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5 Things to Look for in a Student Rental

For students who have recently started their second semester of post-secondary, thinking about fall isn’t really a priority — after all, you are just trying to get through the classes you have now! And while you might not want to plan your timetable for the next school year, you should start thinking about off-campus housing.

By the end of this semester, you will want to have next year’s accommodations sorted out, so it’s not a bad idea to start looking at student housing options. So, what should you look for in a student rental?

Here are five things to start with.

  • Proximity to campus

For starters, when looking for student apartments for rent, you need to look at how close each one is to campus. When moving off-campus, you don’t want to be too far away, as that could impact your commute. You want to be able to walk or have a short ride on transit.

The whole point of your living away from home is to attend college or university, right? It makes sense to move as close to the school as possible without moving to the on-campus dorms.

A lot of student houses or apartment buildings are located on the edge of campus, so start your search there and then move outward if necessary.

Group of multi-ethnic friends

  • Proximity to transit

When looking at student rentals, don’t focus just on the house or apartment itself, but on the whole neighbourhood. If you don’t have a car, or don’t want to pay those exorbitant parking fees, transit is your best option. Look for a neighbourhood on a transit line. You should be able to take the bus, subway, LRT or streetcar with relative ease. Even if your school is in a smaller city or town, there should be an easy and affordable way to get to campus from your student rental to make it worth your while.

handsome young man

  • Flexible leasing options

Traditional rental agreements include a 12-month term. This means you agree to pay the established rent for a full calendar year. This obviously isn’t great for students who intend to return to their hometowns for the summer months.

Some landlords who specialize in student rentals know this and offer flexible or alternative leasing agreements with shorter terms. This way, you can rent your place for just the school year.

Even if 12-month leases are all they offer, ask if subletting is allowed — as you could sublet your place to a summer student while you’re back home.

  • Safety

There are many reasons why you could end up staying on campus until the wee hours of the night. Whether you’re studying in the library, out with friends at the campus pub, or participating in an extracurricular activity — this could mean heading home after dark.

As we all know, neighbourhoods and areas that seem innocent during the day can completely change at night. You want to make sure you will feel safe walking home late at night. Do some research to see what it’s like.

Also, you want to make sure the house or building is safe. Are the locks secure? Does the building have a buzzer system in place or a security guard to prevent undesirable people from entering?

woman walking alone at night

  • Cost

Let’s face it, post-secondary education is expensive. Whether you are paying out of pocket, your parents are helping, or you’re relying on loans and grants, you don’t want to increase your costs by too much. Try to find the safest, cleanest, and closest student rental for the best price.

If you need to, look into cutting costs by renting with roommates. Find houses and apartments with multiple rooms.

If you want to get searching, use the student rental section on, where you can find the perfect accommodations near your school. Enjoy the freedom of renting your very first place and enhance your post-secondary experience!