Nowadays, most tenants are looking online for rental options. It’s fast, easy to compare listings, and, in light of the current pandemic, socially-distant. As a landlord, it is easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices you have when it comes to posting a property listing.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of the best rental websites in Canada, each with their pros and cons, to ensure that you are getting the best exposure to your listings.
Craigslist receives a huge amount of traffic, with a monthly 17.86 million Canadian visits in September 2020. Posting ads is straightforward with no sign-up or fee required, and you are allowed up to 24 images. Prospective tenants can contact you through email and other contact information you add to the listing. Each ad expires within 45 days, or 7 if the listing is in a larger city.
However, the dated appearance of the website may dissuade potential landlords and renters alike. With a large base of legacy users, the website still resembles those from the early 2000s, and may not provide the most user-friendly experience. From a tenant perspective, the search and filter functions are unintuitive, which may make it difficult for them to find available listings. At the same time, ad layouts are very disorganized and the listing details are difficult to read.
Since you can post listings without making an account, there is almost no vetting of the listings, resulting in many fake rental property ads on the website. Similarly, many landlords find that the tenant quality from Craigslist is not the best and certain inquiries they receive are not serious.
DIY Small Landlords
- No sign-up required.
- No fees needed for basic post.
- Traffic is split between rental ads and other categories.
- Since it is easy to post ads, occasional scams can occur.
- Tenant inquiries are not always serious.
After signing up, Kijiji offers three different tiers when it comes to posting a listing.
- Free: You can post a basic ad with 10 pictures. You can only have two basic ads running at the same time, so to post a new ad, an older one must be taken down. Note that you will have to keep reposting the ad to keep it on top, or pay additional money to boost it.
- $130.95/month: You can post an ad with 20 pictures and an urgent flag. The ad is automatically bumped up every 7 days.
- $392.95/month: In addition to the previous perks, your ad also becomes a top ad on the website, and you can add a website link to the listing.
You can also pay to put your ad in Kijiji’s homepage gallery or highlight it to maximize the number of people viewing your listing. Ads generally expire after 60 days.
Kijiji has a simple layout, making it easy to list properties. You can even list virtual viewing options, such as virtual tours or video chats, and see how many people have viewed your listing.
However, the website offers limited search and filter options, so renters may have a hard time finding an appropriate listing. Contact is done through Kijiji’s inbox, which can get messy if you have many listings. Unfortunately, like Craigslist, Kijiji’s minimal vetting comes at the expense of fake listings and inquiries about properties that are not always serious. So it is important to be aware of scams and follow best practices.
DIY Small Landlords
- Different tiers and upgrades are available to customize your ad.
- High website traffic means you are getting your ad in front of as many eyes as possible.
- Contact is done through Kijiji’s inbox which can be difficult to organize.
- The free tier limits you to 2 active ads at a time.
3. Facebook Marketplace
With over 25 million Facebook users in Canada, Facebook Marketplace has become another classic place to list rentals. As long as you have a Facebook account, you can post as many free ads as you would like, with up to 50 photos and no expiry date (be sure to renew them so they appear at the top of the listings though!). The interface is easy to use and offers a dynamic preview that changes as you fill out information for your ad. You can also leverage Facebook’s wide network to cross-post your ad onto your Facebook Timeline, Newsfeed and different Facebook groups.
Prospective tenants can easily message you through Facebook’s platform, and all messages go into a separate folder from your personal Messenger chats. It even links each message to its corresponding listing and sets reminders! Facebook also gives you a sense of security as you can see each tenant’s profile as a real person. You can also change the status of your listing from Available to Pending or Sold.
For tenants, there is a map view that helps them locate potential listings, although there is limited filtering based on listing details. Facebook also automatically provides nearby transportation and walking scores for each listing. Unfortunately, many realtors chose to post fake listings onto Facebook Marketplace in an attempt to get more clients.
Individual Landlords & Realtors
- Dynamic preview that changes as you edit your ad.
- Ads do not expire.
- Messenger organizes your messages and allows you to view tenants’ profiles.
- High volume of fake listings by realtors.
- Limited filtering options for tenants.
Unlike the previous sites, Padmapper is focused only on housing. By signing up for Padmapper, you can show your ad to over 385.9K monthly viewers for free. Each ad allows you to post over 20 images and ads do not appear to expire.
Unfortunately, the platform is not very user friendly for tenants and landlords alike. As a landlord, you can post a listing only if you download the mobile app. There is no way to do this on a desktop. Contacting tenants is also done through the website’s messaging system.
For tenants, they are able to use a computer to look at listings and filter rentals by price, location, and utilities. There is also a map feature that allows them to explore listings by proximity. However, there seems to be a lot of bugs with the mobile app such as being forced to log in multiple times for the app to function properly.
Landlords, Realtors, Property Managers
- Simple to use without complicated add-ons.
- Tenants can easily filter and search for listings on desktop.
- Cannot post a listing on desktop.
- Mobile app is often difficult to use because of glitches.
Another option besides posting your own listing online is to hire a professional. Realtor.ca helps connect you with realtors in your area, who know how to best market your property to find a tenant. Though it varies from agent to agent, most realtors are paid 1-month’s rent commission if the unit is successfully rented.
The advantage of using a realtor is that they will:
- Take photos and list your property on MLS
- Hold the viewings on your behalf
- Screen the applicants and ensure you get a quality tenant
- Set up your lease agreement with the new tenant
If you are willing to pay the commission, this is the easiest and safest way to rent your property.
Large Landlords and Property Managers
- Get professional advice on how to best advertise your listing.
- A turn-key solution for the full rental process.
- In general, you can expect higher quality tenants.
- Most expensive option.
- Depending on how many clients the agent has and the situation surrounding their properties, you may not be first on their priority list.
At $54.95/month, Viewit allows you to post to their 245.1K monthly viewers. No account is necessary and you can post up to 10 photos per listing. Each listing expires after 1 month and is only published after their team approves of it. This way, you can rest easy knowing no one will be reusing your listing information as part of a scam.
On the flip side, any edits, changes, or cancellations you would like to make to your listing requires contacting their team. Their turnaround time is within a business day but some landlords may prefer other websites that give them total control over adding and deleting posts.
Viewit also has additional paid upgrades to enhance your ad and even offers to send professional photographers if you want.
Tenants can utilize their map view to see nearby listings or use the search and filter functions to narrow it down based on utilities. They can message landlords through Viewit directly.
- Vetted postings to ensure that the listing information you provide will not be used to scam others.
- Any changes you wish to make require contacting their staff, which takes editing and posting permissions out of your hands.
A relatively new website, Rentals.ca averages around 600K monthly views and is still growing. They also have a mobile app. Posting requires signing up for an account and you can select if you want your ad to expire in 15 or 30 days. There are three different ad tiers to choose from.
- Free: no special perks on listing.
- Promoted: for $24/15 days or $49/30 days your listing gets increased priority on map/list, synced with Facebook Marketplace and mobile app notifications.
- Featured: for $124/15 days or $249/30 days, in addition to features in previous tiers, you also get top listings and priority, “Featured” tag, and highlighted on the map.
For each listing, a floorplan and at least 2 images are required. The website allows you to keep track of your listings, their status, and even save drafts. Tenants can contact you through the website or the phone number you add to the listing. Rentals.ca requires each listing to be approved by their team, so the website contains very few fake listings. Most listings on website are for apartments/condos.
For tenants, the website provides good search and filter options, including a map view that shows nearby listings. Each listing also comes generated with a neighbourhood and transportation information.
Property Managers and Individual Landlords
- Website is easy to navigate and use.
- Postings are vetted, which means very little scam listings.
- Website and company are relatively new, so there is not as much experience and reviews on it.
- Mostly targets larger cities and apartments or condos.
The Final Verdict: The Best Rental Sites in Canada
|Monthly Traffic (Sept 2020)||17.86M||3.4M||25M||385.9K||15.68M||245.1K||600K|
|Listing User Experience||- Very dated website
- Mostly used by legacy users
|- Simple interface: easy to list a property
- You have to keep reposting the listing so it shows up at the top or pay to boost it
|- Listing status helpful
- No need to boost listings
-Communications with renters is easy, and it's nice to see their profile, to make sure you were speaking with a real person
|- Very confusing and complicated interface
- Only allows posting on mobile app, no desktop access for listing
|- Good experience for tenants
- Agents will post listing for you
|- Limited control control since all edits, deletions, etc has to be approved by their team||- Allows you to keep track of your listing status and save drafts|
|Renter User Experience||No real search or filter functionality||Renters have a hard time to filter and limited search capability||Easy for both tenants and landlords||Many glitches when searching for listings and makes you log in multiple times.||Polished and professional look and feel. Lots of listings to choose from.||Tenants can use map view to see nearby listings or filter to narrow down the listings based on utilities.||- Provides good search and filter options
- Including a map view of nearby listings.
|Communication||Tenants can only message landlord. Very limited.||Just message landlord. All messages are in an inbox, which is not very organized.||The marketplace app separates messages from your personal ones. Ties it to the listing and sets reminders.||Very basic.||Realtor's contact info is included in each listing. Easy to get in touch.||Send email through Viewit directly or call on provided number.||Tenants can contact you through the website or the phone number you add.|
|Fees||No||- Basic : free
-More visibility: $130.95/month
- Most visibility: $392.95/month
|No||No||- Fees vary for posting unit
- Most realtors charge 1 month's rent
- Additional costs optional
|# of Pictures||24||10 ( Free)||50||3 (Recommended)||N/A||10||2 (Minimum)|
|Ad Expiry||45 or 7 days||60 days (Fees may apply to extend)||No||No||N/A||1 Month||N/A|
|Fake Listing||Many fake listings||Many fake listings||Many realtors with fake listings to get business||Many fake listings||None. Listings vetted by realtor.||None. Listings vetted.||Very few fake listings.|
|Pros||Can list virutal tour options||- Interactive ad maker.
- Cross-post ad to Newsfeed, Timeline and Groups
|Shows a mapview of rentals||A turn-key solution for the full rental process.||- No fake listings
- Offers professional photographer
- Popular with large property manager
|- Shows a mapview of rentals.
- Provides neighbourhood and transportation information
|Cons||- Low vetting.
- traffic is shared with other categories.
|- Low vetting
- 2 ad limit for free account.
|- Low vetting||- Mobile only||- Most expensive option, costing 1 month's rent.||Must contact their team for changes.||New website so not enough reviews on it.|
|Best For||Small Landlords||Small Landlords||Individual Landlords + Realtors||Large landlords, realtors, property managers||Realtors||Property Managers||Property managers, Individual landlords|
Best Rental Websites in Canada by Province
Besides the top Canada-wide rental sites we featured above, each province has specific rental websites that are popular in the region. We highlight some of the best ones below.
120K visitors per month
RentBoard has an ad credit system where you buy a certain number of credits, for example 30 days, and can either use it all up for 1 ad that is listed for 30 days, post 2 ads for 15 days each, or 30 different ads for 1 day each. If you take an ad down early your unused credit is saved for the next time you decide to post.
280K visitors per month
Signing up for an account on Point2Homes requires approval from their team and prices vary by region. This site is mostly used by real estate agents, property managers, and brokerages.
385K visitors per month
Rentfaster lets you list an ad for $35 until it is rented out for a maximum of 6 months. Some limitations apply as outlined on their website. Once your unit is rented out, you can deactivate the ad and reactivate it for $30 at a later date.
85K visitors per month
TorontoRentals is now part of Rentals.ca, so listings on TorontoRentals will also appear on Rentals.ca and vice versa.
600K visitors per month
Condos.ca has a large database of users looking to rent or buy condos. The site will put you in contact with a realtor/condo professional to help you list your property.
70K visitors per month
Louer specializes in rental units in Quebec and also has a French version of their website. It allows you to post listings for free, but your account must be approved before you can use it.
1.2M visitors per month
Duproprio is the largest real estate website in Quebec for buy & sell as well as rentals. They offer three tiers for ads: free, $49.95/3 months, or $199.95/3 months. Each tier offers a different number of photos you can include and the number of weeks the listing is featured.
Finding great tenants for your rental property in Canada is one of the hardest things about being a landlord. It is a lot easier when you know where to list your ads. Using a trustworthy website with a lot of traffic is always a good first step.
If you are a landlord with house rentals or apartments for rent looking for tenants, SingleKey can help make your renting process easier, faster and safer. With our tenant credit and background check you can screen your potential applicants in less than 5 minutes to find the perfect renters for your property.