Two Students walk by the VIU Residence

Renting to Students

Thank you for considering letting to VIU students. Students frequently look for accommodation throughout the semester and even during summer vacation. More options are very welcome - please feel free to tell your friends! Guidance for VIU staff renting to students is now available.

*** Meet VIU Housing, Landlord BC & Places4Students - 5th July 09.30 - FREE! ***

Our first recommendation is Places4Students. This reputable service specializes in rental listings for students. Since 2003, it has effectively helped satisfied landlords advertise over 79,000 properties. Benefits include:

  • We promote and refer students directly to the service
  • Excellent, live, toll-free customer support
  • Tracking feature to check how many students view your listing
  • Your rental is stored for future renewals
  • Descriptive listings include photos, amenity icons and floor plans
  • Automated mapping shows the distance to campus
  • Comprehensive landlord education guide

*** Meet VIU Housing, Landlord BC & Places4Students - 5th July 09.30 - FREE! ***

Special P4S Promotion!

In order to help landlords during these difficult economic times and generate more rental options for students living in Nanaimo, Places4Students rental property listing prices have been reduced with VIU – up to 25% discounted!

Also, when you post a rental property listing online, you receive 2 additional weeks for free!

There is currently an urgent need for accommodations to be available for students attending courses next semester. Many students are searching for rentals now, so more off-campus housing listings are needed immediately.

Can you help? Do you have rental vacancies or a room for rent? Don’t wait – this offer will expire on September 01, 2022!

Places4Students is a dedicated site for VIU Nanaimo student listings. It is our trusted partner in providing rental solutions for students. We always direct landlord inquiries here first as a reputable online student rental service.

Places4Students Landlord Registration


Happipad are a host/guest matching service expanding into Nanaimo. Grown out of a UBC tutor/student project, they are very professional and offer a wonderful solution to finding accommodation. Let them know we sent you along!

BC Residential Tenancy Branch

The British Columbia Residential Tenancy Branch is an excellent resource. Tenancy forms include standard tenancy agreements and forms to assist with disputes or end a tenancy.

Landlord BC

Landlord BC offer news, education, resources and advocacy services to their membership. Take their 'I Rent it Right' course and improve your knowledge of your rights and responsibilities as a professional landlord.

In Their Own Words - An Interview With A Landlord

It’s been fantastic to see the positive response to our campaign inviting Nanaimo to open up rooms for our students. With the last couple of years behind us, student numbers are up for September and the city will be welcoming new friends from all over the country - and all around the world! If you’re thinking of renting to our students, you’ll be interested to hear from someone with first-hand experience.

Nathaniel started renting rooms around five years ago and offers some great reflections and advice. We asked him firstly why he chose to rent to international students. ‘Because I'm an immigrant myself. It was difficult as a newcomer - people are looking for references and it’s difficult finding affordable housing. And by renting individual rooms, students don’t have to eat Ichiban noodles!’ He notes that students are a real boost to the local economy and feels the intercultural aspect to be important too. ‘You get an international awareness, culturally. I had a Nigerian student who stayed with me for a while - the food, the language … I get a big cultural awareness, renting to international students.’ Students are, of course, often younger and might be less experienced with keeping a home, for example, but Nathaniel advises that communication and trust are key. ‘Have a clear understanding with the student with the do’s and the don’ts. I have them make a list of duties for the kitchen and the bathroom - if you use something, you wash it and put it away right away. Be patient - they’re on a different routine. Sometimes there’s a bit of a language barrier but they’re not going to damage it as much as a regular renter.’ We asked what advice he could offer to those thinking of renting to students. Getting your paperwork and inspections done are important, of course, but building relationships, according to Nathaniel, is the heart of a great experience. ‘They need to have a good feeling about the landlord. I try to treat them as family and we all live together. I have five students and I encourage them to shop together and batch cook - it’s all about community.’

In 2021-22, over 1,400 international students from over 80 countries attended VIU. The university’s economic benefit to the region is estimated at around $625 million.

*** Meet VIU Housing, Landlord BC & Places4Students - 5th July 09.30 - FREE! ***

Contact Us

Please email or come to the Off-Campus Housing Drop-In for advice and more information.