Welcome to the vibrant city of London, Ontario. Whether you’re a new student embarking on your journey at Fanshawe or a current student looking for a new place to live, house hunting can be a challenging task, especially given the competitive rental market. Finding the right living arrangement is important as it will significantly impact not only your academics but also your overall lifestyle and social experiences during your time at college.
To help you make an informed decision and get what you’re looking for out of your living arrangements, we’ll walk you through the advantages and disadvantages of the different options available to you for student housing in London.
Residence at Fanshawe
Fanshawe College has a total of 1200 residence spaces at our London Campus. Residence provides the peace of mind of a secure and comfortable place to call home for your first year while you get used to living away from home, often for the first time. Not only does it provide a secure and supportive environment, but it also fosters a sense of community and connection with fellow students. Residence life offers an opportunity to build lifelong friendships, engage in social activities, and access various on-campus resources conveniently. Our residences already have all the furniture you’ll need, so you won’t have to bring your own.
The traditional apartment-style residence is just what it sounds like, with a traditional apartment containing four bedrooms (some two-bedroom suites are also available), a kitchenette, a living room, and two 3-piece bathrooms. We offer accommodations for a total of 1,220 students in our three apartment-style buildings: Falcon, Peregrine and Merlin. You will also get a meal plan living in apartment-style residences to be used at the various outlets around campus.
Our townhouse-style residence is called Kestrel Court and consists of 66 townhouse units that can house a total of 396 residents. Each townhouse contains six bedrooms, a full kitchen, a living room, two 3-piece bathrooms and one two-piece bathroom. A meal plan isn’t required when you live in a townhouse-style residence, but it is still recommended to allow you to purchase occasional meals on campus each week.
Off-Campus Student Housing
Most students at Fanshawe will live off-campus in their upper years. As an upper-year student, transitioning to off-campus living can provide more independence and flexibility. It allows you to explore different neighbourhoods, experience the city's vibrant culture, and develop essential life skills. Living off-campus can also come with challenges, so we’ve put together some tips to help you successfully navigate the phases of independent living.
When to start looking for student housing
Start looking early. If you're looking for a place to live in September, it's best to start searching in January. The earlier you start, the more options you’ll have to look at, even if you don’t decide right away. Starting early will also give you time to review the lease and ask your new landlord any questions you might have. Finding the right space will take time, so leave yourself enough time to be thorough in your search.
Find the right home
One of the biggest challenges with living off-campus will be finding student housing. Because of the competitive market, you’ll want to check out Places4Students. Fanshawe has partnered with Places4Students to bring you housing listings near the campus and make your search easier. We have housing resources for you to reference during your search to help things go smoothly. Plus, check out our step-by-step guide on how to find student housing.
When you’re house hunting, be wary of housing scams. Unfortunately, there are several scams targeting unsuspecting and vulnerable renters. Typically, a person tries to rent out a unit that doesn’t exist, doesn’t belong to them or isn’t available. Be cautious and learn how to protect yourself from housing scams.
Make sure your new apartment will be secure by determining if there are secure entry points that restrict unauthorized entry from the building, whether it be a key fob or simply a lock. Surveillance cameras are a plus, as is onsite security for large apartment buildings. The unit should be well-lit at night and locks on windows and doors should be functioning properly.
Another aspect of the safety of your home is fire safety. You’ll want to make sure your home follows fire safety protocols. Your unit should have a smoke alarm on every floor and near sleeping areas, as well as carbon monoxide alarms. Each bedroom should have at least two ways out, including doors and windows large enough to fit through. For more information, visit the London Fire Department’s site.
Bed bugs are a nuisance. They do not cause health hazards, but they can cause skin reactions and stress if you experience them. When you’re looking for an apartment, be aware of the signs of bed bugs:
- Live bugs
- Dark fecal spots on mattresses, beddings, walls, or furniture
- Pale or empty shells or skins
- Musty odour
- Bedbug eggs
Where to Look in London, Ontario
London consists of several different boroughs or smaller neighbourhoods for you to explore. Fanshawe’s London campus is located in Huron Heights, just north of Argyle. Nearby neighbourhoods in London, Ontario you may want to consider renting in are:
- East London
- Old North
- Old South
- And so many other London neighbourhoods
Budget for your home
Living off-campus means you’ll have to manage monthly rent and various recurring expenses to keep your home well-stocked and clean. Keep a budget so you know what to expect each month and how much money you have for each category of expenses. Understanding how to budget for school is an important part of your school experience that will give you the peace of mind of knowing you can afford the essentials each month.
What will your living expenses look like?
In London, rent will vary depending on the kind of home you’re looking at. For example, a single room in a high-rise apartment that you share with other students will be cheaper than renting a one-bedroom apartment for yourself. Rent can range from $600 - $1,000 per month for a room to $1,200 - $3,000 for an apartment. You will also need to budget for other expenses, like groceries and utilities.
Things you’ll need living off-campus
- Kitchen supplies
- Bathroom supplies
- Cleaning supplies
- School supplies
- Bedding and sleeping items
- Utilities like heating, electricity, and water if these aren’t included in the cost of your rent
- An internet connection
Signing your lease
If you’ve found the right place and it’s within your budget, it’s time to sign the lease. Remember, don’t sign a lease on a unit sight unseen. You’ll want to view the unit before you sign the lease.
When you’re ready to sign, expect the lease to be for a full year or, in some cases, you may be able to get a lease just for the school year. You will need to be prepared to pay both the first and last month’s rent at once. This protects the landlord should you leave unexpectedly. A landlord is not allowed to charge a security deposit in Ontario.
Once all that’s done, you’ll have a comfortable and cozy home for your time at Fanshawe!