Searching for Housing

 
The University of Toronto maintains an off-campus housing listing of rental units for students, faculty, and staff. The information about rentral properties is provided by the property owners. Students and others seeking to rent a property are responsible for making appropriate inquiries before agreeing to rent a property. The University does not inspect the rental sites or make inquiries about the listings, and cannot guarantee the completeness or accuracy of information provided in the listings.
 
View the listing service and narrow down your search results by using the filter according to your search criteria. Have a close look at the search results, and be sure to read the listing thoroughly. Once you’ve identified the units that you are interested in, it’s time to begin contacting landlords to plan a site visit. Depending on the contact information available on the posting, you will either have to call or email a landlord. It’s a good idea to sound cheerful and confident, be polite, and introduce yourself. Explain that you’re interested in renting from them and set up a time to meet and view the unit. If communicating via phone, be sure to have a paper and pen handy to take down the address and viewing time. The landlord may also have some questions, and these often include:
  • Who and how many people are interested in living there
  • When are you available to move in?
  • What is your source of income?
  • Where have you lived before?
If you try calling and the phone goes to voicemail, here is a sample script that you can use to leave a message: "Hello, my name is _______, and I saw your apartment listing on the University of Toronto Off-Campus Housing Listings Website. I would like to speak with you to get more information, and hopefully set up an appointment to meet with you and view the place. I can be reached at _______. Thanks, and I hope to hear from you soon!"
 

Visiting the rental unit

Visiting the unit before signing a lease is very important. Besides seeing if you like the place, you can also get a good feel for how comfortable you will be in the neighborhood. We recommend going to visit the rental unit with a friend for your safety. Before you go, make sure that you think of an extensive list of questions to ask.
 
These could include:
 
  • When is the apartment available?
  • What kind of lease are you looking for?
  • When is rent due? How do you like it being paid? (cheque, online, other)
  • Are utilities included in rent? Do I need to set up my own electrical or gas services?
  • Are utilities charged to individual apartments, or averaged between residents?
  • How big is the hot water heater and is the hot water shared with any other apartments?
  • Is there a washer and dryer (laundry) in the unit? Is it coin operated or included in rent price? If not, where is the closest place to do my laundry?
  • How long have you been renting this property? Do you manage other properties?
  • How do I submit a maintenance request, if I have one?
  • What modifications do you make to units between tenants? (e.g. will the apartment be painted/cleaned before you move in?)
  • What are your most common maintenance requests?
  • Have you had any pest issues? How do/would you handle pest control?
  • Is there any additional storage space?
  • Are the other tenants students? Are they generally quiet? Are there children in the building/units? Pets?
  • How safe is the apartment/area? Have you had any break-ins in the past?
  • Does the door have a deadbolt? Can I have one installed?
  • Will you be changing locks between tenants?

International Student Considerations

Although pre-arranging housing can provide peace of mind, international students should not enter a rental agreement without inspecting the unit and meeting the landlord.

Safe Housing Considerations

Safety is an important factor in your off-campus housing decision. It's strongly recommended that you visit the neighbourhood, meet the landlord, and thoroughly inspect the unit before signing a lease.