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Off-Campus Housing Services
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Off-Campus Housing COVID-19 Update

Western's Off-Campus Housing Service is here to provide support and information to students living off-campus. Please contact our office if you have additional questions that aren't answered below:

  1. Can I move between off-campus rental units during the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Yes, you can still move between rental units at this time. The Ontario government has not restricted moving between homes or rental units.

  2. What should I do if my current landlord wants to bring people into my living space to show the house? Can I show my room to potential sub-tenants right now?

    During the pandemic, here are some steps you can take to ensure physical distancing and sanitization occur during showings:

    • Request the landlord give notice before showing the unit that allows for sufficient time to prevent any overcrowding issues.
    • Once you know when the showing will occur, plan to leave the rental unit during this time.
    • Wait 15 minutes after the landlord and prospective tenants leave before re-entering your rental.
    • Disinfect common touch points.
    • Follow proper hand hygiene.
    • Request the landlord conduct virtual tours when possible.

    Landlords are subject to the Human Rights Code and have a duty to accommodate tenants under protected grounds, including people with disabilities. For example, conducting an in-person showing when a tenant has an immune-compromising condition could lead to a complaint under the Code.

  3. How should I work with my landlord and housemates to prepare for a move?

    Communicate with everyone involved in your move, particularly your current and new landlords and housemates.
    Before you move:

    • Talk with your new landlord about their plan to clean and sanitize the unit before your move-in.
    • Discuss the level of physical distancing or self-isolation that you and your new housemates have been practicing to understand if and how you'll keep these up when you move in together.

    It's also good practice to:

    • Sanitize doorknobs, handles and other high-touch surfaces regularly using one of the recommended hard surface disinfectants.
    • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often.
    • Avoid touching your face.
    • Complete the COVID-19 self-assessment if you aren't feeling well.

  4. How can I maintain physical distancing while moving?

    If you are moving between rental units, follow these recommendations from Public Health:

    • Arrange staggered move-in times to avoid groups congregating.
    • Keep a distance of two metres from your landlord, new housemates and neighbours while moving.
    • Greet your new landlord, housemates and neighbours with a wave, a bow or a nod (do not shake hands).
    • Don't ride elevators with other tenants or neighbours while moving.
    • Move your own items when possible and avoid having your friends or family help.

  5. What if I no longer want to move into the unit that I signed a lease for?

    If you no longer plan to move into a unit that you have already signed a lease for, you have the following options:

    What is the difference between subletting and assigning?

    If you sublet, you remain on the lease. If you assign your lease to someone else, you permanently sign over your position on a lease to another person. When assigning, you are not responsible for future rent payments or the behaviour of the new tenant.

    Subletting is preferable if you intend to move back into the unit. Assignment is preferable if you want to exit the lease agreement.

    Assignment requires the consent of the landlord, but landlords cannot refuse an assignee without a reasonable explanation that is accepted by the Landlord and Tenant Board. If your landlord refuses to allow you to assign your lease without a reasonable explanation, then you have the option to end your tenancy early with 30 days' written notice (if you are on a separate lease or if all tenants on a joint lease terminate). If you are in this situation, contact our office for more information:

  6. I'm an international student arriving from outside Canada to study at Western. What should I know to prepare myself?

    Visit the International and Exchange Student Centre's web page to learn about coming to Western from outside Canada: This page includes information on visas, immigration, airport transportation, current quarantine requirements and accommodation options, and more.

    When living in London, be aware of current health and safety requirements:

    We advise you wait to sign a lease and/or pay a rental deposit until you are certain you will be allowed to travel to Canada to attend Western University. Once you have this confirmation, you can view rental listings online at: and reach out to our office if you need additional assistance. Ensure you verify the rental and landlord exist before paying a deposit and/or signing a lease.

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