Being a Good Tenant

Living in Canada will be very different from your home country. Tenant rules and responsibilities will be outlined in your rental agreement and it is very important to understand what is different and new when living in Canada. Please review the following links so you are aware of the bylaws and expectations as a tenant:

City of Belleville By-laws and Policies

Renting in Ontario

Hastings Housing Resource Centre

Be respectful of your housemates:

  • Be considerate with your music, movies, and games; keep on low volume or use headphones.
  • If you are staying up late, be very quiet so others can sleep.
  • If you are up first in the morning, be very quiet while you get ready.
  • If you have a question to ask your roommate, do not wake him/her to ask the question. Wait until he/she wakes up….unless it’s an emergency!
  • Do not let your visitors come over too often; your roommate agreed to live with you, not you and your friends.
  • Make sure you communicate with your roommate on a regular basis.
  • Respect your roommate’s privacy. Give space, do not search through his/her personal stuff, and if you know anything personal about this person, keep this information to yourself.
  • Respect the fact that you and your roommate are two different people, and you may have different ways of doing things; respect your roommate’s individuality.
  • Make sure you relax. Remain calm when you have an issue that needs to be talked about with your roommate.
  • Talking on the phone can annoy other people; leave the room when you are having a conversation and do not talk for too long.
  • Never borrow from your roommate without permission. If you need to borrow something, ask first. If you cannot ask for some reason, do not assume you can borrow anything that belongs to them.
  • If you break something, you must tell your roommate(s)/landlord and replace it.

Clean up after yourself:

  • It is your responsibility to keep your living space clean and maintaining your home.
  • Take off your shoes outside the front door, or inside the door if there is a mat.
  • Put all laundry in your laundry basket; do not leave it around the house.
  • If you cook, clean your mess up immediately after eating your meal, wipe all spills.
  • Put food and dishes away neatly and in an organized fashion.
  • Do not leave any of your stuff around the house including garbage, food, dishes or laundry.
  • Sweeping, dusting, removing garbage and washing surfaces are important to keep your home clean and pest free.
  • Work out a chore list to make sure that both people are taking part in cleaning your shared spaces.
  • Your landlord may request to perform spot visits on your living quarters to ensure the space is being taken care of.

Waste removal:

  • It will be your responsibility to collect and throw away any garbage on a weekly basis.
  • Garbage should be placed in a black waste bag purchased at the grocery store.
  • In Belleville, you are required to purchase a ‘Garbage Bag Tag’ for $3/weekly (hyperlink to Belleville website) to have your garbage picked up.
  • Ask your landlord which weekday your garbage is scheduled to be picked up.
  • Garbage must be placed at the end of your property for the City to college on your designated garbage pick-up day.
  • Insects and disease carrying rodents like mice and rats are attracted to left out food and garbage, so getting rid of garbage each week is a priority to ensure you stay healthy.
  • It is disrespectful. To your landlord and housemates to allow your garbage to pile up and not be picked up as it will smell.


Canada has a recycling program for items each week to be placed in the blue box. It is your responsibility to collect, sort and place items in the blue box and take to your recyclables to the curb side each week for free pickup. 

At Loyalist College we strive to promote the principles of sustainability. Learn about waste sorting practices through this fun and interactive game. Visit to play.

Conserve energy:

In Canada we pay for our water and electricity so it is important to conserve when possible.

  • Do not take long showers or baths – this can use up the hot water (around ten minutes is sufficient).
  • Turn the lights, television, radio, computer, and other household appliances off when you leave the room.
  • Do not turn on lights during the day. Open the blinds and curtains so that the sunlight can light the house.
  • When you are doing the dishes or shaving, fill up the sink instead of leaving the water running the whole time.

Washroom etiquette:

  • If sharing your space, ask if your roommate needs to use the bathroom before you take a shower or bath.
  • Do not dye your hair in the bathroom as it leaves stains on the sink and walls.
  • When you use the toilet, flush toilet paper down the toilet (do not throw in the garbage. Also, the only thing that you should flush down the toilet is toilet paper. Nothing else should be flushed down.
  • Women should wrap feminine products (pads/tampons) in toilet paper and throw in the garbage.
  • Rinse out the tub after taking a shower or bath – remember to keep the shower curtain inside the tub to avoid a flood.
  • If you get the bathroom floor wet after bathing or showering, wipe it up with one of your towels.
  • If you get toothpaste on the sink when you are brushing your teeth, wipe it off.
  • If you shaved in the sink or tub make sure you rinse the hair down the drain.
  • If you use up the last bit of toilet paper, put a new roll of toilet paper on the holder.
  • If you get urine on the toilet seat, wipe it off. It is also polite for men to lift the seat to avoid this issue.


  • If you plan to have a visitor over, ask your housemates ahead of time.
  • Never let your guests borrow from your roommate.
  • Make sure your guests know the rules of the house.
  • Never have a visitor stay overnight unless you are sure your housemates are comfortable with it. If it is ok, do not push limits. Do not make overnights a habit.
  • Make sure your visitors are polite to your roommate, and in return be polite to your roommate’s visitors.

Emergencies – 911 services:  

In an emergency or crisis situation, such as fire or your health and safety threatened, dial 911 and you will be connected to a local operator who will notify emergency responders such as the fire department, police or ambulance.

It is important to know or have quick access to your street address/location as this will be needed to locate where to send emergency responders. If you accidentally dial 911 on your cell phone (as these are the first numbers to call India), do not hang up. Stay on the phone to let the operator know that your call was accidental. If you hang up, they will trace your call and emergency services could arrive at your location. Multiple accidental calls may also result in fines being issued.