Finding Student Housing for Rent in Ontario

A group of four international students on moving day 22 September 2022 09:47 AM: Ontario is home to some of the best universities and colleges in North America and attracts the largest number of international students in Canada. As a result, student housing for rent near these schools is in high demand. Searching for residential units near your university or college can often be frustrating if you do not know where to look. In this article, get tips to help you find secure, comfortable, and affordable housing off-campus.

What Options are Available?

As you start searching for student housing in Ontario, you will quickly come to realize that there are many types of homes on the market. Apartments and detached homes are the most common type of off-campus student housing for rent. If you decide to rent a one-bedroom apartment, you probably will not have a roommate. However, the rent is generally higher for these types of properties.

Alternatively, you can rent a detached home, and you will likely have multiple students living with you in the same house. This option is considerably cheaper as all the students can split the rent. There are even some students who share the same room to cut down on living expenses. 

Start Your Student Housing Search Early

Whether you like it or not, searching for student housing, or housing in general takes time. You will need time to find and secure a residential unit, especially if you want to find the perfect student home. To make sure you have enough time, it is a good idea to start searching for housing sooner rather than later.

It’s wise to search for student housing about two months before you plan to move in. This gives you plenty of time to browse the market and come to an agreement with the landlord. It will also maximize the chances of you finding the perfect student home for you. If you wait too long, you might have to rush the process of securing a home. That usually will not work out in your favour.

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Be Ready to Make Compromises

As you start searching the market for student homes, you will get a general idea of how much the rent will be and what amenities will be available. However, you must be ready to make compromises to meet your budget. Sometimes it is just not possible to find a home that has everything you are looking for and still fits your budget. A good way to move forward is by making a list of things you are willing to compromise.

Female student studying

Once you know what you are willing to compromise and what your home must have, you can start searching. Since there are hundreds of houses for rent on the market, it doesn’t make sense to scroll through all of them. That is where filters come in. Filters will allow you to narrow down your options to only the homes that meet your requirements. Popular filters include price range, number of bedrooms and washrooms, and utilities covered.

Start Touring Student Housing Units

To start browsing student housing for rent in Ontario, check out Rentals For Newcomers. By setting the price filter to a maximum of $1000, you will find most of the student housing available to you.

Once you have found a couple of student homes for rent that meet your requirements, it is important to check them out in person. Pictures and descriptions on listing sites can only tell you so much about a home. You need to see the home with your own eyes to know whether or not it meets your needs. However, sometimes it just isn’t possible to tour potential homes in person. If you live far from the school you will attend, it might not be possible for you to visit the home you will be renting. If that is the case, there are a couple of things you can do.

Listings in Ontario





1. Ask a Trusted Friend or Relative 

If you cannot visit the student home yourself, look to see if you have any friends or relatives that can visit it for you. Once they have seen the home for themselves, they will be able to tell you their insights on the home. As mentioned above, seeing a home with your own eyes is much better than looking at images. More often than not, the photos online do not convey the full picture. Someone must go and see it for themselves to get a better idea of the condition of the home.

2. Look for Short-Term Rental Agreements

If you cannot find anyone to view the home for you, you will just have to go by online pictures. If you are lucky, you might even find virtual tours of student homes. Even then, it is not a preferable way of hunting for student housing. A good option is to only consider homes that offer short-term rental agreements. This will allow you to move to the area where your campus is and see the home for yourself. Short-term rental agreements will allow you to easily switch to a better home once your rental agreement expires. When you are living near your campus, you can start touring other student homes in person.

International students sharing student housing for rent and unpacking boxes on moving day.

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What to Look for in Homes

Whether you visit student homes in person or online, there are a couple of things you should look for. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

Make sure everything looks clean. If the home looks dirty and undermaintained, it probably has pests. Especially as a student, pests will give you a hard time around the house. Check to make sure all the appliances are working. The last thing you need as a student is to find out that the appliances don’t work right after moving in. Communicate clearly and effectively with the landlord. Know exactly what utilities and amenities are covered in the rent and which ones you will have to pay for. Look for water, electricity, gas, internet, cable TV, HVAC and parking spaces to name a few. There is a good chance that many of these will be included in the rent. Check the water faucets. If the water looks a little brown or the faucets don’t turn off without leaking, you should probably avoid getting that place.

How Much is Student Housing in Ontario?

Like all real estate in Ontario, the price of student housing depends on multiple factors. Generally, you will be able to find a room in the $500 to $1,000 range. If your campus is located in a big city like Toronto or Mississauga, you need to prepare to pay higher rent. If you are searching for student housing in a smaller city, it will likely be more affordable.

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My name is Zain Usmani and I am a freelance content writer who currently resides in Mississauga, Ontario. I immigrated from Pakistan to Canada 5 years ago and have lived in many cities ever since. I have lived in Calgary AB, Edmonton AB, Regina SK, London ON, and Mississauga ON, while visiting over 40 Canadian cities and towns. I have a great passion for writing and I love helping people through it.

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