When to List Your Advertisement

Many landlords ask this question - when is the best time to list my ad? That answer largely depends on the type of accommodation you are renting out, but there are some general guidelines to follow.

The school year begins in September and ends in April (total of 8 months). Most students tend to go home for the summer, unless they have secured a local summer job for those 4 months, or are attending summer school.

The second semester begins in January, and is typically the best time to list your advertisement. Students have just returned from the Christmas break, and the on-campus residences are a-buzz with rumours of not being able to find a suitable place to live for the following September!

So, if you own a student house or apartment, and it will be vacant in May, January is the best time to list. If your place is reasonably nice and priced appropriately (see the Student Resources section, "Sample Rents and Other Considerations), it will likely be scooped up within a week. Students can expect to sign a 12 month lease at this time, and will likely try to sublet their room over the summer months, with the landlord's permission (which, by law, cannot be unreasonably withheld).

If the house or apartment will not be vacant until September, it's best to begin advertising in July, and you may consider asking for an 8 month lease. Most landlords have greatest success asking for a 12 month lease running May-April.

If you are renting out rooms in your home, the best time to list these accommodations is in April, for May occupancy, or mid-July/August, for September occupancy. Individual rooms may be required throughout the year by individuals, but there is no clear cycle to predict the demand. Your accommodation is likely to be more attractive if it is furnished, since many international students will look for this type of accommodation, and they will not be able to bring such items with them, and will not want to purchase furnishings if they're here for only a short time. There tends to be a slight influx of need in January, since some students will transfer in at the beginning of the new semester, or may be moving to Hamilton for a 4-month placement (January - April). If you are willing to consider a tenant for 4 months, then list your ad late October early November.

If your primary target audience is graduate students or visiting faculty, there is no clear cycle for listing these accommodations. People come and go at all times of the year. Consider listing your place a month or two before it will actually be vacant; most people do not search for a place to live too many months before their arrival.