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Navigating Off-Campus Living

March 5, 2024

Living away from home can be a new and challenging experience, especially as a student. All of a sudden you find yourself in a new environment all while navigating academics, campus life, food, finances, etc.  But remember, although university can be overwhelming, it’s also a very rewarding experience. So to save you from the stress, familiarizing yourself with off-campus living resources can help make your university experience that much more meaningful. 

 

Student Resources & Checklists

Here are some useful resources that Ontario Tech offers for students living off-campus. Since Ontario Tech does not manage rental listings they recommend that you use Places4Students, an off-campus living service. By creating a profile, you can easily search for rental listings near the university and find roommates. Ontario Tech has created checklists to help guide you through your off-campus living journey. These include determining your needs, a lease checklist, supplies for your home, and how to view potential homes

Legal Information To Know

As for tenant and community information, Ontario Tech provides useful sites that go over municipal by-laws, the Residential Tenancies Act and the city of Oshawa’s Residential Rental housing by-laws. This information can be found on the City of Oshawa’s website under Tenants and Residential Rental Housing. If you need legal information that landlords and tenants are expected to follow check out the Landlord and Tenant Board, this website includes the rights and responsibilities of both parties. 

Legal Support:

The Durham Community Legal Clinic is a great service that offers legal information, advice, and representation if you’re involved in roommate or landlord disputes. Housing rental scams are particularly common for university students. The government of Canada provides resources to avoid rental scams and how to be aware throughout the rental process. If you happen to be an international or exchange student you can be a part of a homestay program where you live with a host family. This can be a great opportunity for you to feel supported while completing university in Canada. This university’s homestay program is run by the Canada Homestay Network.

Good luck!

Now that you’re aware of the resources available you should be ready to begin your off-campus living journey! It can be a challenge to find a living situation that you are comfortable with. From searching for roommates to finding a place, that is just the beginning. Now that you’re familiar with the challenges that can come with living in a shared space and how to avoid them, having a positive roommate experience can be possible!

By Sinthura Thuraisingam