Moving for University? 6 Things to Consider with Off-Campus Housing

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There are over 1.7M students enrolled in advanced education in Canada. Starting university in a new city is an exciting time for students, but it can also be an anxious time as well. For many, becoming a student coincides with their first time renting and living independently.  In the current housing market, students are finding it increasingly difficult to secure their first rental, especially if they lack previous housing reference or credit history.  The ability to secure and keep housing is a huge consideration on school choice and housing stability impacts educational outcomes.

If you are seeking off-campus accommodation, here are 10 things to consider:

  1. Consider your Commute – most students living off-campus will have to commute to university every day. Consider your commute and whether you will be taking transit, biking or walking to class. Is it walking distance to regular transit? Living far away from the bus stop can add many minutes to your commute. Will you need to take more than one bus? Bus transferring adds time to your commute and can be frustrating if you miss a connection.
  2. Neighborhood Dynamic – Are you comfortable with the neighborhood? Consider the noise and safety of the area. Is cheaper rent worth a less-than-ideal living arrangement?
  3. Food – Do you prefer cooking or eating out at restaurants? Where are the nearest grocery stores located?
  4. Furnished or Unfurnished? – Some rentals come complete with everything you need to live including a bed, table, couch and other home furnishings. Would you prefer to own your own furniture?
  5. Types of homes – The most common types of accommodation include apartments or basement suites. Sometimes a group of students will rent and live in an entire home as roommates. 
  6. Utilities – Do you control the thermostat in your rental apartment? Are you responsible for internet connection?

When looking for off-campus housing, students have many factors to consider. It is not always clear what the best solution to their housing situation would be. RentSmart supports first-time renters to access housing and experience successful tenancies through education, certification and support that includes:

  • RentSmart Education is available both online and in-person through an interactive and engaging experience. It has been proven to build the combination of skills, knowledge and confidence needed to have a successful tenancy. Educational modules include: finding a home, affordability, living with roommates, legal rights and responsibilities, financial management, effective communication and maintenance.
  • Upon course completion, participants receive a RentSmart Certificate that signals to landlords that they have taken the time and investment to learn to be a good tenant.

Learn more about RentSmart HERE



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