Top 8 Living Off-Campus Myths – BUSTED!

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Written by Jess Wiper

1) TPA is a prank involving toilet paper and your neighbour’s house.

The TPA, the Tenant Protection Act, covers any tenant who doesn’t share a bathroom or kitchen with their landlord or his/her immediate family, and it refers to rights and responsibilities of tenants and landlords. If you are covered by the TPA, then you can appeal to the ORHT, the Ontario Rental Housing Tribunal, for problems with repairs, evictions, etc.

2) Roommate “conflicts” can only be solved with the silent treatment or self-imposed confinement

Neighbourhood Relations, coordinated by Kathryn Hofer, mediates between roommates or landlords. Neighbourhood Relations can also advise on other courses of action, such as subletting or assigning your lease as a last resort.
3) Your landlord is like the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus – enters while you’re sleeping and has no contact information.
The TPA states that a landlord can only enter during certain times (8 am -8 pm) only after providing the tenants with at least 24 hours notice in writing. The landlord can enter without notice in an emergency or if providing agreed upon cleaning services. You have the right to have their mailing address and contact information -- ask for it if it’s not provided.

4) Any repairs needed are due to your own bad karma and must be tolerated as a punishment.

It is your landlord’s responsibility to fix the property. Tell your landlord about the problem, keep a journal of it, and speak to the fellow tenants to see if they have similar problems. If unresolved, submit your request in writing and keep a copy for yourself. If still unresolved, you can appeal to the ORHT (see myth #1) – Neighbourhood Relations can work with you to get through this process.

5) Living off-campus is the University’s equivalent of solitary confinement, asking for help will result in unanswered sorrow.

There are many resources for off-campus students, here are a few: Legal Resource Room (UC 241, ), OCUS (www.uoguelph.ca/~ocus), Off-Campus Housing Office (in Mountain Hall), and Neighbourhood Relations ( , 519.824.4120, Ext. 56276, www.studentlife.uoguelph.ca)

6) Only Homo Sapiens are allowed in rental units.

Pets are allowed in TPA covered rental properties, regardless of a lease statement, as long as they aren’t dangerous or a disturbance.

7) Don’t bother unpacking; you can be evicted at anytime.

The TPA states landlords need due cause and must follow procedure to evict. Tenants can fight the eviction if unwarranted. If you’re not covered by the TPA, eviction is governed by the lease. If a landlord breaks that contract and evicts you without cause, you can take legal action.

8) Neighbourhood Relations is the corporation that founded Mr. Rogers.

Neighbourhood Relations supports students living off campus by offering resources and services for off-campus students, housemates, landlords, and neighbourhood residents. Our Peer Helpers can answer your tenant questions and provide you with information about practically anything to do with off-campus life – .

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