Whether you find housing on- or off-campus, it is important to know that leases are legally binding.  Be cautious when signing leases and other contracts, and renters should read the details of the lease before signing.  The amount of rent cannot be changed during the lease, and the move-in and move-out dates are firm.  Renters who break the lease (move out before the lease ends) might find future landlords less willing to rent to them.  

Most housing requires a security deposit and the first month’s rent when a renter moves in.  Security deposits are given to the landlord to cover any damage to the rental property beyond ‘normal wear and tear’, and are typically around a month’s rent.  When the renter moves out, the security deposit is returned in full or in part depending on cleanliness and on any damage found.  It is highly recommended that renters take pictures or videos of housing before move-in and after move-out.  Common things to document are doors and walls (dings, dents, and chips), carpet (stains, age), appliances, cupboards and countertops, and anything else damageable.  Having this evidence during move-out can mitigate or prevent renters from losing their security deposit.  Financially, it is generally advisable to have three times the rent available at move-in.  This covers the security deposit and rent for the first and second month, all of which might be due before a paycheck arrives.

On-Campus Housing

On-campus housing options are available in either Lower Daniell Heights or Upper Daniell Heights and tend to fill quickly.  MTU’s Housing Services recommends adding yourself to the waiting list as soon as possible if you are interested in housing accommodations through the university.  The initial contract for all apartments is from August 15 – June 30 with the option to renew in February.  Renewed leases begin July 1 and end June 30.  All utilities are included in the rent, such as electricity, natural gas, water, trash, recycling, internet access, and streaming services.  Laundry facilities are available and require quarters for payment.  While shuttle service is available, these apartments are within walking distance to campus and there is plenty of parking for students with cars.  In the winter months, the university provides snow removal services such as plowed parking lots and shoveled sidewalks.

Some students already living in Daniell Heights may be in search of roommates (‘roommates’ does not mean you share the same bedroom).  New graduate students open to having roommates can connect through the Daniell Heights residents’ Facebook page or contact GSG.  If you decide to have roommates, it is important to understand that anyone named on an apartment lease is financially responsible for paying rent.  The contract holder should strongly consider using this template to have a roommate agreement in place.  Most Daniell Heights apartments have a no-pet policy, however, special permission is sometimes given.  Please reach out to Housing or Courtney Archambeau with any questions.

Off-Campus Housing

Off-campus housing options are also available.  This form of housing involves a bit more work to obtain, yet many graduate students find this a cheaper option.  Not all places in the Houghton area are walkable, so students without cars should check into proximity to campus, grocery stores, and public transportation.  In general, the city of Houghton and downtown Hancock are good places to search.  Further housing options likely require students to have a car and driver’s license.  Good places to start are the off-campus housing website run by Undergraduate Student Government, Craigslist, and Facebook Marketplace.

When looking for off-campus housing, it’s important to know what utilities, if any, are included in the rent.  In particular, electric/natural gas heating bills in the Houghton area can be large in the wintertime.  With an average of more than 5.5m of snow annually, graduate students should also ask if plowing/shoveling is included in the rent. Common things to ask about are parking for residents and for guests, utilities (see list above), internet, and access to a washer/dryer.  More things to consider are pet policies, subletting options, and shared leasing.  Additionally, some housing may have limitations on visitors and overnight guests, and some leases require renters to obtain renter’s insurance.

ElectricityUPPCOCreate an online account and transfer services at the address into your name.
GasSEMCOCreate an account online and transfer services at the address into your name.
WaterAppropriate City/Township municipalityThe city may (not) have an online payment system setup. A service fee may apply, generally ≤ 3%.
Garbage and/or RecyclingAppropriate City/Township municipalityCheck collection days for garbage and/or recycling. If applicable, specific garbage bags are available at Walmart, local gas stations, and other stores.
InternetCharter - SpectrumApply for a new connection online.
Renter’s InsuranceState Farm, Progressive, GEICO, AAA, and moreMay be required by lease agreement.
Expect annual premiums ~ $100-$400.
LaundryGateway Laundry
Wash Tub Laundromat
Load of Fun Laundry
Buy rolls of quarters at a bank or grocery store for use in machines.
Bring your own laundry soap.