COVID-19: Residence and Off-Campus Housing

Last Updated: June 25, 2020

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COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Living in Residence

What is the residence going to do to ensure that living in on-campus residence is safe?

Residence space is being adjusted based on recommendations from Public Health and provincial guidelines to accommodate one student per bathroom. A typical six-person suite has two bathrooms so we will be able to place two students in a typical suite. The campus and residence buildings will have numerous safety enhancements to maintain physical distancing and create a safe campus for students, staff and visitors.

How many students will be living in residence once it re-opens?

Operating at a 33% occupancy level, there will be rooms for 150 students at Sutherland Residence, 58 at Frost Residence.

What about students that have a room offer to live at Fleming at Severn in Peterborough?

The Residence is not able to offer this option in the Fall 2020 semester. These students will be placed in the application process to live at Sutherland Residence.

What if I have a room offer but my program starts online in the Fall 2020 semester?

As all new students have programs starting online, residence will not open for new students in the first half of the semester.

Is residence open for new students in September 2020?

Residence will not open for new students until the second half of the Fall 2020 semester. The residence will be used by students catching up on the program requirements from the Winter 2020 semester when all colleges closed early due to COVID-19.

What if my program is not starting until the Winter 2021 semester?

Students that received a room offer will have the option to defer their residence application to the Winter 2021 semester. They will not need to re-apply to live in residence. This does not guarantee a room offer as occupancy levels will not be determined until later in the Fall based on public health and provincial guidelines.

How will the College determine which students will receive a room offer?

Residence will contact all students who have completed a residence application and made an initial payment to ask the students if they wish to: (a) live in residence starting later October; (b) defer their residence application to Winter 2021; (c) defer their residence application to Fall 2021 or (d) cancel their residence application.

Based on the students who wish to live in residence, room offers will be based on:

  1. Those students in essential work programs.
  2. Distance from the campus.
  3. Semester 1 students.
  4. Residence application date and time.
How will residence fees be adjusted? When are fees due for the Fall term?

Residence fees for the Fall 2020 semester will be reduced 50%. Fall residence fees are not due until August 7, 2020. For students receiving external funding (OSAP), residence fees will be deferred until they are received.

Are Food Services going to be available? What about purchasing a meal plan?

Food Service offerings have yet to be confirmed.

What if I am an international student?

The same process will apply for all students.

What if I have an accommodation request that was approved and I received a room offer? Do I need to re-apply?

Accommodation requests will continue to be reviewed by the Residence Life Supervisor. Previously approved accommodations do not need to re-apply, however they will be reviewed.

What if I am on the waitlist?

Waitlists for the Fall 2021 semester will be continued. If you are on the waitlist you will be given the option of applying to either the Winter 2021 or Fall 2021 semester. All waitlist fees will be automatically refunded.

When will I find out if I have a room?

Students will find out the week of July 13 – 17, 2020. Students with a room offer will be sent a link to complete information about their residence plans for the Fall 2020 semester; once received, they will have 10 business days to complete this information to indicate their intent. This information will be reviewed and the Residence Office will determine who will be offered a room.

When will students move in?

Residents will begin moving in the week of October 22 – November 1, 2020. Move-in times will likely be by pre-scheduled appointment. More information will follow.

What if I want to defer or cancel my residence application, do I get a refund?

Any student cancelling their residence application will receive a full refund. Applicants deferring to Winter 2021 will not receive a refund to avoid having to re-apply. Applicants deferring to Fall 2021 will receive a full refund; they will need to pay the initial payment between Feb 1, 2021 and Feb 15, 2021 to secure their room offer.

What happens if a student living in residence shows signs of COVID-19 and are required to self-isolate? Do we need to set aside isolation suites? If yes, how many and which rooms/suites will be set aside as isolation suites?

If possible, the best option will be for the student to return home to self-isolate. If a student is unable to return home, pre-designated 1-bedroom isolation suites are set aside.

What happens if there is a second wave, will residence close? Will we get a refund?

If residence needs to close based on recommendations from public health, residents will receive a refund less the cancellation fee.

Residence Room Offers

What if students want to live in residence although their program is being offered online for the Fall semester?

Room offers will be prioritized based on aforementioned criteria. Students could still be offered a room if their program is offered online only for the Fall semester.

How will room assignments be determined? Can students still request roommates?

Room assignments will be completed by Housing Services based on recommendations from public health. Students will still be able to request roommates; placements will still need to meet recommended practices.

Is a mixed gender suite option still available?

Yes, mixed gender suites are still available.

If a student lives inside the Peterborough and Kawarthas Region will they be eligible for a room in residence?

Yes, they are still eligible. While students living outside the campus region (catchment area) will be prioritized, students within Peterborough and the Kawarthas are still eligible noting that rooms are limited.

When will the Winter 2021 application process open? Will it still be first-come, first-served?

Winter 2021 applications are scheduled to open September 15, 2020, if anything they will open earlier. A Winter waitlist for students choosing to defer will be based on a first-come, first-served basis. Winter 2021 room offers will be confirmed once occupancy levels are determined.

What if a student cancels their residence application, Housing Services issues a refund and then the student decides they want to apply for residence again?

Students who have previously cancelled their room offer and wish to re-apply will go to bottom of the waitlist.

Residence Services for Students after Move-in

What sort of residence life experience will be available for students?

Supports will be in-place to help students succeed and programming activities will be adjusted to work while maintaining physical distancing.

What shared/common spaces will be available for students after move-in? Will study rooms be open? Will Marketplace be open? How will laundry rooms operate?

The Sutherland Residence Marketplace will be open with appropriate physical distancing measures in place.

Laundry rooms will open with a maximum of four students at one time, with signage advising students to hand wash, physically distance, and will provide sanitizers. Study rooms will be open with furniture arranged two meters apart and a maximum of four students at one time.

What services will be offered for residents? Will we continue loaning vacuums/sports equipment?

Vacuums will be available for sign-out. Equipment will be fully sanitized between loans.

Will residents be allowed to have guests?

Residents will not be allowed to have overnight guests. Approved visitors will limited and need to pass through screening.

Off-Campus Housing

If residence is not available are there other private residence options available off-campus?

Severn Court
Leases begin at $650/month with flexible start

Leases begin at $650/month

Off-Campus Housing

The Off-Campus Housing Office provides information online so that you can learn about our communities and search for listings. Our website provides tips to assist you to find housing; contact landlords; signing leases; and move-in. Please click here to read through these resources.

The Off-Campus Housing Office can be your point of contact to help you with your transition from home to living within the community. Please contact Karen Hennessey, Housing Community Coordinator, with any further questions or for further support at

What if students want to live in the campus community although their program is only offered online?

Students who make the decision to live off campus will be required to conduct a housing search. We recommend students refer to our Off-Campus Housing website for further support. There are also several resources on the website, including a “Find Housing” tab.

If there is a delayed start, will my landlord agree to let me start my lease later?

The landlord is not required to delay the lease start date. However, having an open conversation with the landlord about your situation may help you find an arrangement that you can both agree on. If the landlord is not willing to delay the start date, you might consider subletting the unit until you require it, however it is important to understand the rules and responsibilities around subletting. Please refer here for further information.

Can I cancel my lease due to COVID-19?

To end your tenancy early, it is important to first speak with the landlord to make this request. Sometimes the landlord will agree and a Form N11 should be signed. If the landlord does not agree, there may be other options to cancel your lease early, such as subletting or assignment. Click here for steps on how to break a lease early.

I’m not comfortable going in to view the rental unit, are there other ways to view the unit?

As regular practice, it is very important for students to view the unit and are discouraged to rent before a walk-through of the unit and the property. If you are not comfortable or there are restitutions, students are encouraged to ask the potential landlord to view the unit using technology, such as a virtual walk-through.

Where can I go to start my housing search?

When you are ready to start you housing search, the Off-Campus Housing Office website has a lot of helpful information and resources to help you with your housing search. You can find links to several sites under our Find Housing tab.

What is the difference between subletting and assigning a lease agreement?

Assigning means the new tenant takes over your rental agreement. The amount of rent and all other details of the agreement stay the same. You are not responsible if the new tenant causes damage or owes rent. But when you assign, you do not have the right to move back in later. If you want to leave your place for a while and then move back in later, you might be able to sublet to someone else while you are gone. The person who you sublet to is called your subtenant – they pay the rent to you. Choose your sublet well; you are held responsible if they cause damage or don’t pay the rent.

Can I adjust my lease agreement due to COVID-19 recommendations?

There have not been any announcements to date that speak to flexibility/adjustments to legislation as it relates to lease agreement terms.

It is important to understand if your rental agreement is on a month-to-month or weekly basis, you can end it by giving your landlord proper notice. If you have a lease for a fixed term (e.g., 8 months or 12 months), you can give notice for the end of the fixed term. For information on how to end a tenancy, please see this brochure from the LTB.

You may also request for the landlord to end your tenancy early or consider subletting or assigning your rental agreement. You can post an advertisement for your accommodation on Places4Students

How can I be prepared and plan ahead for COVID-19?

Students can be prepared by understanding the guidelines set by their local public health units. In the event there are further restrictions, please refer here for how you can plan ahead, including a grocery list should you need to self-isolate for 14 days.

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