Housing

ACCOMMODATION SERVICES

There is a wide range of accommodation options available to suit every budget and lifestyle.  We can assist you with finding temporary housing when you first arrive through Arrival Services. (Arrival Services is a form you will need to fill out and send to the International Office to arrange pickup from the airport and/or receive temporary accommodation if requested. You will be sent the Arrival Services form via email 6 weeks before classes begin.)

To make your arrival in Canada a smooth one, students can apply for First Night accommodation free of charge. Submit your Arrival Services form before the deadline on the document to reserve your room.

TYPES OF HOUSING

There are four main types of housing: on-campus residence, off-campus residence, off-campus apartments, and homestay.

ON-CAMPUS RESIDENCE

Located on the Oshawa Campus.  Open to all DC and UOIT Students.

All rooms include internet access, cable TV, on-site laundry, bi-weekly housekeeping services, 24-hour security, common lounges and games rooms, and evening events for you and your new friends.  You are required to sign an 8 month lease. Apply online at www.durhamrez.ca for Simcoe and South Village. Make sure to apply early in case any issues are encountered during the process.

OFF-CAMPUS RESIDENCES

These are residences near the Oshawa Campus that are run by private companies available only to students.

Eighteen05 – Located on Simcoe Street, just a short walk from the Oshawa campus. These are un-furnished or furnished units, with laundry located on every floor, and group or quiet study spaces. Requires 12-month lease.

Village Suites Student Apartments – Five-minute walk from the Oshawa Campus on Simcoe Street.  There are 2 to 5 bedroom apartments available. These are furnished or unfurnished units that include Wi-Fi/Internet, group and private study spaces, yoga room, theatre room, recreation room with billiards, foosball and ping pong.  Requires a 12-month lease.

Varsity Properties – Directly across the street from Oshawa Campus. 3-bedroom and 5-bedroom suites. Each room has its own bathroom. Kitchen and living space is shared. Bi-monthly cleaning service. Utilities extra – automatically split between tenants and bill sent directly by Varsity. Apply online or go visit a model unit at their showroom. Requires a lease.

Homestay: Interested students can apply through Canada Homestay Network. Homestay places students in Canadian homes with families. There are a variety of options for types of stay, ranging from just room to full room and board with three meals per day.

Options come furnished or unfurnished. Unfurnished student accommodations are very common, so it is important to clarify if you require furniture.

Off-Campus Apartments – If you’re looking to find an apartment within the Durham region then these websites cater to a wide range of budgets:

FINDING OFF-CAMPUS HOUSING-WHEN, WHERE AND HOW

When to start looking for housing: Landlords require 60 days’ notice from tenants who are moving out, so you can start looking as early as 2 months ahead. Availability varies depending on the time of year – August/September is a very busy time; January and May have less competition, but also less availability.

Where to look for housing:

  • Online: Landlords and companies will post available listings on their own websites and on public websites, like PadMapper and Kijiji.
  • Ask your friends if they know of anywhere.
  • Ask the International Office if there are any students with rooms available.
  • Want to check out how close an accommodation is to campus? Use the Durham Region Transit (bus) schedule planner: https://www.triplinx.ca/en/trip-planner/4/JourneyPlanner

How to contact potential landlords:

  1. Find a place you are interested in
  2. Arrange to view it
  3. Get the details and ask questions
  4. Ask for an application
  5. Fill out and submit the application with all supporting documents
  6. Wait to hear if your application has been approved (48 hours is acceptable turn-around time)

TIP! Try to make several appointments on one day, so that you can compare your options.

HELPFUL TIPS

If you are thinking about renting an apartment, here are some questions that you should ask.

  1. How much is the rent per month?
  2. Does the rent include utilities like electricity, water, cable or internet?
  3. Is the heat centrally controlled?
  4. Is smoking allowed?
  5. Do you require first and last months’ rent or security deposit?
  6. When is the move in date?
  7. What furnishings and applicances are included?
  8. What day to I pay my rent and what options do I have to pay? (Cheque, email, money transfer, etc.)
  9. Is there laundry on site? Does it cost extra? How to I pay for it?
  10. Where does the mail go?
  11. Who maintains the driveway/path when it snows?
  12. Do you provide garbage and recycle bins? Where do they go?

GET STARTED: YOUR SEARCH FOR ACCOMMODATIONS

Start by asking yourself the following questions. Write your answers down.

  • Should I live by myself or with roommates?
  • What things can I live without and what things do I absolutely need?
    • For example, can I live without laundry on-site?
  • What is the maximum amount per month I can afford to pay in rent, including utilities (heat, electricity, water)?

By answering these questions, you have created your search parameters and set initial expectations for your future home.

During your search you can expect:

  • To look at more than one place.
  • To have to make an appointment to view an accommodation.
  • To go on a tour with other potential tenants.
  • To receive an application to take home with you.

When you find an accommodation that you like, you will likely have to fill out an application. Applications will often ask for:

  • Your previous addresses.
  • The contact information of your current landlord and your current address.
  • The contact information of your current employer and your employment history.
  • Your Social Insurance Number, which is needed to perform a credit check.
    • Your Social Insurance Number is personal information that should be protected. If you do not feel comfortable sharing this information or are not sure if you should provide it, you can speak to someone in the International Office for advice.

Once you have submitted an application and it has been approved, you will likely have to sign a lease. Leases are important for many reasons:

  • They protect you legally under the Landlord Tenant Act.
  • They establish the responsibilities of the landlord and tenant.
  • They act as a contract guaranteeing the cost of rent per month and how long you may live in that accommodation.

A couple things to note about leases:

  • You should not expect to be able to negotiate the cost of the rent.
  • In most instances, once you have lived somewhere for 12 months on a lease, you are able to go month-to-month under the same conditions as you were on the lease. Speak to the International Office or Service Oshawa for more information.

TIME TO MOVE IN: SETTING EXPECTATIONS FOR YOUR NEW HOME

Once you have signed your lease and agreed to the terms with your landlord, you will be able to move into your new home. There will be some adjustments to the new living situation. When settling in, here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Your landlord is expected to maintain the property so that it is safe and functional, but it is not their responsibility to make aesthetic changes for you that were not previously agreed to. For example, paint the walls a different colour.
  • Your landlord may need to enter the unit or send in maintenance staff. Once you have officially moved in, the landlord is required to give you 24 hours’ notice before entering the apartment.

Your landlord is not allowed to take any of your personal belongings, including luggage or personal documents, like passports.

Students often choose to live with roommates or housemates. If this is your situation, remember:

  • You may be sharing living spaces, like the kitchen or bathrooms.
  • You are entitled to respect and privacy, as are any other people living in the same unit. This includes from the landlord.
  • You do not have to share a bedroom or bed without your consent or prior knowledge.

HOW TO PAY:

It is important to have a record of paying your rent, common ways are:

  • E-Transfer (Email Money Transfer, EMT) – You can send monthly using banking website or app. Most banks do not charge a fee for EMT’s and you will have an electronic record of the payment.
  • Cheque – You are able to pre-date your cheques and they provide a paper record of paying rent.
  • Cash – Cash is insecure and untraceable, and there is no guaranteed record of payment. If you pay cash, you must get a receipt.
DISCLAIMER

The online housing listings information has been submitted by individuals not associated with Durham College. The accommodations listed have not been inspected by Durham College and the college makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information posted, the worthiness of the landlord or the suitability of the accommodation for student use. Durham College assumes no responsibility in regard to any lease made with the landlord or any arrangements made by students sharing the accommodation. Students are advised to meet with the owner and inspect the premises before signing a lease. Further, students seeking housing in the area immediately surrounding the Durham College campus (view map) [PDF – 199 KB] should ensure that prospective landlords have current licenses, according to the City of Oshawa By-Law 20-2008 [PDF – 545 KB] regarding Residential Rental Housing Licensing.

Contact the international office if you have any questions in regard to housing or are having issues with your landlord.