Thinking about living off campus in Toronto? Log in to the Housing Finder to start your search!
Here are some important things to keep in mind:
Finding a place
We cover everything you need to know about finding a place in our recorded URent: Finding A Place session. This is a great place to start if you’re thinking about renting in the Greater Toronto Area (near UTM, UTSC or St. George campus).
Availability, costs & roommates
COVID-19 has improved the availability of rental units in the Greater Toronto Area, but Toronto’s rental market is still competitive and expensive. Sharing units with roommates is a great way to save money. Use the Roommate Compatibility Checklist (PDF) to determine if someone has a similar lifestyle to yours. We also encourage you to sign a Roommate Agreement (PDF) before moving in together.
Viewing rental units
Viewing a unit is important to avoid scams and ensure the unit suits your needs. Ask for a virtual viewing (a live video tour is ideal), come early to Toronto or ask a trusted individual or a realtor to assist you. You can use our Apartment Viewing Checklist (PDF) to assess the unit.
Ask a lot of questions. We suggest you ask for a live video tour to ensure the unit is as advertised. Request photos and floor plans, inquire about the unit’s amenities and safety, and make sure you know who the landlord is and their contact information (phone number and email are best). Reference our Landlord Q&A (PDF) for a list of key questions.
Landlords can only legally request last month’s rent and a refundable key deposit up front, and should not ask for application fees, security/damage deposits, cleaning fees, etc. This is true even if you are an international student. While you can choose to offer more than one month’s rent, a landlord cannot legally ask you for more than one month’s advance deposit.
Landlords are required to use the Ontario standard lease form when signing new leases. You can insist on signing this form, even if you are offered a different form. Remember, only valid terms of the lease can be legally upheld. A landlord cannot write an illegal clause and then try to evict you over it, even if you sign the lease. Always remember you have a legal right to ask for a rent receipt (PDF) for any money paid to a landlord.
The University does not investigate, endorse or guarantee the accuracy of the information provided by any listing. The University assumes no responsibility in regard to any agreement made with a landlord or any arrangements made by students sharing accommodations. These accommodations are located off-campus, are not affiliated with U of T and operate under their own policies and guidelines.