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What to look for in a student apartment in Canada

As students are nearing the end of their high school careers, or are nearly halfway finished their first semester of college or university, there are probably lots of things on their minds — exams, the holiday break, and what they’re going to do next year.

One thing you should probably start thinking about, if you haven’t already, is your housing situation for next fall. For those heading into first year, will you be living in on- or off-campus housing? If the dorm life isn’t for you, maybe start thinking about the schools you’re applying to and do some preliminary research. If you’re finishing up your second year and you want to move off-campus for your second year, talk to some of your friends about becoming roommates.

What makes a good student apartment?

For starters, what generally defines a student apartment is its proximity to the school and the type of lease agreement offered. Understandably, landlords still want some kind of commitment from tenants, but those who have set up their rental to be student-friendly often have different lease agreements. For example, rather than a year-long lease, student-friendly landlords may offer leases for the duration of the school year. Some may have some short-term options for summer, as well. You need to ask these questions before agreeing to anything.

In addition to flexible leases, student housing often comes with affordable rent. When operating on a student budget that is often dependent on summer jobs, parental contributions and loans, you need to be mindful of your housing costs. So, in addition to renting with a roommate (or two), you should be looking for the best bang for your buck.

Another aspect to look at is safety. Parents might be concerned that moving off-campus will be less secure. Do some research on the neighbourhood and also on the building. Is the area safe? Are there lots of public transit stops in well-lit areas? Does the building or house have a security system?

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How soon is too soon to look?

While now is probably too soon to commit to a place, it’s never too soon to research what’s available. Maybe you’re looking for a place for second semester? If that is the case, then yes, you need to look right now! If you have time, however, you probably don’t need to make a commitment until spring. Just don’t make the mistake of waiting until the summer, as all the best places could be leased out.

Start your search for student housing using! This is a useful tool for finding student apartments in Toronto for rent, and rentals in general. Narrow in on your preferred neighbourhood so that you can find places near campus. See how many bedrooms are available so that you can accommodate all your roomies!