Places to Call Home

There's No Place Like Home... Or Is There?

The same process of elimination that occurs when students are picking their program of choice, should also occur when they are deciding where they would like to live and what situation is ideal in order to meet their goals.

Here are some questions that should be considered before a decision is made:

  • What type of environment will contribute to my academic success?
  • What do I want to get out of my time at Mohawk?
  • What kind of experiences do I need to make my time here worthwhile and meaningful?
  • How much debt am I willing to take on while at school?
  • At what point does my experience become more important than money?

When assessing housing options, the following criteria can be used to help make the right choice: finances, time and personal considerations.

Living at Home

Finances Time Personal
  • The cheapest option if you reside in the Hamilton area.
  • Guardian(s) may help support you by allowing you to live at home for free.
  • Will guardian(s) also cover food costs?
  • If you decide to drive to school, make sure you’re aware of the costs of vehicle costs and Mohawk’s parking rates.
  • Check out our Ways To Save page to see what transportation tips you can take advantage of!
  • No time spent looking for housing.
  • Enjoy those home cooked meals! This means less work for you!
  • How long is the commute? Will this impact extra-circular and study time?
  • Communication is needed between student and guardian(s) to verify expectations and compromise.
  • Less stress due to decreased expenses.
  • May feel isolated if not experiencing “on campus life”. Join the Mohawk Off Campus Society to stay involved!


Living On Campus

Finances Time Personal
  • Check the costs for residence + meal plan (opens new window).
  • Your room comes fully furnished (opens new window)! Furniture and moving costs decrease.
  • You only pay for the 8-month academic year and avoid a 12-month lease.
  • Can eliminate transportation costs, as you are right in the heart of all the action! Plus, you have a free ride on HSR buses, covered by your tuition!
  • Close in proximity to: classrooms, libraries, sports and entertainment.
  • More time spent studying and experiencing college life!
  • May need to work part time to cover additional expenses.
  • Residence staff is there for support!
  • Best way to meet friends, step outside of your comfort zone and partake in events!
  • Fill out "Profile Questions" to browse, chat and pick a roommate. If you do not select a roommate, rez staff picks one for you based on your profile questions.
  • Meals are supplied through the meal plan- dietary restrictions need to be considered.


Renting Off Campus 

Finances Time Personal
  • Responsible for monthly rent, utilities, renter's insurance, food etc.
  • If not furnished, responsible for buying furniture and renting a truck for move in/out.
  • Oftentimes, landlords offer 12 month leases, even if students are not living on location over the summer. Either pay for rent, or arrange a summer sublet. Sublets are a great way to save extra cash!
  • Transportation costs can be free if you take advantage of HSR transit, covered by your tuition.
  • Commuting time to school?
  • Responsibilities to cook and clean up after yourself.
  • Stressed about the time that will be spent visiting suitable housing? Search the Off-Campus Housing listings.
  • May need to work part-time to cover additional expenses.
  • Great way to build independence!
  • Responsibility of mediating the needs of others if you have roommates and disciplining yourself (to attend class, cook for yourself etc).
  • Ability to pick your own roommate(s).
  • Check out the Mohawk Off Campus Society to stay involved!

All these options have attributes that can be helpful and detrimental to a student’s success. Know what you are capable of and pick the option that best meets your needs at the time. Who knows, something you may choose in first year may not be the case in second year!

… Oh the places you’ll go!

 Frequently Asked Questions (for living on your own)

What is subletting?

Subletting involves a tenant with a lease (usually 12 months in length) moving out temporarily of the rental unit, and allowing another person to move in for a specific period of time (typically a 4-month term over the summer months). Subletting is a good way to save money for the months that you are not attending school and are not planning on living in your rental. Prior to making the decision to get a sublet for the unit you are renting, you must connect with your landlord and get permission to do so.

When I get a sublet, do I need a lease agreement with them as well?

Ensure you have a lease agreement between you and your new sublet. This agreement must include:

  •  Your signature,
  • The sublet’s signature
  • Your landlord’s signature.
  • It is also good practice to attach your original rental agreement with your landlord so your sublet knows what he/she is responsible for and what is included in the rent.

When I get a sublet, does the sublet pay rent directly to my landlord?

You become the landlord to your sublet. Normally, this means that you still pay your landlord and your sublet pays you. If this is too much of a hassle for you, check with your landlord to see if they are okay with your sublet paying them directly. If your landlord agrees to this process, ensure it is included in the lease agreement you have with your sublet, and include the landlord’s signature.

What if I cannot pay my rent?

If you cannot pay your rent for whatever reason, it is recommended that you connect with the landlord immediately to discuss the situation. Perhaps the landlord can provide you with some leeway for the week you are late on your rent payment if you are struggling. If no resolution is made, refer to the rental agreement you signed. It should state the course of action for missed and/or late payments.

Does a landlord have to give me receipts when I pay for rent?

A landlord has to give a tenant receipts for rent or any payment or deposit if the tenant asks for them. The landlord cannot charge for receipts. Keep these receipts stored somewhere safe, as this is another form of proof that you paid your landlord in case any issues arise.

What information should be included on my rental receipts?

The following will be included:

  • The address of the rental unit
  • The name of the tenant
  • The amount and date for each payment and what it was for (e.g. March rent, April rent etc.)
  • The name of the landlord
  • The signature of the landlord or the landlord’s agent

Will a landlord check my credit report before I am able to sign a lease agreement?

Oftentimes, but not always, a landlord will ask to do a credit check on a potential tenant. A credit check will show all of the tenant’s credit history, including payments made on time and those that have been late. A landlord does a credit check to protect themselves from renting to potentially stressful tenants. If a landlord sees that a tenant rarely makes payments on time, they will likely not rent to them.

For those tenants that do not have credit yet (i.e. new college students that may have never paid utilities and phone bills on their own and don’t have a credit card), you may be required to get a guarantor’s letter from a parent guardian or close friend stating that the guarantor will assume all responsibility if you fail to make the arranged payments.

Find out more on how credit reports work.