Viewing a Space

Before you say ‘yes’

Always check out the space you’re interested in before moving in. Check it out for cleanliness and to get an idea about what it will be like when you move in. If possible, go with your chosen roommates so you can get a sense of the place together.

  • Visit as many places as you can.
  • Don’t feel obligated to choose the first one you see.
  • Research your potential landlord to see what others have experienced.
  • Speak with current tenants privately and ask about their experience.
  • Learn about who your neighbours are and what they are like.
  • Permanent residents are more inclined to prefer quiet neighbours; if you are loud it could become an issue.
  • If you have loud neighbours it may be more difficult to study.
  • Are the fridge and stove included? If so, do they work?
  • Does the door lock work? Try it with the keys. Find out who has access to the keys.
  • Check to see if windows open and close properly. If you are paying for heating, poor installation can increase heating costs.
  • Make sure there are enough bathrooms for the number of people moving in.
  • Check to ensure the water pressure and hot water are sufficient. Check the size of the hot water tank and if the temperature is adjustable.
  • Check the lighting and ventilation to ensure you are comfortable with both.
  • Where is the temperature control? You will want to make sure it is accessible.
  • Is there air conditioning and does it work? Try setting it to your temperature preference.
  • Does the heat work properly; will your room receive enough heat to keep you warm? Try setting it to your temperature preference.
  • Are there smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of the dwelling? If not, ask to have them installed and get this in writing before you sign a lease.
  • Are there fire extinguishers? How many and where are they located?
  • Are there proper exits in case of fire, and if appropriate, are they clearly marked? Make sure escape windows are the proper size.
  • Look around; is the house in good condition or does it need repairs? If so ask when they will be fixed and get this in writing if you sign a lease.
  • Get measurements; the last thing you want is to agree to the lease and find out your bed doesn’t fit anywhere
  • Is it clean? Are there pests? Look under sink, kitchen cupboards, and bathroom for signs of potential problems.
  • Is it furnished or unfurnished? If it needs furniture you’ll have to include that in your budget.