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Understanding Your Housing Rights as an International Student in Canada

Understanding Housing Rights as a Canadian International Student

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Understanding Housing Rights as a Canadian International Student: More overseas students are opting to pursue their education in Canada each year. Before relocating to Canada as an international student, there are a number of things to think about, with housing being one of the most important.

Understanding your housing rights as a tenant while residing in Canada is vital, regardless of the sort of accommodation you select while studying.

International students in Canada have several options for housing. Here are some common housing options for international students:

  1. On-Campus Housing: Many Canadian universities and colleges offer on-campus housing options such as dormitories or residence halls. These accommodations are convenient and provide an opportunity to live in a community with other students.
  2. Off-Campus Apartments/Condos: Renting an apartment or condo off-campus is a popular choice for many international students. You can search for rental listings online or through local real estate agencies. It’s important to consider factors such as location, proximity to your institution, and the cost of utilities when choosing off-campus housing.
  3. Homestays: Homestays involve living with a Canadian host family. This option provides an immersive cultural experience and an opportunity to improve language skills. Homestay arrangements typically include a private room, meals, and shared living spaces. Various organisations facilitate homestay placements, and your educational institution might offer assistance in finding a suitable host family.
  4. Shared Accommodations: Renting a room in a shared house or apartment is another common choice. This allows you to split the rent and utilities with other students or individuals. Online platforms and local classifieds can help you find available shared accommodation options.
  5. Student Housing Co-operatives: Some cities in Canada have student housing co-operatives. Students run these co-ops and offer affordable housing options. Members share responsibilities for maintaining the property and making decisions.

When looking for housing, consider location, safety, cost, and proximity to amenities and transportation. It’s advisable to start your housing search well in advance and explore resources provided by your educational institution, such as student housing offices or international student services, for guidance and assistance.

While there are various housing alternatives available to international students, some of them might prefer an off-campus residence. Short-term housing or rental property is the most typical off-campus lodging for a single occupant, roommates, or a family. A single-family detached home, apartment, duplex, or triplex are all examples of rental housing. 

An excellent housing choice for overseas students is a rental home, which can frequently be rented on an annual basis or even occasionally month-to-month, depending on the rental agreement. An official contract between the owner of the property (landlord) and the renter (tenant) is known as a rental agreement or lease.

What rights do you have as a newbie renting a home?

It is significant to remember that, as an international student in Canada, you do have rights that should be upheld when looking for housing by Canadian human rights law

While a landlord may request job references or do a credit check on you, they are not permitted to inquire about your immigration status, ethnicity, religion, whether you will have any visiting relatives, or whether you want to have children. Furthermore, a landlord cannot outright decline to rent to you on the grounds that you are an immigrant to Canada with no credit history and/or references.  

It’s crucial to understand that a landlord may only ask for the first and last month’s rent at signage. Only the first month is necessary in Quebec. You can choose to give the landlord a bank statement as proof of your funds, or you can include the name of a co-signer or guarantor who will pay the rent if you are unable to. As an alternative, you might be able to get assistance with the leasing process through on-campus counsellors and newcomer settlement services.

What are your obligations and rights as a tenant?

Review the lease conditions after receiving it to ensure that you understand both your rights and obligations as well as the landlord’s obligations before signing. Note the monthly rent, the due date, the terms for breaking or terminating your lease, and any additional restrictions. 

The landlord should be in charge of maintaining the security and general upkeep of your flat or home in addition to collecting your money. Additionally, as stated in your agreement, the landlord is expected to furnish everything in the rental unit (such as the refrigerator, stove, and heating) and everything included in your rent (such as utilities). 

Make sure to pay your rent on time and in full, maintain your property, notify the landlord right away if there are any severe maintenance issues, and abide by any additional regulations (such as no smoking or pets) to fulfill your obligations under the lease agreement. 

Furthermore, it is significant to remember that the extra obligations of the landlord and renter may vary from province to province. You can contact your local, provincial landlord and tenant board if you see that your landlord is not upholding their obligations under the lease agreement. 

Finish your post-secondary study at a renowned Canadian institution to benefit from its exceptional education and reasonable tuition costs. There has never been a better time to apply, as Canadian colleges are on track to admit the greatest number of overseas students ever this year! 


  1. Know housing rights in Canada.
  2. Different Housing options for students.
  3. Consider different factors.
  4. Anti-discrimination rules for landlords.
  5. Lease and responsibilities clarity.
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