FAQs

Prospective residents
Meal plan: Totem Park, Place Vanier & Orchard Commons
Current residents
Returning residents
Subletting

Prospective undergraduate residents

When can I apply to live in residence?
New students usually apply to live in residence at the end of the UBC Admissions process in February. Student Housing and Hospitality Services also accepts applications directly through the Online Service Centre or print an application form. See Important Dates to confirm the deadline to apply.
Who is eligible to live in residence?
Who gets priority to live in residence?
We set aside rooms first for students who qualify for the First Year Guarantee and Priority Access.

How are residence offers sent?
All residence offers are sent by email.
What if I don’t respond to the offer by the deadline?
Please contact Student Housing and Hospitality Services immediately.
What if I’m unable to pay a deposit?
Please contact Student Housing and Hospitality Services immediately.
What if I don’t want to live in the area I’m offered?
If you want to live in residence, we recommend you accept the offer. If the offer is declined, you will not receive another one. If you are unhappy with your room, you may apply for a room transfer in mid-September. Transfers are considered on a case-by-case basis and not guaranteed.
How much does it cost to live in residence?
Fees vary by residence and room type.
How can I pay fees?
There are a few ways. See Fees & Payments to find an option that works best for you.
How can I check my account balance?
Use the Online Service Centre. When a payment is received, a credit will appear on your account.
Can someone else call the main office on my behalf to ask about my application or fees?

We will only release this information if you provided consent to release it on your application form. See how we value privacy.

Do I have to buy a meal plan?
Students who live at Place Vanier, Totem Park and Orchard Commons must purchase the Residence Meal Plan. New students assigned to other residences can purchase an optional Savings Plus Meal Plan.
Can I bring my car?
Parking fees are extra. Spots are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
Can first year students request a roommate?
Yes. Roommate group requests are part of the application process.
Can I contact my roommate (s) before moving in?
Yes, if there’s consent. Use the Online Service Centre to consent to release your information to each other. Roommates usually contact each other in mid-August.
When can I move into residence?
You will receive specific move in details (date/time) by email before your move in date. It’s important you arrive at the time indicated to ensure a smooth experience for everyone.
Can I move in early?
Early arrivals are typically not permitted. Check eligibility. 

Meal Plan: Totem Park, Place Vanier & Orchard Commons

Is it mandatory?
All students assigned to Place VanierTotem Park and Orchard Commons are required to purchase a meal plan, including Vantage College international students.
How much does it cost?
The meal plan costs $5,495.28 for the Winter Session Contract. See the Residence Meal Plan page for a breakdown of meal plan fees.
How do I pay?
There are a few different acceptable payment types.
When do I pay?
Fees are accepted in three instalments: when you accept the offer, late September, and early January.

Where can I use my card?
At more than 45 UBC Food Services locations and campus partner locations.
What if my card is lost or stolen?
Use the Online Service Centre to freeze your meal plan account. File a report and get a new card from the UBC Carding Office. Then reactivate your account.
What happens when there’s no money left on my card?
As long as your account is paid in full, you can add Flex Dollars using the Online Service Centre or by visiting Student Housing and Hospitality Services.

What if I have money left on my card at the end of the term?
There are a few options, including transferring the balance to another meal plan, putting it on a gift card, or applying for a refund.
Can I cancel my meal plan?
Read your Residence Contract.
What about meal plans for other residents?
Students in other residences and commuter students can purchase a Savings Plus Meal Plan or UBCcard Plan for added convenience and savings at campus eateries. These are optional.
My question is not here. Who can I contact?

Current residents

What if someone calls the main office to get in touch with me?
To comply with privacy law, we don’t release information about any residents unless consent is provided.
Who do I contact about lost or stolen keys?
Visit the Front Desk immediately to file a report.
What if residence property needs maintenance?
Use the Online Service Centre to send a maintenance request. Do not attempt to fix residence property on your own.
Does UBC cover damages to my personal property?
No. UBC’s insurance coverage is for the physical structure of buildings (walls, roof, flooring) and components (fridges, stoves) only. The university is not responsible for lost, stolen or damaged personal property, regardless of the cause. We recommend that all personal belongings be covered by private insurance. Your family plan may cover you. BCAA is also an option.
Can I switch rooms with someone?
What if there is a conflict within residence?
All residents must adhere to Residence Standards. Conflicts or breaches of Residence Standards are investigated by Residence Life staff.
What happens during the winter break?
Place Vanier and Totem Park residents are not permitted to stay in their rooms during the winter holiday break. Students in other residences are permitted to stay, however, campus services are limited.
When is the deadline to move out of residence?
Read your Residence Contract. There are no exceptions.
Where can I dispose of garbage and unwanted items when I move out?
All residents must move out sustainably. Each residence has a sorting area for food scraps, donations, recyclables, e-waste and trash.
Are there fees when moving out?
Students face assessments if there’s any damage to residence property or required cleaning was not completed to our satisfaction.
What is the policy for cancelling a Residence Contract?
After moving in: These policies are clearly defined in your Residence Contract. Cancellation must be initiated using the Online Service Centre.

Before moving in: See Cancellations & Refunds.

Returning & graduate residents

How are rooms assigned in Winter Session for students who don't get priority?
We use a random computer system in Winter Session Residences. All eligible applications are treated equally.
When is the application deadline?
Around Febuary 1. See important dates to confirm.
What happens after I apply?
Residence offers are sent by email in mid-February. Those selected will receive a deadline to accept the offer and pay a deposit. All others will be put on a waitlist.
What are my chances of receiving a Winter Session Residence offer?
Less than 10 per cent of returning students who apply get an offer.
How do I increase my chances of getting into residence?
Apply to live in Year Round Residence. Once accepted, you will be eligible for a new contract each year until you finish your studies at UBC or choose to move out. Year Round residents are often eligible to sublet.
What about roommate requests?
After receiving a residence offer, go online to update your application preferences and submit a roommate grouping request.
What if I change my mind about living in residence?
Before moving in, see Cancellations & Refunds. After moving in, refer to your Residence Contract.
Are sublets allowed?
Sublets are typically only approved for students who have a Year Round Contract and usually in the summer.

Subletting FAQs

Do I need permission to sublet?
Yes. Residents do not have the automatic right to sublet their accommodation. Sublets are permitted only in certain residences, and only when the resident has satisfied all applicable requirements. Submitting an application does not guarantee that the request will be approved.
Who am I able to sublet my unit to?
The sublessee must meet at least one of the following requirements:

  • A current UBC student (this includes UBC-O students) who will be registered in credit courses or in a graduate program at UBC, during the sublet term.
  • A UBC student employed by a UBC department in a research capacity. Proof of employment is required. A copy of the appointment notice is sufficient.
  • A student from another university performing research directed by a UBC department. Proof of UBC sponsorship and student status is required. Please attach proof of UBC employment of sponsorship.
  • If the sublet request is for the summer session (May-August), the sublessee was registered as a full-time UBC student in the immediately-preceding session (i.e. Term 2 of the Winter Session).

The sublessee must also meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be in good standing with SHHS (i.e. no current evictions or denial of visiting privileges on file and in good financial standing).
  • Be the same gender as the resident in shared units (not applicable to studio or one-bedroom units).
  • Meet the age requirements applicable to your resident.
When am I able to sublet my unit?
Residents may sublet their unit during the months of May – August. Sublets during winter session may be considered in situations in which the university has required the student to leave campus to complete their degree requirements (e.g. Co-op program).
Which Residence areas are able to sublet their unit?
Residents living in Marine Drive, Thunderbird, Ponderosa Commons, Iona House and Fraser Hall can apply to sublet their room.
What is the shortest amount of time I can sublet for?
Thirty (30) days. Short term periods (less than a month) are not usually approved.
How far in advance do I need to submit my sublet application form?
You should apply at least five days before the requested sublet start date.
When am I able to sublet my unit?
Residents may sublet their unit during the months of May – August. Sublets during winter session may be considered in situations in which the university has required the student to leave campus to complete their degree requirements (e.g. Co-op program).
I just received my housing offer and it is less than 30 days before I will be leaving town. What should I do?
Turn in your form as soon as you possibly can. You may not receive a response from the RLM prior to your departure, but we will contact you as soon as possible.
How long does it take approximately for my form to be processed once I submit it?
The process of reviewing forms for approval takes between two to four weeks.
Can Student Housing & Hospitality Services help me to find a sublessee?
Residents can use our sublet forum to connect with others interesting in subletting.
Who pays for rent while I am subletting my residence unit?
You remain fully responsible under your residence contract during the sublet, which includes paying rent and other related feeds on time during the sublet term.
I am leaving campus before my sublessee arrives. How can they get the keys to my unit?
You may drop off your unit keys at the Front Desk before you leave campus and explain that they are for your sublessee. They will be placed in an envelope with the sublessee’s name on it and left in your mailbox. When your sublessee arrives they must provide the Front Desk photo ID in order to receive their envelope with the keys.
Can my sublessee receive mail while they are staying in my residence unit?
Yes. All registered sublessees are eligible to receive mail to your mailbox during their stay.  You are responsible for providing them the mailbox key.
What happens if my sublessee loses the key to my unit?
Since your sublessee will be registered in our system, the Front Desk will be able to provide them with a new key.  A charge for the replacement key will be posted to your Housing account as the contract holder of the unit.
What happens if my sublessee violates the UBC Student Housing & Hospitality Services Residence Agreement?
As the contract holder, you remain responsible for the actions of your sublessee.  If your sublessee violates our Standards Agreement, you may face the consequences of their actions.