Here are tips as you plan for July 1 moving day in Montreal

Two men are pictured walking down a street in Montreal while carrying boxes, bags and furniture on the annual moving day, 1-Jul, 2021. (Ivanoh Demers/CBC/Radio-Canada - image credit)

Moving day in Quebec is approaching with cascading intensity — and things are a bit different this year.

The province's housing law has changed after the adoption of Bill 31, which all but dissolves lease transfers, and Bill 65, which freezes evictions for some tenants.

More locally, Montreal movers faced January 2024 vacancy rates of just 1.5 per cent.

It's true that the province is in a housing crisis — but there are still ways to be prepared.

CBC Montreal's Let's Go team has been dedicating this week to housing tips. We reached experts on how best to use what it is out there.

Rent registries can help you know average prices

How much do you pay for rent in Montreal? The city of Montreal has created an optional rent registry. It comes after grassroots efforts to register leases, like CBC News has created a rent-tracking tool, too. Let's Go spoke with CBC News senior data producer Naël Shiab about how to use the CBC tool if you're looking for a place to rent, why knowing average rent prices borough by borough matters and what rent registries can offer tenants right now.

There are resources if you haven't found a new place

If you don't yet have an apartment for July 1, there are some places you can turn. The city encourages people to call 311, where a housing assistance line can help you in your search. But what if you need more support than that? Margaret Van Nooten is a social worker with Cote-des-Neiges community group Project Genesis. She and her team are there to do their best so that people — like 61 year old Despina Mallas — don't fall through the cracks. Van Nooten shares what Project Genesis suggests when people need a supportive hand through their search.

How can you keep your apartment cool as a renter?

This July 1 is coming as climate change makes extreme weather events, such as a heat dome that just roasted Montreal, more frequent. If you're preparing for a new place this year, what conversations do you need to have with your landlord about keeping your apartment liveable? Mariam Esseghaier gives us her advice. She's a renter in downtown Montreal, whose apartment gets so hot that it was recorded in the CBC News 2023 Urban Heat Project.

We checked in with her one year later about how she survives the heat in her apartment, and tips on how to talk with your landlord early about signing a lease that considers climate change. We also hear tips on keeping your place cool from Caroline Metz, with the Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation in the faculty of environment at the University of Waterloo.

What rights do tenants have?

There have been landmark changes to housing law in Quebec lately. Community organizations that give tips on tenants' rights have taken note. What are some of the most important rights to remember when you're sending out messages to see a place, or arrive at your new home and see it needs renovations? Lily Martin explains. She's a community organizer at the West Island Tenant's Action Committee. She tells us who to call if you don't have a place yet for July 1 and you live in one of the 14 independent municipalities on the island. Hint: it's not 311.

Tune into Let's Go next week as we'll keep talking about housing as July 1 approaches.