Renting Off Campus

Determine Your Needs...
5 initial questions to ask yourself
  • Do I want a furnished or unfurnished room or apartment?
  • How much rent can I afford to pay?
  • Is the location suitable? Safe? Are there shops & eating places nearby?
  • Is it convenient commuting to campus?
  • Do I stay on my own or with one or more roommates?

Locating Roommates

Choose your roommate(s) carefully. Consider study habits, social habits, lifestyles and living expectations. Discuss all issues and come to a mutual agreement with your prospective roommates before deciding on your living arrangement.

Looking for a Place
  • Use the Off Campus Accommodation System (OCAS)
  • Explore opportunities under the university's Public Folders under 'Buy & Sell'/'Rent'
  • Go through the Classified Ads in the newspapers
  • Ask friends (grapevine)
  • Enlist the help of a property agent

Speak with Prospective Property Owners...
Questions to ask them
  • What is the monthly rent?
  • When and how is payment made?
  • Is a deposit required and how much is it?
  • Is the deposit refundable?
  • Are utilities -- hot water, electricity, gas, trash -- included in the monthly rental?
  • Are pets allowed? -- if so, what type?
  • Who is responsible for maintenance and repairs?
  • Are you able to sublet and/or add tenant(s) to the lease?
  • Are there any additional charges?
  • Any special rule that you are required to follow?

As a tenant, ensure that you have a good understanding with your landlord of mutual responsibilities and expectations.

Lease / Moving In and Out - Do's & Don'ts
  • Read the entire lease with full understanding before you commit to it.
  • Document agreements (repairs, painting, etc.) and ensure that notations of them are signed on all copies of the lease.
  • It is advisable to issue a cheque, money order or bank cashier's order for payment.
  • If you are making cash payment, ask for a receipt!
  • Sign an inventory which lists all the items provided by the landlord.
  • Ensure your rights as a tenant are protected and spelt out clearly in the lease.
  • Before you move in, inspect for damages with the landlord or property agent in order to avoid any subsequent misunderstanding.
  • When you leave at the end of the lease period, request to again make an inspection with the landlord or property agent for any damages.
  • With this documentation, you will be assured of claiming your security deposit fully.

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