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Unlike other major Canadian cities, Calgary’s housing market currently ranks among the top 10 most affordable in the world, according to a yearly ranking of 92 cities done by Demographia International Housing Affordability. That means there could be a lot of cheap rentals available in the city. That is if you know where to look. Read this to learn how you can find cheap apartments for rent in Calgary.     

Where Can You Find Cheap Apartments For Rent In Calgary?

According to various studies, the average price for a one-bedroom apartment in Calgary is $1,099 a month. So, if you look hard enough, it may be possible to find an apartment that’s equivalent to or even cheaper than that average, like in these neighbourhoods:    

NeighbourhoodRent For A 1-Bedroom
South Calgary$875
Banff Trail$972
The Properties$1,000

How To Find Cheap Apartments For Rent In Calgary

When you’re looking for cheap apartments for rent in Calgary, there are a ton of different online resources that can help you. Using multiple different platforms is key to finding a cheap and quality apartment. Most people only use one or two platforms to advertise their rental, so it’s important to check as many as you can to find the best one.

Can You Use Kijiji To Find Cheap Apartments For Rent In Calgary?

Yes, you can use Kijiji to search for rentals. Kijiji is a web search engine that Canadians use to post classified ads and buy, sell or trade almost anything, from cars to accommodations. People offering long-term rentals can post a private ad that includes details about utilities and the time it’s been listed for.

You can filter your search by price, location, lease length as well as if you want a furnished or unfurnished place. 

Can You Use Padmapper To Find Cheap Apartments For Rent In Calgary?

Yes, this online search engine is designed specifically for posting and finding apartment rentals. It offers a number of search filters, like preferred rent, number of rooms, and rent trends in specific areas. Padmapper also features a digital map tool where you can view apartments in Calgary and areas around it.   

Is Facebook Marketplace A Good Place To Find Cheap Apartments For Rent In Calgary?

Like Kijiji, Facebook Marketplace can be a good place to find and post classified ads about almost anything, such as cheap apartments for rent in Calgary. Since it’s operated by Facebook, you may also be able to see a landlord’s profile and get more information on them (if you’re a FB member).  

Can You Use Zumper To Find Cheap Apartments For Rent In Calgary?

If you need an apartment or even a vacation rental in Calgary, Zumper is easy to navigate and updates in real-time, so you can choose from the best long or short-term rental listings in any area. They also offer a screening process (powered by TransUnion) to submit digital rental applications and credit reports.         

Can You Use To Find Cheap Apartments For Rent In Calgary?

If you want specific features in your next cheap apartment, this website has an advanced search engine with filters like sublets, student housing, and even preferred utilities or flooring. Plus, their site offers a detailed map that lets you focus on a particular area and see quality pictures of available rentals.   

How Much Can You Expect To Pay In Rent In Calgary? 

For a better idea of how much cheap apartments cost there, here’s an overview of the average monthly rent in Calgary.

Average Rent
Studio $1,494
1 Beds$1,775
2 Beds$1,952
3 Beds$2,437
4 Beds$2,670

I Can’t Afford Rent, What Can I Do? 

Even though Calgary has some of the most affordable housing prices on the market, there’s always a chance you’ll be short on rent from time to time. When that happens, it’s important to resolve the situation quickly. Here are some things you can try:   

Get In Touch With Your Landlord

When you’re in danger of missing rent, a proper warning goes a long way. Since your landlord is probably using your rent payments to cover the costs of managing their property, avoiding or forgetting to pay can cause financial problems for them and you. 

However, if you give your landlord enough notice, a deal might be possible. That way you won’t ruin your relationship with them or receive any penalties, like the threat of eviction. Who knows? They may accept a partial or late payment with some negotiation.     

Use Your Credit Card If It’s A Temporary Problem

If you don’t have the cash to pay rent due to an emergency expense, you can use your credit card. A credit card will give you some time to recover your finances. Moreover, if you’re really strapped for cash, you can pay the minimum payment to avoid any penalties. 

How To Pay Rent With A Credit Card?

In Canada, most landlords don’t take credit cards when collecting rent payments. Cash, cheques, and direct deposits are some of the only viable options. Luckily, if you don’t have the funds on-hand, there are third-party apps and rent-pay services that will accept credit card payments, then send your rent payments directly to your landlord for a fee:

  • Plastiq
  • Letus by RentMoola

Before you use one of these services, keep in mind that it can take 2 to 7 business days for them to process and send your rent, so make sure to leave yourself adequate time. Moreover, this is only recommended if you just need a little time to recover. If your finances will take a few months to recover, you should consider a personal loan instead. 

Spreading The Costs With A Personal Loan

Getting a personal loan to cover your rent can be much better than missing your payment or using a credit card. Moreover, a personal loan will allow you to cover your rent, while making much smaller payments to your lender. 

For example, if your rent is $1,500 a month, you could borrow $7,500 to cover 5 months of rent. And, you’ll only need to make payments of $112.57 to your lender, assuming you qualify for a 12-month loan with an interest rate of 15%. 

How To End A Lease In Calgary

If you think you need cheaper accommodations and would like to end your lease, there are specific legal rules that landlords and tenants must follow. To end a lease, you’ll need to give a notice. For instance, to end a periodic tenancy agreement, a landlord or tenant must give the other party written notice that features the following information:

  • The address of the rental property
  • The date the tenancy will end
  • The signature of the party giving notice

Additionally, the required date to give notice depends on the party and type of tenancy:

  • Weekly Tenancy
    • Notice must be given on or before the first day of the tenancy week. The tenancy will end on the last day of that week.
  • Monthly Tenancy
    • The tenant must give notice on or before the first day of the tenancy month. The tenancy will end on the last day of that month.  
    • The landlord must give notice on or before the first day of the 3-month notice period. 
  • Yearly Tenancy
    • The tenant must give notice on or before the 60 days leading up to the last day of the tenancy year, for it to take effect on the last day of that year.   
    • The landlord must give notice on or before the 90 days leading up to the last day of the tenancy year, for it to take effect on the last day of that year. 

There are many other rules you must adhere to if you’re looking for cheap apartments for rent in Calgary, so remember to speak with your potential landlord and research the province’s tenancy laws.

How To Qualify For Cheap Apartments For Rent In Calgary

Finding a cheap apartment for rent in Calgary is one thing, qualifying for it is another. Here are a few things you can do to make yourself look like a good tenant. 

Have A Good Credit Score

In Canada, most landlords will check your credit score as part of their screening process. Your credit scores show your ability to pay bills on time. While rent isn’t reported to the credit bureaus, landlords can gauge whether you’ll pay rent by seeing if you pay other bills. 

A score of about 700 to 900 usually means you have good credit and have been a responsible credit user. As a result, landlords should be more likely to offer you a lease.

If your credit score is low, you might have to take some time to improve it. You can check and track your credit score for free using Loans Canada’s Compare Hub.  


Landlords offering cheap rent are likely to have multiple tenants competing for it. To stand out, you can try offering to lease it for a longer term. If you only plan to stay for a short term, you could also offer to pay in half or full upfront. Even if they say no, they may appreciate that you approached them in an honest and respectful manner, which can work in your favour if you apply again later on.    

Search During Off Times

Since spring and summer are the most popular times for Canadians to move, find new homes, and finish school, the rental market can become super competitive around then. So, the fall or winter can actually be a better time to search for cheap apartments for rent in Calgary, when demand is low and landlords are more desperate to find clients.    

Try Getting A Roommate

If it’s your first rental or you can’t afford/qualify to rent an apartment by yourself, it may be time to consider a roommate. Although you’ll have to share a kitchen, bathroom, and other common areas, living with one or more people can help you gain stability, split everyday costs, and get a great deal on a nicer apartment in a better neighbourhood.    

Having Trouble Finding Cheap Apartments For Rent In Calgary?

Then don’t worry, because there are many different online resources you can use, such as the ones listed above. Although it can take some time, finding a cheap apartment shouldn’t be a hassle. To gain more insider information about cheap apartments for rent in Calgary or other major cities across the country, check out the Loans Canada blog. 

FAQs On Apartments In Calgary

What happens if I can afford my rent in Calgary?

According to the Residential Tenancy Dispute Resolution Service (RTDRS), a landlord can evict you if you don’t pay rent. However, the landlord must give you a 14-Day Eviction Notice, or 14 days to pay the rent before eviction. That notice must be in writing and include the:
  • Amount of rent owed or due for the rent period 
  • Address of the property
  • Reason for the lease’s termination
  • Date the tenancy will end
  • Landlord’s signature   

What is the average price of rent in Calgary?

The average price of rent in Calgary is currently $1,099 a month for a one-bedroom apartment. However, that amount can vary depending on the neighbourhood.  

How much can my landlord increase my rent in Calgary?

In Alberta, there is no limit to how much a landlord can legally increase rent. Landlords can raise the rent price after a minimum of one year on a fixed-term or periodic tenancy agreement. Subsequent increases are also permitted every year after that. A detailed notice of the increase is required during a periodic tenancy but not a fixed-term tenancy.  
Bryan Daly avatar on Loans Canada
Bryan Daly

Bryan is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University. He has been writing for Loans Canada for five years, covering all things related to personal finance, and aims to pursue the craft of professional writing for many years to come. In his spare time, he maintains a passion for editing, writing screenplays, staying fit, and travelling the world in search of the coolest sights our planet has to offer.

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