Off Campus Housing

Finding off-campus housing can be a difficult and time consuming for students. Your student union, the UTMSU, would like to help make the process as easy as possible for you. Below is a plethora of answers to questions you may have:

Common Questions:

Which websites can I use to find housing? How do I list housing as a landlord?
  • University of Toronto Off-Campus Housing

The University of Toronto Off-Campus Housing website features off-campus listings surrounding the University of Toronto’s three campuses: St. George, Scarborough, and Mississauga. Be advised that the listings on this site are owned by private property owners not affiliated with the University of Toronto. Note that you must enable your JOINid or use your UTORid to gain access to the listings. You can access the website here.  

  • Places 4 Students

Places 4 Students is a website that maintains a database of rental housing specifically for post-secondary students. This database contains hundreds of postings, and can be searched by location, type, rental price, furnishings, and many other criteria. You can access listings specific to UTM here

  • General Apartment listings  

There are other popular housing listing sites targeted to the general public (not specifically students) including View it, 4 rent, Craigslist, Kijiji, and Facebook Marketplace. You will be able to find listings for major Canadian cities, including Mississauga and cities around, if you are willing to commute.

What are the different rental options available to me? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?

Rental Option: Room in shared house


- Cheaper and a more affordable option for students who are on a tight budget.
- Allows for more opportunities to rent a room in an ideal location that you otherwise could not afford.
- Rooms that are rentable in a shared house are considered the most convenient since maintenance and repair of the property will not be something you are responsible for.
- There is also a social benefit to renting a room in a shared house, you get the chance to build friendships with the other tenants.


- Although other areas like the kitchen and the lounge are communal, you can’t expect to have much privacy when using those facilities. This is why a room rental is best for couples who don’t have children or singles who spend most of their time at work or at school.
- Security is another issue when it comes to renting a room. Even if your door has a lock, there’s still a risk that your valuables go missing. Even though theft in a shared house is not common, the possibility can certainly disrupt your peace of mind. Security may be something to consider.

Rental Option: Basement Apartment


- Cheaper and more affordable than condos/ houses.
- One bedroom basement options are widely available and this is good for more privacy.
- You are also more likely to have more space than a shared-space. Most basements typically have their own kitchen and bathroom too.


- They can feel claustrophobic and dark as they typically do not have many windows, also resulting in lack of sunlight.
- Pests can also be an issue especially around spring as insects such as spiders and house centipedes can infest the vents.
- Due to lack of ventilation, there can also be problems with mold in the basement.

Rental Option: Condos or Traditional Apartments


- Condos offer gated entries and security professionals for residents.
- Many condo communities offer residents amenities such as a pool, fitness center and a party room. These are great spaces to socialize.
- Many condos are located close to vibrant downtown areas.
- Fewer maintenance and repair responsibilities.


- Due to the nature of condos there may be restrictions on noise levels, parking and pets.
- Leakages caused by tenants in buildings above you may lead to damages in your building.
- Less privacy as some condo or apartment buildings share walls.
- You may have to pay for amenities that you might barely use.

Rental Option: Entire homes shared with roommates


- More affordable option as you can split rent and utilities with others
- You can also get collective house equipments such as kitchen appliances, cleaning tools, etc and also divide the costs.
- It is also easier to divide tasks such as cleaning, garbage disposal, snow shovelling, etc.
- You can make lifelong friends and they can be family away from home especially for international students.


- Other roommates might not make payments on time and can result in inconveniences.
- They might want to entertain guests and host parties which could result in noise issues.
- You will have less privacy when compared to living in a private apartment, however having your own room will reduce that.
- You may not get along with your roommate and that can make your stay unpleasant.

Rental Option: UTM Residence


- Since you would be living on campus, you won’t have to worry about transit costs or being late to classes.
- It is a great way to meet other students and be part of a tight-knit community.
- You will be assigned a Don, who is an upper year student, to guide and mentor you throughout the year, it is also a great opportunity to socialize and meet others.


- You will have less privacy since you will constantly be surrounded by other students.
- It might be harder for you to draw a line between your school life and personal time, since you are always on campus.

How do I find the right roommate for me?

When choosing a roommate that is right for you, try to find someone you can trust and feel comfortable sharing a space with. Make sure to set boundaries and make them very clear, such as cleaning schedules, utility payments, how often you need personal alone time, your day-to-day habits, etc. In order to find roommates, try to ask your friends and classmates if they are looking for roommates too, or if they know anyone looking for roommates. You can also use UTM’s Off-Campus Housing Facebook groups, or use platforms like Places 4 Students. 

Try to get to know your roommates on a more personal level to make the space as comfortable as possible for everyone! 

Here are a few important questions you might want to ask your prospective roommates:

  • What does your work/school schedule look like?
  • Do you consume alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or engage in drug usage?
  • How frequently do you like to have friends over, if at all? Are you okay with me having friends over?
  • How loudly do you like to listen to music? Do you watch tv in shared areas of the house? Would you rather have a calm and quiet household, or a more lively one?
  • Are you willing to share household things, such as kitchen utensils, cleaning supplies, etc?
  • Do you have any health issues I should be aware of?
How do I find the right type of housing for me?

In order to find the right type of housing, it is important to consider the following criteria: budget, location, transit, roommates, type of accommodation,  furniture and laundry. To ensure that you are not forced to select a housing unit that does not meet your expectations, it is advised you begin your search well in advance, about four to six weeks earlier.

  • Budget

Before you start looking for housing, you should have a price range for the rent in mind. Rent costs vary according to a number of factors including size, location and type of accommodation. Be prepared to be asked to pay for the first and last months’ rent upfront. 

  • Location

Location is vital when choosing a housing unit as it affects the rent, transit costs, relationship building, and will overall affect your university experience. Housing units closer to downtown Mississauga cost more than units further away, for example. When choosing where you want to live, make sure you consider the proximity to public transportation, grocery shops, how lively or quiet the neighbourhood is, etc. If you want to develop a close-knit community with other UTM students you might want to consider living on campus residence, see the answer for What if I want to live on campus?

  • Roommates

It might be beneficial for you to have roommates if you are looking to share your daily life with other students, as opposed to livNing alone. Having a roommate will also help reduce the rent of your unit, since you will be sharing common areas like the kitchen, living room or bathroom. However, it is important to remember that you will have less privacy since you are sharing spaces, and that each roommate will be partly responsible for keeping the space clean, paying utility bills, etc. It is essential that you get roommates you can live with peacefully. 

If you want to know more about how to choose a roommate, see the answer for How do I find the right roommate for me? 

  • Furniture & Laundry

The inclusion of furniture and laundry equipment impacts the rent and convenience of a housing unit. A furnished unit is generally more expensive to rent than an unfurnished one, but saves you the time of purchasing and moving furniture into the house, which can be especially convenient if you are new to Canada. On the other hand, you will most likely be limited to the provided furniture and any damage caused to furniture would have to be repaid by the end of your tenancy agreement.  If you move in a unit with laundry equipment, you will have to find a public laundromat in your area. 

What documents will I need when moving in?

A Guarantor: this is someone who can guarantee that your rent will be paid every month; they must have an account or credit history with a Canadian bank, as well as an employment. You will need to have a guarantor if you’re a student, even if you do have a part-time job. You won’t need a guarantor if you have a full-time job and have a good credit report/score, and the appropriate financial documentation.

An Employment Letter that states your annual income, if applicable. If you have a guarantor, then you would have to provide your guarantor’s employment letter.

A Bank Statement that demonstrates that you have sufficient money to pay the rent for the first few months. If you have a guarantor, then you would have to provide your guarantor’s bank statement.

A Credit Report/Score: If you have a guarantor, then you would have to provide your guarantor’s credit report/score.

A Government Photo ID: both yours and your guarantor’s, if applicable.

Funds for first and last months’ rent - you will be asked to pay the first and last months upfront.

References: the names and contact information of people who know you and can confirm that you would be a good tenant (those would usually be past landlords, property managers, roommates, etc).

What are the legal requirements I should be aware of?
  • What form does a tenancy agreement have to take in order to be legally binding?

A lease may be a written or verbal agreement. Both of these forms are equally binding and can only be terminated in accordance with the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA). However, the issue for anyone relying on a verbal agreement always lies in proving exactly what was agreed to, which is why it is advised that tenancy agreements are completed in writing and include the legal name and address of the landlord. After April 30, 2018 it was decided that most tenancy agreements of private residential units have to be in writing and must use the government's standard lease form available here. You are entitled to receive a copy of the standard lease within 21 days.

  • What is the Residential Tenancies Act (RTA) ?

The Residential Tenancies Act, RTA for short, is the provincial legislation that governs the relationship between residential landlords and tenants in Ontario.  Your rental home can be an apartment, house or dorm; and these units are protected by the RTA. However, if you share a bathroom and / or kitchen with the owner or an immediate family member of the owner, your accommodation will not be covered by the RTA.

  • What is the Landlord and Tenant Board?

The Landlord and Tenant Committee is the tribunal that resolves disputes between landlords and tenants and exercises their rights. If your landlord does not follow the rules set out in the RTA, you can call on the committee and ask the committee to make an order. Landlords can also call on the committee, for example, if they believe that a tenant  has not fulfilled their responsibilities within the tenancy agreement such as owing rent or causing damage.

  • Can your landlord ask about your legal status in the country?

Your landlord or potential landlord is not allowed to ask for your legal status in the country, including your Social Insurance Number (SIN).

  • Who is responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the rental unit?

The landlord must keep the housing unit in good condition and comply with all health, safety and maintenance standards. This includes the maintenance and repair of items originally part of the unit such as electrical appliances and public areas (parking lots, elevators, and corridors). The tenant is responsible for any damages to the leased property caused by their actions, their  guests, or other people living in the rental unit. This applies to any damage caused deliberately or unintentionally, but does not include damage occurring from long-term use ("wear and tear").  

  • What are the vital services a landlord must provide?

"Vital services" include hot or cold water, fuel, electricity, gas and heating. The landlord must not refuse or interrupt the reasonable supply of vital services, as discussed under the lease agreement. If a vital service is unavailable because the landlord has not paid your bill, they are deemed to have withheld the service. The landlord must ensure that the heating equipment of the rental unit can maintain a minimum temperature of 20 degrees Celsius between September 1st and June 15th. Some city statutes may have more stringent requirements.

How can a tenant end a tenancy agreement?

As a tenant, you may end a tenancy by giving the landlord proper notice using the appropriate Landlord and Tenant Board form. You must give a minimum of 60 days’ notice if you have a monthly or fixed term tenancy; and a minimum of 28 days’ notice if you have a daily or weekly tenancy. For a monthly or weekly tenancy, the notice must be effective on the last day of a rental period (e.g. 1st of the month or week). To give notice, use the Landlord and Tenant Board's Form N9 – Tenant's Notice to End the Tenancy, you can find it here.  Another option to end a tenancy term is for the tenant and landlord to agree to end a tenancy anytime by using the Landlord and Tenant Board Form N11: Agreement to End the tenancy, you can find it here.

Can my landlord terminate my tenancy agreement before the end of my lease?

The landlord can give the tenant notice to end the tenancy in certain situations where the tenant is at fault. For instance, if the tenant does not pay the full rent when it is due, if the tenant causes damage to the rental unit or building, or if the tenant substantially interferes with the reasonable enjoyment of other tenants or the landlord.

The landlord may also give notice to end a tenancy in certain situations that are not the tenant’s fault, but only at the end of the term or rental period. Examples include the landlord or purchaser needing the unit for themselves, an immediate family member, or caregiver; or the landlord needing to do extensive repairs or renovations that require a building permit and vacant possession of the unit.

What are multi-tenant houses?

A multi-tenant house, also known as a rooming house, is a home, apartment, or building where you share a kitchen and/or bathroom with four or more individuals who each pay their own rent. They are illegal in Scarborough, North York, East York and Etobicoke, but authorised in Mississauga: however the city of Mississauga only allows for a maximum of four units in a same house. If you choose to live in a multi-tenant house, your main concern is that if the by-law is enforced by an officer, you may lose your accommodation. There may also be issues with quality, crowding, safety, and living conditions in certain rooming homes. Always ask a landlord how many people will be renting in the property to verify it is a safe and legal location to reside in. 

Am I allowed to sublet my unit?
Many tenants often try to sublet their apartments or bedroom when they wish to move before the end of their lease term or to help cover expenses while they are away. You cannot charge the subtenant more rent than you pay the landlord. It is important to remember that as the original tenant, you remain liable to the landlord for any breaches under the terms of your lease. Therefore, if a subtenant does not pay their rent or causes damage to the property, the tenant may find themselves having to pay the landlord and then asking the subtenant for reimbursement, which can be more risky. You do need your landlord’s consent to sublet, however, the landlord may not “arbitrarily or unreasonably” withhold their consent. It is advisable to obtain the landlord’s written consent and it is always preferable to sign a sublet agreement with the subtenant.
Where can I store my belongings if I go home abroad?

There are a number of self-storage units that students have access to to store their belongings for extended periods of time. This can be especially useful if you are an international student going home for the summer, and want to store belongings or furniture in Canada, without renting a room. 

Storage solutions are priced based on square footage, location, and amenities. A larger storage space, for example, will cost more than a smaller one, while a unit on the outskirts of town will generally cost less than one in the central hub. Climate control and drive-up access are two more characteristics that influence self-storage unit pricing.

Public Storage Mississauga is a popular choice for self storage. They have 7 locations in Mississauga and provide a range of important self-storage amenities such as heated storage, drive-up access, vehicle storage, and 24-hour surveillance.

There are also several mobile storage services available where you can rent a box to store your belongings, and the services collect and deliver them to you. Some such services in Mississauga include, Cubeit Portable Storage, Express Mobile Storage Solutions or Big Box Mobile

UHaul trucks can be rented for self-driving or you can hire drivers on an hourly basis via services such as Taskrabbit if you are looking to move your belongings from one place to another and don’t own a car or driver’s license. 

What if I need financial assistance?

You can apply to both UTM specific and UofT wide bursaries or grants, some of which you are automatically considered for. This website goes over the UTM financial aid available to you. 

You can also apply for UTMSU Bursaries, which can help cover the cost of transportation, tuition, childcare, depending on your needs. UTMSU bursaries are outlined here.

What if I want to live on campus?

The UTM Student Housing & Residence Life Office offers different types of residences on campus. Residence is guaranteed to first year students, and some residences are reserved for upper year students. You can go to this website to learn more about UTM Residence and how to apply.


Housing-Related Resources, Application Forms, and Other Important Information:

Housing-Related Services in Mississauga

This document includes a list of important services and resources you might find useful as a postsecondary student, including free counselling and legal services, emergency shelters and support pages, all of which are in Mississauga.

Moving Cost Calculator

This moving cost calculator will provide a valuable estimate of your relocation so you can plan your budget effectively. The websites also provide insights and tips that can greatly enhance the overall moving experience.

Links to Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB)

The Landlord and Tenant Board, or LTB for short, is an adjudicative tribunal that provides dispute resolution of landlord and tenant matters under the Residential Tenant Act (RTA). This document includes informational documents, important guidelines and rules of procedure for the LTB, as well as the RTA. The main purpose of the LTB and RTA is to give residential landlords and tenants rights and responsibilities, and to set out ways to enforce those.

LTB Application Forms for Tenants

This document includes seven important tenant application forms regarding issues such as suite maintenance, termination, tenant rights, increased rent, sublet or rent-assignment, and more. As students, if a conflict arises with you landlord, you can use the appropriate documents for any application to the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB)

LTB Notice of Termination Application Forms for Tenants

This document includes four important applications and statements for ending tenancy due to the end of a lease, or safety reasons such as violence or abuse. 

All of the aforementioned application forms and resources (as well as additional information you might find useful can be found here) can also be found here.