A record number of student rentals currently sit vacant -- but that doesn't mean nobody is paying the rent.
A majority of students signed their lease before the pandemic began and now they're forced to continue paying for a rental unit that they do not live in.
Mike Milovick is a realtor and the owner of several student rental units in Waterloo Region.
He tells Kitchener Today with Brian Bourke on 570 NEWS that in most cases, students will not be able to get out of their lease agreement prematurely.
"Places that were rented, you know, in November, December, January or February, for either May or September, where the leases are actually performing, but the tenant is not there. The messaging from the universities are very clear -- students are expected to honour their financial commitments."
Milovick says a small percentage of landords are facing a unique challenge.
"With international students, those are the more challenging situations for landlords that have catered to that group in the sense that they don't have a local parental guarantor, so they are not as easy to track down -- so to speak."
He says landlords who still have student units they need to rent may just change their target audience.
"A lot of the new student housing that's been built in the last five years has been built bachelor one bedroom or two bedroom units. Those operators can easily turn their nice buildings and gear towards working professionals, couples and small families."
He says students who are stuck in their leases are now trying to sublet their units to try and save some money.