Tips to help you with your housing search
- Start your housing search in the early summer.
- If you are not from of Ottawa, we recommend spending a few days in the city while looking for accommodation.
- Try to find housing in the West end of Ottawa, close to the College or along the main transit bus route 95.
- If you find accommodations near a bus route, be sure to familiarize yourself with bus route and how frequently it runs.
- Make sure there are available amenities in your area.
- Remember to ask landlords these important questions:
- How much is rent? When is it due? Are utilities, parking and cable included?
- Is a deposit required? (Be aware that the only allowable deposit to secure a rental unit is a payment not exceeding one month’s rent, which must be applied to the last month of tenancy. The landlord must pay interest at an annual rate of 3.1% on this deposit. Additional deposits, including pre-payment of first month’s rent, “key deposit” etc, are not permitted.)
- Always request a receipt for any cash transaction. If a landlord agrees to repairs, paying utilities or parking, have the landlord put it in writing.
- What are the rules regarding subletting?
- Is there a lock on your door? Who has access to keys?
- Is it possible or necessary to install an additional phone line or cable line?
- Are there proper exits in case of fire, and are they clearly marked? Is there a smoke detector?
- Is the water pressure and hot water sufficient? Try all faucets including shower, toilets, etc, and Check the size of the hot water tank.
- Is there proper lighting and ventilation? Are there ceiling fixtures, or do you have to provide lamps?
- Are there storm windows? Do windows open and close properly? (If paying for heating, poor installation can make heating costly. Electric heat is the most expensive).
- Where is the temperature control? Is it accessible?
- Is the dwelling clean? Pest free? Is the landlord cleaning or painting the dwelling before you move in? Will you be permitted to paint and will you be compensated for any expenses?
- Do all of the appliances work? Try them!
- If possible, try visiting the neighbourhood or building at night. Is it safe and quiet?
- Finally, look the place over. Is it a place you would like to call home for the next year?
When developing your budget for the year, here are some approximate costs for you to consider.
- Utilities: Monthly heat, $50 approx.
- Hydro: Monthly hydro, $50 approx.
- Cell phone plan: Monthly fee, $70 approx.
- Home phone: Monthly fees, $29–$42
- Home phone: Installation of phone jacks, $86 per jack.
- Cable: Installation, $25–$65 approx.
- Cable: Monthly charges, $35 approx.
- Food: $200–$250 per month.
- Household supplies: $30–$40 per month.
- Entertainment: $50 per week.
- Transportation: College Parking fees start at $433 per year.
- Student bus pass: Age 13–19, $78.75 per month.
- Adult bus pass: $98.75 per month.
- Presto bus pass: $2.72 per ride.
- Tenant insurance: $230 per year approx.
Problems with a landlord?
Landlord and Tenant Board
255 Albert Street, 4th floor
Ottawa, ON K1P 6A9
Ontario Tenant Rights
Ontario Energy Board
Helpful Energy Tips