"When do I start my housing search for next year?"
A common question being asked by many students across Queen's University right now. Let's talk about some of the common misconceptions and better understand the Kingston rental market.
- Properties will start being posted in October and November for May 1st of the following year but there will be many more posted from then on. Queen's Community Housing properties will be posted for rent in the first weeks of December. There will also be many properties posted for rent through the months of January, February, March and onward.
- Start talking with your friends about plans for next year. Know who you will be living with and your household requirements (ie. budget, amenities, distance to campus, etc.)
- Talk to your potential housemates about their expectations for living together; managing chores, household/kitchen cleanliness, partners or friends staying over, garbage and recycling, excessive noise levels, and managing utilities. Having this conversation before signing a lease agreement is critical to avoiding future conflict. For helpful resources on this, please visit the OCLA website.
- Once you know who you are living with and what you are looking for, it is beneficial to start familiarizing yourself with the Kingston rental market as early as October. The more time you allocate to search for properties, the more likely you are to find the right match for you.
- Although you are starting your search in October/November, there will be many properties posted in the months that follow so do not panic and sign the first place you see. Look into the landlord, the property, and the area. Make sure that the house is a good fit for you and/or your housemates. Once you have signed a lease, you are committing to renting that property.
- It is important to not rush into signing a lease agreement, read your lease and understand what you are signing. The Off-Campus Living Advisor offers lease review and assistance with applications.
- The OCLA offers one-on-one support and resources for where to look for housing and more. Reach out today!
When you sign a lease agreement as a group, you are agreeing to jointly be responsible for the entirety of that lease as a group. That means that you are all held responsible for the full rental payment each month and any damages that the home incurs. If your housemate does not pay rent or damages the property, the rest of the household is just as responsible for it. This is called Joint and Several Liability and is the main reason why it is critical to select the right housemates to live with.
So how do you go about selecting the right housemates?
- Your bestfriends may not exactly be the best people for you to live with. Instead, you should select individuals with similar living habits to you. If you are a very studious, quiet, and a clean person, it would be best for you to live with other students with these same traits
- Selecting housemates with similar schedules, work ethic, priorities and goals is a great way to make sure everyone in the home enjoys living together
- Communication is critical in any relationship, even more so between housemates. Have the conversations early on about your expectations for the household and set rules. The Off-Campus Living Advisor has a housemate agreement template to help you with this conversation
- Once you have found housemates with similar priorities and set expectations for house cleanliness, chores, managing utilities, and friends/guests staying over, you are ready to begin your housing search.
For a short video on starting your housing search, check out "Preparing for your Housing Search in Kingston". If you would like a list of different websites, property managers, buildings, and listing services in Kingston, please download the "Resources and Where to look for housing document" or contact firstname.lastname@example.org