Queen’s has resources and people who can help make your housing search less stressful.
- This page includes resources, tips, and info to provide clarity around housing terms and what to be aware of before signing a lease for a rental property
- Once you find a rental that you're interested in, you can contact the Off-Campus Living Advisor for help reviewing lease documents and for individual advising on rental and landlord issues
- The AMS Housing Resource Centre (HRC) is run by students and can help you with housing issues
Places to Stay
There are various rental options in Kingston to suit your personal circumstances.
Temporary accommodations may be needed for your first few days in Kingston. If you do not have your long-term housing pre-arranged and confirmed, you will need time to search housing listings and make viewing appointments. It can take several weeks to find long-term housing in Kingston, so be sure to start looking well before your arrival.
It can often get very busy in Kingston when students are arriving in the city, so it is best to make your short stay reservations in advance. Your options include:
Please review our rental scams page.
Your decision to select one of the many off-campus accommodation options will depend on your budget, lifestyle, personal preferences, and more. Timing can also be an important factor. Some students decide to pre-arrange housing from overseas to provide peace of mind, while others wait to inspect the unit and meet the landlord in person, to make a safe and informed decision that minimizes certain risks. The AMS has a list of things to consider during your search.
Finding a Place
- Queen’s Community Housing
- Maintains off-campus Accommodation Listing Service of rental units (rooms, apartments, houses) for students, faculty, and staff. The information about rental properties is provided by property owners
- Offers apartments owned by the university, such as An Clachan apartments and John Orr Tower, which are mainly used by graduate students and their families. These are now fully leased and no longer accepting applications
- Also offers properties in the University District
- Homestay Network Canada
- If you're interested in living with a local family, apply directly through this program
- Queen's University Student Housing – Kingston and Queen's University – Off-Campus Housing Facebook groups
- A Facebook account is required to access these listings from students and other local individuals
- Kingston Student Housing Co-op Rentals
- The Off-Campus Living Advisor provides a Housing Resource Package that includes information on where to look for housing
Once you find a place you are interested in, be sure to review Your Rights and Things to Know Before Renting before signing a lease. Talk to the Off-Campus Living Advisor for help reviewing lease documents and individual advising on rental and landlord issues.
Leases are Legally Binding Contracts
IMPORTANT: Please keep in mind that housing contracts are legally binding agreements that cannot be cancelled if, for any reason, you decide that your accommodations are not suitable for you/does not meet your expectations.
- A written contract is the best way to be clear on how much you are paying and for what – don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on what is meant “clean,” “shared,” or other terms
- 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 you give to the landlord
- Every person has the right to a home that meets minimum health and safety standards. If possible, we recommend that you actually view your place before entering into any rental agreement
Your Rights and Responsibilities
Students are encouraged to contact Queen’s Student Community Relations or the Off-Campus Living Advisor with questions related to tenant rights and responsibilities. They may also be able to help you understand your lease and review your document(s). Additional resources include:
- Community Legal Education Ontario
- Kingston Property Standards By-Law
- Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board
As a tenant, there are things that you are responsible for providing upon a landlord's request. However, you also have rights that a landlord cannot impede upon. Take a look below at some of the things a landlord can and cannot do or ask for.
A Landlord Can…
- Ask for first and last month’s rent – the last month’s rent acts as a deposit. This money is held as payment for last month’s rent and not as security against things being broken or damaged. The landlord is required by law to pay you a small percentage of interest once a year on your rent deposit. This amount fluctuates yearly and is set by the Ontario Landlord and Tenant Board. The first month’s rent is usually due on the first day of your tenancy
- Ask for a guarantor or cosigner – this person becomes responsible for the remaining rent or lease if you leave your apartment or house without paying the rent. A landlord may also ask for letters of reference from previous landlords, employers, or supervisors
A Landlord Cannot…
- Refuse to rent an apartment or house to you because of:
- your place of origin, ethnic origin, race, ancestry, or citizenship
- your religion
- your disability
- your age
- your sex, sexual orientation, same-sex partnership status, or marital status
- the fact that you are pregnant or have children
- the fact that you are receiving social assistance
The Ontario Human Rights Code makes it against the law for landlords to discriminate against you in any of these ways. However, if you rent a room or an apartment where you live with the owner’s family and share their kitchen and/or bathroom, a landlord can refuse to rent or terminate a lease for any of the reasons stated above. Be aware that you can be evicted without notice, unless you have a written contract that states otherwise.
If you have a disability, a landlord must make appropriate changes to the unit to accommodate for your disability. Appropriate accommodation means that the landlord is required to make changes that meet your needs in a dignified way without causing undue hardship to her/his business. For more information, contact the Human Rights Office.
- Ask for more than first and last month’s rent – except for first and last month’s rent, it is illegal for a landlord to ask you to pay more than one month’s rent at a time. A landlord may ask you to pay for your keys if you lose them, but this cannot be more than the actual cost of the keys. All other deposits are illegal (e.g. cost of appliances or curtains, a damage deposit in addition to last month’s rent, application fee)
- Refuse your request for repairs – the landlord has a responsibility to make sure your unit meets minimum health and safety standards. Any contact with the landlord should be followed up in writing. If the landlord does not respond to your request, contact the Property Standards Department
- Enter your apartment or house without notice – a landlord is required to give you written notice 24 hours in advance before entering your unit. In most cases, your landlord can only enter your home between 8 am and 8 pm. However, your landlord can enter your unit without notice if there is an emergency or if you agree to let them in. If your landlord continues to enter your unit without proper notice or for reasons unrelated to the rental and upkeep of the unit, this may be harassment. You can contact the Human Rights Office for advice
Harassment is a comment or action that is known, or should be known, to be unwelcome. Some examples include: comments about your appearance, comments about your private life, comments about your relationships, sexual suggestions or advances toward you, contacting you at unreasonable hours, entering your apartment without proper notice, comments about your cooking, cutting off important services like heat and electricity, or threats to harm you.
What to Bring
Please note that bedding (sheets, pillows, blankets) and towels are not provided in rental accommodations. You may want to bring your own or purchase them upon arrival in Kingston. There may be other items you want to bring depending on your personal needs.
IMPORTANT: Except for first and last month’s rent, it is illegal for a landlord to ask you to pay more than one month’s rent at a time. Review Your Rights and Things to Know Before Renting.
- When paying rent it is best to use a personal cheque, bank draft/bank money order, or an email money transfer which all provide a proof of payment other than a receipt issued by the landlord
- Please never email or text any banking, credit card, or personal information directly to anyone. Payments between students and landlords are made through a bank or a service provider without exchanging this type of information
Meet the Off-Campus Living Advisor and get info on your housing search, how to best navigate the Kingston rental market, budgeting, how to pick the best housemates, what to expect in a lease, housing/rental scams, and more.
Advertising a Room for Rent
If you have a room available in your shared house/apartment, are heading abroad and are looking to sublet your place, or want to rent a unit to a Queen’s University student or international student, please advertise your place for rent with the Community Housing Accommodation Listing Service.