Before becoming a landlord, we've outlined tips and information to get you started.
Why list with us?
There are approximately 22,000 students at the University of Waterloo who live in the Waterloo region.
As a department at the University of Waterloo, students know that all listings on the Off-Campus Housing listing service are reviewed and approved by the Off-Campus Housing staff before being posted online and are therefore trustworthy.
Unlike many other listing websites, we deal directly with students, faculty and staff at the University of Waterloo. We can offer information on the best time to post an ad and suggestions to get the most responses.
Please note: The Off-Campus Housing listing site is not restricted to students at the University of Waterloo. It is accessible and open for viewing by the general public.
Furthermore, we do not endorse or recommend any specific landlords, properties, or property management companies. We do not offer special treatment to anyone.
Students access the OCH Listing Service frequently, and will contact landlords directly to make arrangements to view a dwelling.
Once you have decided to become a landlord, you can advertise your accommodation through the Off-Campus Housing Listing Service.
There is no "set date" that you must begin advertising.
If you are advertising a listing for co-op students, we recommend placing your ad on our OCH Listing Service approximately 8 - 10 weeks before the start of each term.
Do not "bait and switch", whereby you advertise a room for rent but try to rent something else to prospective tenants.
Setting a rental rate
When setting rental rates, consider the following factors: distance to campus, proximity to plaza/restaurants/convenience stores, condition of the rental unit, utilities/amenities included, season, and rent of similar units nearby.
If you're renting out a room(s) in your own home, it is a good idea to establish some house rules and outline these rules before the tenant(s) sign a contract. This is a good way to avoid misunderstandings and conflict with your tenants.
Some house rules to consider are:
- overnight guest policies
- what rooms the tenant(s) can access
- kitchen and laundry privileges
- smoking and pets
- telephone/cable and internet connections
It is also worth noting that if you (or your son or daughter) share kitchen/bathroom facilities with your tenant(s), then both you and your tenants are not covered under the Residential Tenancies Act.
Instead, what is signed is called a Boarder’s Agreement and issues are covered under contract law.
Residential Tenancies Act
Ontario's Residential Tenancies Act gives residential landlords and tenants specific rights and obligations.
It outlines information such as the type of deposits that are allowed and rules for entering a tenants’ rental unit.
Residential Housing License
If your rental property is located in the City of Waterloo, you may need to apply for a rental housing license.
Please visit the City of Waterloo’s website for more information on the application process and frequently asked questions.
Please note that rental listings in the city of Waterloo will not be posted on our website without a valid and current RHL.
Boarder: You don’t need to have a full, self-contained apartment to rent accommodations to students. Often, homeowners will rent a room in their home to students, or share cooking or washroom facilities with students.
Tenants: The tenant-landlord relationship is what you might consider the “traditional” arrangement. You might live at the same property; but the rental unit has its own kitchen and washroom for the tenant, or you might live in a separate location and rent either a condominium or house to various tenants.
Under this type of rental accommodation, you and the tenant are protected under the Residential Tenancies Act. It’s recommended that you have your tenants sign a rental agreement before they move into their accommodations.
Commitment and responsibility
It is important to remember that landlords have a responsibility to be available to their tenants. “Absentee landlords” are less likely to be aware of problems and therefore cannot address concerns as easily.
Landlords also need to consider time-commitment issues such as general upkeep and property maintenance (cutting grass, snow removal) that take up time as well.