Ontario, tenant insurance isn’t mandatory, in the sense that you won’t get in trouble with the law (like you would for driving without auto insurance). However, landlords and condo associations can require it and ask you to provide proof of coverage. Even if yours doesn’t, purchasing tenant insurance is a smart decision.

Renters insurance is much less expensive than homeowners insurance

Renter’s insurance generally costs between $25-50 per month. Homeowner’s insurance is much more expensive — more like $100-$200 per month. Coverage for your apartment’s contents, protection against personal liability and coverage for additional living expenses.

There’s no down payment needed

In most cases, the average downpayment for a house is about 10%. With the average price of a home in Guelph around $750,000, that’s $75,000 needed. Mind you, it’s not needed until you actually close on the house, but your lender will want to know in advance where this money is coming from.

It could take the typical earner about 10 years to save the down payment for a house in Guelph. And for those looking to live in even more expensive cities, like Toronto, those time frames get even longer

A note that a deposit and a downpayment are not the same thing. A deposit is the amount of money you put down when an offer is accepted to show you are serious. This is usually between $20,000-$30,000 and is credited towards the purchase price on closing.

A downpayment is the amount your bank will require from you to put towards the purchase price in order to give you a mortgage. Each purchase has both a deposit and downpayment requirement.

Condo fees generally aren’t your problem

Condo fees are an additional expense for homes that have additional services. The fees are paid by each homeowner to cover these costs. These costs are in addition to property tax and mortgage amounts. Owners need to weigh the pros and cons of condo fees when purchasing.

Each development has a different condo fee. It will depend on the number of units in the development and the size of your unit. It also depends on what services are offered; a property with a pool will cost more than one without a pool.

Generally, condo fees in Guelph run from $250-600 per month, but there are exceptions. That’s a big expense, and it’s one that would really add up if you owned the home. However, with rentals in Guelph you likely won’t be responsible for this!

You’re not stuck with any losses

Homes gain and lose value all the time, and it doesn’t always just have to do with the house itself. Neighborhoods can go up and down in value, for instance, or school districts can have a big impact on the house’s value.

These are things you’d have to consider if you were buying the home. You might not want to live in the same area if you were going to buy the property. 

But as home value fluctuates, it probably won’t be affecting your monthly rent payment too much. Without having to consider these factors, there’s a wider variety of locations available, rather than focusing on where the resale market is heating up. 

There’s no property tax to worry about

Property taxes can be a big expense: a detached home in Guelph generally has an annual tax rate around $5000-$6000. That’s $450- $500 per month!

Guelph has been criticized in the past for having higher taxes than other like sized cities. But, the more a home is worth the more it will cost in Guelph property tax . And as a renter, that’s another worry you won’t have. 

You’re not tied to it long-term

If you’re not planning on staying in Guelph for years, renting a house is the ideal way to go, as there are far fewer commitments.

When you buy a home, you should expect to live there for at least five years. Experts say five years is enough time for housing prices to rise, and for you to sell the home and cover the costs of buying it initially. 

And for those who can’t promise five years, it’s probably better to rent. Renting buys you the freedom to choose what you want in the future. If that means leaving to move across the country, you’re able to do that, no 30-year mortgage in sight. 

So where’s the best place to find rentals in Guelph?

In all honesty, there is no “go to” great resource for finding rentals in Guelph. You’ll need to use a combination of all available options.

Viewit: We find that clients don’t find a lot of on viewit in Guelph, but they do tend to use Kijiji a fair bit.

RentPanda: another emerging option that is designed to streamline the process for both landlords and tenants. However, we find it’s a bit techy and sometimes beyond what the average person is looking for.

Kijiji Guelph: is the closest you’re going to find to a traditional classified ad. Watch out though, as we’ve noted a bunch of rental scams in Guelph over the past while. Always view a property in person and never send money until you do!

Currently renting in Guelph and want to buy?

Maybe you’re browsing the listings on viewit, or Kijiji right now and disappointed with the options. Have you considered buying a house in Guelph? Don’t know where to start?

Talk to Guelph real estate agents about what options you have to get into a house.

Jesse Giovinazzo from our team helps many first time buyers prepare to get them into homes. Contact Jesse Giovinazzo here.

Many of the terms used in this blog can be found on our common real estate terms blog