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House Hunting

If you’ve decided to live off-campus rather than living in residence on-campus, you may be wondering where to begin your search. Wherever you decide to live, remember that it will be your home for the next eight to twelve months or longer. Shop around. Be a little picky. You don’t have to settle for cramped or low-quality housing. Take the time to look around and find something that makes you feel comfortable and “at home”.


The Off-Campus Resource Centre lists various types of accommodations, ranging from private bachelor apartments to rooms in shared places with the landlord or other students.


When to Start

While landlords advertise year-round, there are particular times of the year when certain types of housing are advertised in greater numbers. For instance, if you’re looking for a student house with a group of friends (requiring five or more bedrooms), these larger homes are often listed in December and January for May occupancy. However, keep in mind that there are many more that become available later in the year, so don’t worry if you haven’t made a decision before the end of the school year and don’t feel pressured to sign a lease for the first house you see.

Remember that you are financially responsible for the rent (and the state of repair) while you are subletting if you choose to do so!  If you’re looking for someone to sublet your room, or if you’re a student looking for a place to stay for the spring and summer months, sublets usually begin to be advertised in early March and continue to be listed through the spring and summer. Many sublets can be viewed or listed on our off-campus housing website, offcampus.mcmaster.ca. You should also peruse the “McMaster Student Housing Postboard” on Facebook.

Apartments and rooms in shared accommodations are listed consistently throughout the year, but if you’re looking for something on your own such as a “bachelor” or one bedroom apartment then you’ll want to start looking early. There are lots available, but they can be taken quickly by other individuals seeking similar accommodations.