Finding a Student Rental

One of the most exciting things for students or at least for me was moving out of residence and into a real house. Yes there are a lot of great things that residence has to offer but the freedom and experience of moving into a student rental is incomparable. That being said there are a lot of things you have to think about when finding a student rental and a lot of things to consider, so do your research and make use of the great tools that are available online.


Finding a Student Rental

There are many great websites out there to help you find that student house, apartment or individual room you’re looking for. I often found that one of the easier things to find was a full house, an individual room for say 4 to 8 months was more challenging during the school year, whereas during the summer there was a surplus of available rentals to be had.

The Go-To Options

Classified site through your university-correct me if I’m wrong, but I went to Guelph and we had ourselves the Cannon which was a great resource to find student rentals. Some university/college towns should have a similar student only type classified site. These are great and you know you’re dealing with students (most of the time).

Kijiji/Craigslist & other online classifieds-These are also great options and are usually pretty local. That being said I always like to warn people about Kijiji and Craigslist depending on where you live, but always make sure you’re safe when completing a Kijiji “transaction”. That being said I’ve bought things off both before and not had any issues, but it’s something to keep an eye out for.

Renters Pages-A website that provides listings in most major Canadian cities as well as US ones – they also have a mobile app with an interactive apartment hunting map. Especially in certain cities this website will give you the opportunity to also consider condo’s and apartments which I honestly forgot to consider in some cases while at school. They also have a resource section that provides tenants with some very helpful tips. Those who are looking for say 1 or 2 person rentals would definitely benefit from the condo/apartment rental listings.

Do Your Research

Research, research, research, that’s always my motto. It’s always a good idea to be aware of how much a 4 bedroom rental home is going for in your area before you agree to a rental agreement. You’ll know if you’re getting overcharged, or if it’s too good to be true. Also make sure to ask your parents or do some searching online about things like heating and A/C as well as the efficiency of the appliances in the house you’re renting. That only matters of course if utilities aren’t included in your monthly rental fee.

Things like gas, hydro, cable/internet are all additional costs that you could face if you don’t have an all in monthly rental fee and those costs can add up if you don’t have efficient appliances or a unit that electric baseboards. I know this stuff is incredibly boring, but knowing a bit here and there can make sure you educate yourself so you don’t get over charged or pick the wrong house.

Time it Right

What I noticed at school was the months of December and January were the hot months when finding a student rental, and it also means rentals will be gone in a blink of an eye. So first of all make sure you know who you’re living with, and what all of you are looking for when it comes to a rental home before you go and check out your options. That way you can make a quick decision and avoid losing out that rental property you all loved.

Getting in Touch

Easily tied into the time it right section, finding a student rental requires you to be on top of these things quickly. If you see something pop up on Kijiji/Craigslist, Renters Pages, your university classifieds or another website, PICK UP YOUR PHONE or email asap. Most will be posted on weekends because just like open houses those are the best days to attract prospective renters. Plan a day with all of your future roommates, hit up as many options as you can and make a decision as quickly as possible. Unfortunately in a lot of student areas there isn’t a major surplus of student homes or inexpensive options are at a low so that means you need to get on top of these right away.

Finding a student rental is an exciting experience. Make sure you’re prepared and know what you want, and the rest is gravy.


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