COVID-19: Residence and Off-Campus Housing

Last Updated: March 1, 2021

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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 if I have a room offer but my program starts online in the Fall 2021 semester?

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

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 2022 semester.

What happens if a student living in residence shows signs of COVID-19 and are required to self-isolate?

The residence has space set aside in case students living in residence if they required to self-isolate. These plans have been approved by Public Health. Further, there is staff designated to support students during isolation to ensure they have the full support of the residence including daily check-ins and assistance with food, personal needs, and mental health supports to ensure their success.

What happens if there is another 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.

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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