College usually means living in a shared space with a few people. And whether that means you’re living on residence or in an off campus house, you’re going to face all kinds of new challenges; problematic roommates, faulty heating and AC units, leaky sinks, the list goes on and on. Students often feel helpless in these situations, as it’s their first time living away from home, and they aren’t always aware of their rights as tenants. But never fear! There are a ton of easily accessible resources on campus to help you deal with these problems! Not only can they help you deal with specific problems, they can also give you some of the best tips to make sure you’re getting the most out of your rental experience.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when renting any unit is documentation. Take pictures of any damage that is in the unit before you move in, put things in writing when something breaks or is broken, and keep in contact with your landlord about any problems that you’re having; landlords want to keep their units in the best condition as possible, so if you have a particularly destructive roommate, let your landlord know about it before it gets out of hand. Documenting any problems or damage that you see can protect you in the future from being charged with damages, or not getting your security deposit back.
Don’t let things get out of hand, and don’t ever feel helpless! You have rights and you should know them! Living away from home should be a fun experience, not stressful. And like I said, there are a ton of resources on campus and off, to make sure that you understand your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Reach out to one of these resources if you’re having trouble, and don’t be afraid to ask anything and everything; remember there’s no such thing as a stupid question.
If you live off campus and are have any questions or concerns about your unit, landlord, or roommates contact;
Karen Hennessey, Housing Community Coordinator
Office: Student Experience – C2102-14 (in the LRC)
Phone: (705) 749-5100 ext. 1125
Email: [email protected]
If you’re living on Residence call (705) 749-5100
There’s also a bunch of information on the Landlord and Tenant Board’s website, including a detailed look at your rights as a tenant. You can access that information here.