What Should I Know Before Renting a Place?
What constitutes the best place to live is not the same for everyone, therefore each student’s housing search will be different. Budget, proximity to school, shopping and services, and personal preference all play a role in helping you choose housing. Each situation however shares some commonalities:
- a written contract is the best way to be clear how much you are paying and for what – don’t be afraid to ask for clarification of what is meant by “clean”, or “shared”;
- you should never provide money until you are certain of your decision – rental contracts are usually binding, even if you feel a situation was misrepresented;
- you should always be given a receipt for any money given to the landlord;
- every person has the right to a home that meets minimum health and safety standards. Resources to help you understand and exercise (not the right word) your rights are generally free of charge.
There are lots of resources that help guide your housing search and many more should you have difficulty with your housing:
- Queen’s Student Community Relations assists with lease review before you sign your contract to better understand your rights and responsibilities
- Kingston Transit has an online trip planner so you can see what transit options are available from different addresses
- Utilities Kingston (613-546-0000) can provide factual information on average utility costs for any City address
- Check Queen’s Walkhome to see the boundaries of their free safety service
- The Government of Canada offers a comprehensive brochure CMHC – "The Newcomer's Guide to Canadian Housing"
Here is a list of further links to services that can be helpful information and support:
- Queen's Student Community Relations
- Queen's & Area Maps
- Tenants Rights
- Special Needs Housing
- Single Gender Housing
- Common Canadian House Hunting Terms
- Your House Hunting Checklist
- Your Move-In Checklist
- Queen's Campus Security and Emergency Services
- Queen's Walkhome Service
- Queen's Legal Aid
- Human Rights Office
- Kingston Transit (Bus Service)
- Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board
- Kingston Property Standards By-Law
- Utilities Kingston
- Community Legal Education Ontario
- CMHC – "The Newcomer's Guide to Canadian Housing"