Best Housing Off-Campus for UBC Students

Lots of students will be looking for off-campus housing near UBC campus this fall before they buy their textbooks. We’re liv.rent, a rental platform and more, and we wanted to help UBC students who were looking for homes nearby. In this guide, we’re coving all the basics of off-campus living in Vancouver including the best places to find apartments and roommates. We’ve listed the best neighbourhoods by convenience, proximity to campus, and available amenities. That way, your commute won’t cut too much into your study time.


Table of Contents

UBC off-campus housing overview

Types of accommodation

In Vancouver, these are the typical types of places that are available to rent:

There are also houses, laneway homes, and townhomes for rent with varying numbers of bedrooms.

Students will likely either live on their own or with roommates. The reality for many UBC students in a city like Vancouver is that many of them will end up living in shared accommodations.

Looking for a place to share

If you’re looking for a room in a shared space that’s perfect for students, then your first place to check should be liv.rent’s listings. You can use the map tool to find a place that’s close to campus and use the search filter “Room” under “Housing Type” to look at all the available places in the area.

FREE Roommate Agreement Template: Download Here

Looking for a roommate

Off-campus students at UBC looking for roommates can post their available rooms for rent on liv.rent for free. Plus, the 100% digital platform means that you can connect with a roommate online.

Average rent in Vancouver

Average rates by listing type.
Rental averages in Metro Vancouver for August 2021

Vancouver transit

When it comes to off-campus housing, living close to transit options is extremely important. The U-Pass, Translink’s monthly student transit pass, is typically included in your student fees and provides access to the bus and train networks. Planning your commute to class from off-campus housing is easy with Translink’s Trip Planner, as well.

The Vancouver UBC campus is served by 16 bus routes with connections to destinations all over Metro Vancouver.

Neighbourhoods to consider

It’s up to you if you want to live as close to campus as possible or sign on for a longer commute for potential rent savings. Here are a few neighbourhoods that are the most popular with students because they’re nearby campus or have good access to transit options:

  • Wesbrook Village
  • Point Grey
  • Dunbar/Southlands
  • South Cambie/Marine Hub
  • Kitsilano
  • Olympic Village
  • Sunset

Also, anywhere that’s close to Broadway between Commercial Drive and UBC campus is a good bet because you can access the 99-B line express bus to campus.

Jump ahead to the best neighbourhoods for renting near UBC section to learn more.

Tips on saving rent in Vancouver

The “student budget” is real, and when you’re living in Canada’s most expensive city for renters then it’s doubly hard to save money. In addition to living with roommates, here are some tips and resources to help you save money on rent:

Best student housing options off-campus in Vancouver

Using liv.rent to search for your off-campus home is perfect for UBC students who can rent safely and securely from verified landlords and listings, sidestepping any scammers. Here’s where to look for the best student housing options off-campus in Vancouver:

Best neighbourhoods for renting near UBC:

Renting in Wesbrook Village

Renting near Wesbrook Village

Perched right on the edge of the campus proper and surrounded by forest, Wesbrook Village is a great place for students to live who don’t want a long commute but also want to live outside of student housing.

Types of accommodation in Wesbrook Village

In Wesbrook Village, you’re mostly going to find apartments for rent, and many of them are new and in good condition.

Average monthly rent in Wesbrook Village

  • Studio apartment — $1620
  • One-bedroom apartment — $1,950
  • Two-bedroom apartment — $2,700
  • Three-bedroom apartment — $3,550

Source: Zumper

Transportation in Wesbrook Village

Estimated commute to campus: 15 to 30 minutes
Luckily, if you live in Wesbrook Village and have to get to class, you can easily walk, bike, or bus. Translink’s Route 68 — UBC Exchange / Wesbrook Village bus route connects you to every corner of campus you need to reach in minutes.

Wesbrook Village amenities

Wesbrook Village is its own tiny community just off-campus with restaurants, pubs, a grocery store, and plenty of services that are just steps away from many of the surrounding apartment buildings.

Renting in Point Grey

Renting near Point Grey

This is one of the closest neighbourhoods to UBC. A quiet, beautiful area, it’s loosely defined as lying between the beautiful beaches of Spanish Banks along Northwest Marine Drive and West 16th Avenue.

Types of accommodation in Point Grey

Here, accommodation is mostly shared in single-family homes. There are also some apartments, basement suites, and a growing number of laneway homes.

Average monthly rent in Point Grey

  • One-bedroom apartment — $1,750
  • Two-bedroom apartment — $3,100
  • Three-bedroom apartment — $4,750

Source: Zumper

Transportation in Point Grey

Estimated commute to campus: 20 to 40 minutes
You can easily catch a bus or ride your bike to the UBC campus in Point Grey. Depending on where you are in the neighbourhood, you’re just a 10-minute bus ride away from UBC.

Try taking the 99 B-Line directly to campus or any number of the other bus routes in the area that take you there.

Point Grey amenities

The busy commercial streets nearby include West 10th Avenue, Broadway, and West 4th Avenue and have plenty of the city’s best restaurants, services, and grocery stores nearby.

Renting in Dunbar/Southlands

Renting near Dunbar/Southlands

Also adjacent to the UBC Endowment Lands but south of West 16th Avenue, the Dunbar/Southlands neighbourhood is another handy option for UBC students.

Types of accommodation in Dunbar/Southlands

Most of the accommodation is in single-family homes, laneway houses, and basement suites though there are some apartments along the Dunbar corridor.

Average monthly rent in Dunbar/Southlands

  • One-bedroom apartment — $1,795
  • Two-bedroom apartment — $2,150
  • Three-bedroom apartment — $3,650

Source: Zumper

Transportation in Dunbar/Southlands

Estimated commute to campus: 30 to 45 minutes
You’ll want to take your bike or the bus to campus if you’re living in the Dunbar/Southlands area. The 49 UBC line is one of the most popular bus routes.

Dunbar/Southlands amenities

The Dunbar Village area has all amenities students need, but you’re also just a quick bus trip away from all the best Westbrook Village has to offer on campus as well.

Dunbar/Southlands apartments for rent

Renting in South Cambie/Marine Hub

Renting near South Cambie/Marine Hub

In recent years, the area at the foot of Cambie has transformed into a vibrant new community known as Marine Hub

Types of accommodation in South Cambie/Marine Hub

There is a good mix of newly built condos, older apartment buildings, and single-family dwellings in this neighbourhood.

Average monthly rent in South Cambie/Marine Hub

  • One-bedroom apartment — $2,100
  • Two-bedroom apartment — $2,800
  • Three-bedroom apartment — $3,062

Source: Zumper

Transportation in South Cambie/Marine Hub

Estimated commute to campus: 1 hour
This area is easy to access by public transit from anywhere in Vancouver. Students can access UBC along the West 49th Avenue bus route.

South Cambie/Marine Hub amenities

Centrally located between Vancouver and Richmond, this spot boasts restaurants, a T&T supermarket, Steve Nash Fitness Club and instant access to the Canada line that can take you Downtown or to the Airport in 15 minutes.

South Cambie/Marine Hub apartments for rent

The new W1 towers at the Marine Hub are a perfect fit for students with furnished or unfurnished options for two-bedroom, or three-bedroom places.

Renting in Kitsilano

Renting near Kitsilano

Kitsilano, also known as “Kits,” is the preferred neighbourhood for many students who love to be between UBC and Downtown while just minutes away from Kits Beach.

Types of accommodation in Kitsilano

There are all kinds of possible accommodations in Kits from entire or partial houses to apartments and basement suites.

Average monthly rent in Kitsilano

  • Studio apartment — $1,740
  • One-bedroom apartment — $1,895
  • Two-bedroom apartment — $2,600
  • Three-bedroom apartment — $3,750

Source: Zumper

Transportation in Kitsilano

Estimated commute to campus: 20 to 40 minutes
Catch the 99 B-line bus along Broadway for the fastest and most direct route to campus. There are a handful of other bus routes in the area that take you right to the UBC bus loop as well.

Kitsilano amenities

The neighbourhood is teeming with restaurants, bars, and shopping along West 4th Avenue and Broadway.

Renting tips: how to find & secure off-campus housing

How to avoid rental scams in Vancouver

Unfortunately, rental scams in Vancouver are out there, but luckily you can protect yourself. Know your rights as a renter and use a trusted rental platform. Here are some of the most common scams to look out for:

  • Scam #1 Rent is too low
    If the rental rate seems shockingly below the rental average for the city, it could be a fake listing.
  • Scam #2 Urgent cash demand
    Renters don’t have to pay for anything until a lease is signed. So, if someone’s pressuring you to send cash now, don’t do it.
  • Scam #3 Too much info
    Until you’re 100% ready to move forward with a lease, you’re not obligated to share your bank account or SIN number.
  • Scam #4 Not enough details
    While some smaller landlords may withhold unit numbers for privacy, you should know the exact address of the unit you’re looking at. without that info, it could be a scam.

Pro tip: rent from ID-verified landlords on liv.rent to avoid scams.

Be smart with your rental search

  • Tip #1 Know your needs
    List of your priorities: pricing, location, amenities, lease duration, pet policy, etc. Use liv.rent filters to narrow your search. 
  • Tip #2 Do your research
    Find out the average rent in your target area. It’ll arm you with the necessary info to negotiate terms & rates.
  • Tip #3 Google the property
    See if there are any complaints online regarding building management, maintenance, noise, neighbourhood, etc.
  • Tip #4 Video tours first
    If possible, view video tours first. Then, narrow down your selection and book viewings only for places you’re seriously considering. 

Tips to improve your search

  • Tip #1 Don’t be afraid to check
    Have the landlord demonstrate that all appliances are working – run faucets, check thermostats, flush toilets, turn on stoves, etc. Also, check cellphone reception.
  • Tip #2 View in daylight
    Viewing a home in daylight will give you a better sense of the living space.
  • Tip #3 Prepare questions
    And ask the hard questions (e.g. how much interest have you had for this unit) to uncover info not in the listing.

Stand out when you apply for your rental

Completing your liv.rent profile, or renter’s resume, is the easiest way to stand out. You can also go the extra mile and pre-submit your application before your viewing if you’re pretty sure you want to rent the unit. By introducing yourself upfront, it shows that you’re serious about the unit – leaving a strong impression on your landlord.

Pro tip: on liv.rent, we use Liv Score™ to rate renters trustworthiness and credibility — it’s free for students to get theirs with their profile!

Another way to stand out is by using your renter’s story in your renter’s resume to give landlords more information about your credit score. As students may not have strong credit histories yet, use this space to provide more context to a landlord to help them trust you.

How to secure a rental before arriving in Canada

It’s easy for UBC students who aren’t yet in Vancouver or even in the country yet to rent an off-campus apartment safely and securely.

Once you have filled out your liv.rent profile completely, you can use it to apply to listings on our platform.

In your profile, you can select whether you are a first-time renter and whether or not you’re renting from outside Canada. That way, a landlord can accurately assess your profile and help you secure a rental without having references in Canada.

Pro tip: watch our friend Tobi Adekeye’s YouTube video that explains exactly how to use liv.rent to easily secure your Canadian home from abroad.


Student resources

liv.rent has a ton of resources for students renting in Vancouver. Especially if you’re an international student, moving to B.C. from out-of-province, or just new in town — it’s important to know the ins and outs of renting in B.C. so you protect yourself and get a fair deal.

Check out our guides on everything from renting and leases to tenants’ rights and relationships with landlords.


liv.rent writer sarah anderson

Sarah Anderson, B.A.

Creative Content Writer at liv.rent

Sarah Anderson is a Creative Content Writer at liv.rent who shares the latest updates and news with the safe and trusted community of landlords and tenants at liv.rent. [Read Full Bio]

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