Off-Campus Housing

Renting a Property with Other Students

  • The majority of Queen's students rent a house or apartment with people that they meet in first year. Of those initial groupings, very few last beyond second year.
  • While students say that bathroom cleanliness and piles of dishes are primary irritants, it is ultimately the lack of a plan for conflict resolution that allows those small irritants to become housebreakers.
  • Careful housemate selection can minimize possible areas of conflict and putting your expectations in writing ensures that you have a plan for addressing conflict when it occurs. The Student Community Relations Office has prepared a Housemate Hunting Worksheet (PDF, 437KB) to help you choose your housemates wisely.
  • Other students, however, move into pre-existing housing groups for many reasons - whether it's a bid to save rent over the summer months, arrival at Queen's as a late acceptance, transfer or exchange student or a quest to expand your circle of friends.
  • Regardless of the housing group, a formalized Housemate Agreement (PDF, 164KB) outlines individual responsibility and formalizes expectations for behaviour on issues such as smoking, noise, guests, cleanliness and paying one's portion of a shared utility or service bill.

Renting a Room in an Owner-Occupied Property

  • Some students make the transition to independent living by taking a room in a family home. For others, living in a house with the landlord is a financial decision.
  • In situations where you share a house with the owner or a member of the owner's immediate family (including a fellow student whose parent owns your house), you are not covered by Ontario’s Residential Tenancies Act.
  • To protect your rights and fulfill your responsibilities, you need to create a contract specific to your situation.
  • In cases of dispute, this contract serves as a legal record, so make sure that you cover everything - not only how much you pay for what, but also space allocation and lifestyle issues.
  • For a good idea of where to start, check our sample Roomers and Boarders Agreement (PDF, 204KB).