Housing Guide

Remember five things when you’re house hunting, and you’ll be house hunting like a pro in no time.

1. There will always be available student housing.

Every year there is a rumor that the supply of student housing in Kingston will run out this year. Well, we’re here to tell you from objective experience that this is NOT TRUE!

Students are regularly able to find housing as late as the summer before they move in, so stop panicking and take the time to find the house you’ll really enjoy.

2. Rent ranges from $425/person to $790/person.

A good rule of thumb for housing in Kingston is that as you get closer to campus the houses become smaller and more expensive.

However there are always exceptions and good deals. You should note the big range of rent, which demonstrates the wide variety of rent prices available; it’s possible to get a great deal close to campus!

Try to balance your desired levels of distance, price, and quality. You DO NOT have to settle for a poor quality house at a high price just because it’s close to campus.

3. Make sure your house hunting group agrees on what they want.

Be sure to sit down with your group to decide your budget and set of priorities.

Important things to consider and clarify with your housemates include:

  • Location preferences such as proximity to campus (don’t be afraid to look for housing a bit further out, you can nab a great deal for a bigger house), downtown, groceries, etc.
  • Whether or not you’d like laundry, a dishwasher or parking as part of the rental unit.
  • Your group’s budget range for rent
  • Number of rooms, their quality and size as well as number of bathrooms.

4. Be patient and don't feel pressured to compromise.

You can find an ideal house, and once you do don’t hesitate to sign it.

You’ll feel much more confident after checking out a few houses so do look around before you sign. Landlords like to simulate a ‘housing rush’ so if you feel sketched out by a landlord don’t sign with them.

5. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Some good questions to ask landlords when you’re viewing a prospective house include:

  • Are you considering any dens a bedroom? (all bedrooms must have a window as defined by the law, some landlords will illegally try to rent out dens as bedrooms).
  • Is the house heated by oil, electricity or gas? (this will be a good way to gauge how expensive your utilities will be, oil will be very expensive to heat a home followed by electricity and gas).
  • Do you have any rules with respect to guests?
  • When was the last time you had your property inspected? Did the property pass the inspection?
  • Would you mind if we sealed the windows and doors for winter? (sealing windows and doors with removal-able plastic sheets will increase the efficiency of your home by a HUGE amount and save you $$$, Greenovations on the Housing Resources page offers free sealing services).
  • How old is the hot water tank? What’s the capacity? (generally a hot water tank will last for 15-20 years before it loses performance and energy efficiency, 40-50 gallons is generally enough for a 4-5 person house but not if you’re sharing it with another unit).
  • Do you live in Kingston? Will you be available in case of an emergency? (Some landlords aren’t based in Kingston and have property as an investment).
  • Do you hire a handyman or a property management company for repairs? How responsive will you be if we request for a repair?
  • Do you consider snow removal or lawn care the tenant’s responsibility? (in Kingston, snow removal from walkways, driveways, and the adjacent portion of the public sidewalk is the property owner’s responsibility not the tenants).
  • Is a laundry appliance included in the unit? Are there any additional fees (i.e coin laundry)? If no, where is the nearest laundromat?
  • Is there any part of the unit we can’t use for storage space? (some landlords will prevent access to rooms like the basement)

There’s plenty of great landlords on the market, and if you need help finding them, just ask us! Don’t settle for your first!

For other resources like lease reading services, go to the Housing Resources page or visit the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section.