FAQ's for Landlords Renting a Room to Students - Part 1

Monday, December 5, 2022

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Places4Students.com has been encouraging residents in the communities surrounding our partner schools to consider renting their spare room to a student, due to low vacancy rates in the rental market and students experiencing difficulty finding affordable housing accommodations. As a result, we have received many questions from interested people and shared a lot of related information during the last several months. 


A summary of that information and answers to the frequently asked questions we've heard are below.


1.     Why should I rent to a student?


There are many benefits to having a student reside in your house as a tenant. Below are just a few positive reasons to consider welcoming a student as a renter. 


  • Great investment – new source of extra income
  • Tax benefits related to utilities, expenses, renovations and upgrades for the unit
  • Outdoor property maintenance could be shared by the tenant
  • Companionship and assistance, especially for seniors living alone
  • Cleaning, chores or caring for pets could be shared by the student
  • Live-in child care arranged or exchanged for rent
  • Offering support to students in the community can be very rewarding
  • Read more at: https://www.places4students.com/Blog/BlogView?BlogID=472


2.     What should I consider when renting a room in my house?  


Renting a room within your residence varies from renting a separate dwelling or basement apartment (the Ontario Residential Tenancies Act applies to the later). When the landlord owns and shares parts of the accommodation with a tenant, guidelines within reasonable limits can be decided by the landlord.


a.     What furniture should I provide?

The room can be furnished or unfurnished – it’s completely the landlord’s choice.


b.     Arrangements regarding common areas (such as laundry, kitchen, fridge space, TV sharing, garden or outdoor spaces, shared or dedicated bathroom, etc.)?

The landlord can choose what shared spaces will be available. The arrangement should be discussed and agreed upon before the move-in date. The student must have access to a bathroom at all times and be able to store food/cook, unless meals are included in the rental.

c.      What should the house rules include (regarding privacy, noise levels, guests, etc.)?

The landlord cannot enter the student’s room without permission and should give notice ahead of time. Acceptable noise levels and guests visiting should be discussed and established ahead of time. The landlord is not required to allow over-night guests in the room.

d.     How long should I rent the room for?

A rental duration can be arranged for either short or long term. Students are typically looking for an 8-month accommodation from September to May. However, some students can have shorter semesters or may need a residence for the entire year due to work schedules.

e.     Can I include rules around smoking, cannabis use, pets, etc.?

Yes, the landlord can dictate what is permitted within the house and on the property.

f.      Should I adjust my homeowner’s insurance?

Some insurance policies may carry liability coverage for tenants; however, it is recommended that landlords inquire about their specific policy beforehand. Student tenants can purchase renter’s insurance for coverage of their personal belongings.

g.     Should I allow the student to decorate the room and put pictures on the wall? To what extent?

This is completely the landlord’s choice but should be discussed with the tenant ahead of time.

h.     Can the student use my supplies/equipment to clean the room?

This is completely the landlord’s choice but should be discussed with the tenant ahead of time.


3.     How do I advertise the rental?


Places4Students.com is partnered with Fleming College to provide an off-campus housing resource and rental listings for its students. Advertise with the campus closest to you at:  https://www.places4students.com

a.     What should my rental listing include?


  • Create a SINGLE-UNIT property listing
  • Provide photos and a detailed description about the room, shared spaces, utilities included, expectations, information or references required by tenant, neighbourhood amenities, etc.
  • Detail inclusions with the rental price (such as Internet, cable, TV use, appliances, parking, etc.)
  • Describe the home environment to attract like-minded individuals (for example quiet home perfect for studying, we enjoy cooking spicy foods, we have a large dog, there are young children living in the home, etc.)
  • Specify male or female due to shared accommodations (if same gender is preferred)


b.     How much should I charge for the rental of my room?

We encourage landlords to be fair. Similar rental accommodations can be researched and compared on Places4Students.com.

c.      What will be included/not included?


  • Utilities normally included are electricity, gas, water, heat/central air and garbage removal.
  • All-inclusive rentals may also provide furnishings, use of all appliances, meals, dining/living room access, private bathroom, Internet, cable, storage area, laundry facility, parking, outdoor area, pool/hot tub, etc.
  • The landlord may choose not to include some items listed with the all-inclusive above.

d.     What photos should I post?

Listings with photos get significantly more viewings than those without. It’s recommended to upload a photo of the bedroom, shared living spaces, front of the house, backyard, parking space, etc. (all areas included with the rental)


e.     Can I stipulate any other requirements?

Some landlords bring a student tenant into their home for intangible reasons and these can be stipulated in the listing under lease conditions (such as maintain lawn, shovel snow, take out garbage, perform property maintenance, babysit one night per week, etc.)


SEE ALSO:  Proven Strategies for Rental Property Listings

The Places4Students.com Team