1. Renting
  2. Utilities and service providers
  3. Waste collection


After you arrive in Prince Edward Island you need to find a place to live. This may be a place to stay temporarily until you find more permanent accommodation.

Hotels or motels usually have basic rooms with a bathroom, desk and cable TV. Hotels and motels usually rent on a daily basis, but sometimes you can negotiate a weekly rate. Staying in a hotel or motel tends to be more expensive because you can't usually prepare your own food and have to eat out.

Furnished cottages usually have a fully equipped kitchen. They may have daily or weekly rates and are generally more expensive during the summer months.

Bed and Breakfasts (B&B's) are normally operated out of a large family home. You rent a private room, with or without your own bathroom, with breakfast included. Generally, you do not have access to cooking facilities.

The University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI) and Holland College residences rent rooms to non-students, but these rooms are usually only available from May to August.

Campgrounds, generally open from May to September, are available to those with tents, trailers or recreational vehicles (RVs).

Shared housing is usually advertised in newspapers or online by homeowners or apartment renters looking for people to share their homes and housing expenses. You should get a private room and share common living spaces, such as the kitchen and bathroom.

If you are in an emergency situation and find yourself homeless, contact us to help find temporary shelter.

A convenient way to find temporary housing is to use internet search engines such as the PEI Travel Guide search engine, the Yellow Pages under "Hotels", "Motels", "Bed and Breakfast", or "Camping". You can also contact one of the PEI Tourism Information Centres by phone.

When looking for an apartment, house or room to rent, keep in mind that you may be living in the place you are renting for quite some time, so it is important to choose a place you like.

Finding a place to rent
If you find an apartment building in an area you particularly like, you can ask if any apartments are available or will be available soon. If none are available, ask if you can be put on a waiting list.

There are many ways to go about renting an apartment, house or room in Prince Edward Island. Here are some ideas:

  • Classified ads: look in the newspaper for house, room, apartment rental ads.
  • Rental websites: There are many websites with rental listings. You can use a search engine to find them. [See Related Resources]
  • Billboards: look at them in community centers, laundromats, grocery stores and other local businesses for ads. If you are a student at Holland College or UPEI, check with their student services for the availability of student housing both on and off campus.
  • Signs: Walk around the neighborhoods you are interested in and look for signs that say "For Rent".
  • Family and friends: Some people find places to rent through personal contacts. Ask your friends, family, co-workers, and others if they know of available rentals.

Important things to do before you rent
The damage deposit (also called the security deposit) is an amount that tenants are usually required to pay before moving into the rental property. The deposit is returned to the tenant if the residence is not damaged beyond normal wear and tear and if the tenant has been given timely notice as agreed.

When you sign a document, you are responsible for respecting the terms and conditions of the signed agreement.

When you have found an apartment, house, or room that suits your budget and personal needs, you must do the following:

  • Confirm the amount of the rental, check when it is due each month, and what is included in the rent (heat, electricity, hot water, snow removal, lawn mowing, parking, etc.)
  • Find out if a security deposit is required by the landlord, how much it is, and the process for getting it back when you move out.
  • Check to see if the space you are renting is in good condition. Report any repairs or damages to the landlord and ask that they be repaired before you take possession or sign the lease.
  • Some landlords require you to sign a lease or rental agreement. Make sure you understand what you are signing. If not, you should seek advice from someone who understands rental agreements.

Finding affordable housing can be a challenge for many families. In Prince Edward Island, there are several choices:

  • Co-op housing
  • Retirement homes
  • Family housing

Co-op Housing
Non-profit housing co-ops provide housing for their members on a non-profit basis. Members have no equity in their homes. If they move, their home is returned to the co-op, to be offered to another individual or family in need of affordable housing.

Each housing co-op is a legal, incorporated association. These organizations own buildings (usually apartment buildings, sometimes houses), in which the units are located and rented to the members of the co-op.

Some co-op residents pay a reduced monthly rent based on their income. A government fund covers the difference between this payment and the total cost of the co-op unit. Others pay all monthly charges based on costs.

Because co-ops charge their members only the exact cost of the charges to cover expenses, repairs, and reserves, they can offer much more affordable housing than the average private sector landlord.

Housing co-ops also offer security. Co-ops are controlled by their members who have a voice in decisions about their housing.
Landlord and tenant legislation does not apply to housing co-ops.

What distinguishes co-ops from private rental housing, besides the low rent, is that they are democratic communities where the residents make decisions about how the co-op operates. Members, the board of directors and staff each have responsibilities at the co-op. A person becomes a member of the co-op once :

  • his or her application for membership is approved by the board of directors ;
  • he or she agrees to follow the membership rules.

Provincial Housing Services
Provincial Housing Services helps create more affordable rental housing for low-income families. These housing services manage two social housing programs:

  • Senior Housing Program
  • Family Housing Program

The Senior Housing Program provides self-contained apartments to moderate and low-income individuals over 60 years of age. Senior housing is available in many communities across the province.

The Family Housing Program provides rental housing to moderate and low income families. Family housing is available in 9 municipalities across the province.

Rental for both programs is set at 25% of total household income.

Utilities and service providers (electricity, heating, Internet, etc.)
There are a number of utilities or service providers you may need in your new PEI home. Some of these are essential, like water, heat and electricity, and some are not. The utilities and service providers are:
  • Electricity
  • Hot water and heat
  • Water and sanitation
  • Telephone
  • Internet access
  • Satellite or cable television

The company that provides electricity in PEI is Maritime Electric. When you buy or rent a home, you must create an account with Maritime Electric. You can go to their office or call them.

office or call them. New subscribers are usually required to pay a security deposit and an electrical connection fee. The deposit is returned after a certain amount of time if the bills are paid regularly on time.

The amount you pay for electricity each month depends on how much you use.

Sometimes electricity can be cut off due to weather related storms, but very rarely and usually only for a short time.

Heating and hot water
  • Boilers are the most common way to heat homes on PEI.
  • Your furnace, wood stove, propane stove, and chimney should be cleaned and checked annually by a professional to ensure that they are working properly. This can help prevent fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. If you rent, your landlord is usually responsible for maintaining the heating system.
  • People often have a propane mix or a wood stove as a backup heating source in case of winter power outages. Boilers require electricity to operate.

 In PEI there are different ways to heat your home:

  • Heating oil: If you own your house, or if you rent a house the heating is not included in your rent, you will have to find an oil company that will make a regular delivery of heating oil to your home. If you rent an apartment in a building with a boiler, heating is usually included in your rent.
  • Electricity: If you use electric heat, your heating costs will be included in your electricity bill. If you are a tenant, it is usually not included in your rent.
  • Woodstove: Some people install woodstoves to heat their homes and hot water. You must have an approved stove that is properly installed if you want to be covered by insurance companies.
  • Propane stoves or heaters: Some people use propane stoves or heaters to reduce their oil consumption or electricity use. Propane stoves or heaters must be properly installed and approved if you want to be covered by insurance companies.

In PEI, the most common way to heat hot water is through the home heating system, regardless of the type of system. The cost will be included in your rent if the heating is included.

Water and Sewerage Systems
Homeowners must have a subscription to the public water and sewage service in their town or village to receive water and sewage. If your house is in the country, outside of the cities or villages, it may have its own well and septic tank. If you are renting a house, your landlord - the owner - is responsible for the cost of water and sewer services, and it is included in your rent.

Telephone companies often offer bundles that may include telephone, Internet connection, and cable or satellite television. They may also offer cell phone services as part of a bundle.

Most households in Canada have a landline telephone. You must create an account with a telephone company if you own or rent a home. Phone service is never included in your rent.

Internet Service
Many people in PEI have Internet services in their homes. It is useful for information, entertainment, keeping in touch with family and friends, and for finding a job. If you have a computer and want to connect to the Internet, you need an account with an Internet service provider.
Cable or satellite television

Most people in Canada own a television set. You may be able to receive two or three channels for free using a small antenna installed on your TV. To get more channels you need to have an account with a cable or satellite TV provider.

Waste collection
Garbage collection service is provided to all Island residents. Landlords are responsible for the cost of garbage collection. If you are a tenant, it will be included in your rent. All households and businesses on the Island are required to separate their waste as outlined in the Waste Monitoring Program in order to reduce the amount of waste.

Each household is required to have a green garbage can for compost, a black garbage can for garbage, and a supply of clear blue bags to store and dispose of recyclables. It is helpful to have string on hand at home to tie together and flatten cardboard recyclables.

The company providing garbage collection service on the Island is the Island Waste Management Corporation (IWMC).

How to sort garbage
We can all help the environment by sorting our garbage properly into the following categories:

Recyclable materials
Recyclables are materials that can be reused and must be sorted into clear blue plastic bags. You must sort them as follows:

  • blue bag #1 - paper and blue cardboard
  • blue bag #2 - glass, plastic (type 1-5), milk and juice cardboard and metal items
  • cardboard boxes, flattened, bundled, and placed next to your blue bag

NOTE: All recyclable items must be clean and dry. Before recycling bills or other items or documents containing personal information, such as your name, address, phone number, bank account number, etc., it is a good idea to shred them.

Recyclable materials
Recyclables are materials that can be reused and must be sorted into clear blue plastic bags. You must sort them as follows:

  • blue bag #1 - paper and blue cardboard
  • blue bag #2 - glass, plastic (type 1-5), milk and juice cardboard and metal items
  • cardboard boxes, flattened, bundled, and placed next to your blue bag

NOTE: All recyclable items must be clean and dry. Before recycling bills or other items or documents containing personal information, such as your name, address, phone number, bank account number, etc., it is a good idea to shred them.

Garbage includes all items that cannot go into recyclables or the green compost cart. Here are some common items that belong in garbage:

  • broken dishes or glass
  • Styrofoam containers
  • chewing gum
  • non-recyclable plastics (type 6 and 7)
  • clothing and shoes
  • sweepings and vacuum cleaner bags
  • empty motor oil containers
  • broken computers, computer parts and other electronics

NOTE: Do not throw away clothing and footwear that is still in good condition. You can donate them to charity.