617-892-4554 800 Boylston St Boston MA 02215

Student apartment Guide


Renting a Apartment in Boston MA student guide.

Boston Best Rentals   (617) 892 - 4554 Vincent Murphy

 apartments close to Berklee College Music and Boston Conservatory .

Vincent Murphy on Zillow

Real Estate in Boston   Rentals and sales of apartments and Condos Fenway Back bay South End Beacon Hill  Berklee College apartments 


Boston offers some of the most varied housing options anywhere; as a result, you have many excellent options.  Thus, it is important to focus in on some specifics in order to make your search as productive as possible.  Some of the key elements that you should resolve early on are as follows:  Remember in Boston MA  it takes 1 month deposit to take your unit off the market. This means have access to a bank or check . You will most likely need a co-signer so talk to your parents before you book a appointment .  

1. Your budget - For obvious reasons, this is probably the single most important factor.  The price of an apartment depends on a variety of factors - size, location, condition, and features, among others.  It is critical that you determine your budget at the outset.  As a general guideline:

Studios range from  $ 1,200  to  $1,700 per month

One bedrooms range from $1,600 to $2,200 per month

Two bedrooms range from $1,900 to $2,800 per month

Three bedrooms range from $2,200 to $3,500 per month

Vincent Murphy on Zillow

2. Neighborhoods of interest - Boston has dozens of neighborhoods, each with its own flavor and personality.  A number of factors can effect where you live: you might want to be close to work or school; maybe being close to public transportation is important; perhaps being close to great restaurants and cafes is key.  The good news is that Boston offers something for everyone 

Benefits of Using a Real Estate Agent                                        

Quite simply, it is very difficult to find the ideal apartment without a real estate agent.  The Boston market is large and complex and moves very quickly; trying to navigate it on your own is a formidable challenge.  Brokers live and breathe the market - most people rent an apartment every few years, while brokers are renting every day.  Thus, the experience and knowledge they bring is invaluable and impossible to get elsewhere.  In addition, many Boston apartments are rented exclusively through brokers.  This means that in order to rent such apartments, you must use a broker. Be prepaired to pay a realtor fee SEE BELOW
The Cost of Using a Real Estate Agent                                                
In most cases, when renting an apartment in Boston through a broker, you will have to pay a commission usually equal to one month’s rent.  In some cases, the landlord may cover part or all of this cost in order to attract tenants.
Be Loyal to Your Broker
Broker loyalty (i.e. only working with a single agent) is an important factor in finding a great apartment.  Most agents work incredibly hard to find you that perfect apartment.  They are motivated to do this in the hopes that, if they are successful, a transaction will be consummated at which time they will be compensated for their efforts.  Working with more than one broker at a time does not increase options or efficiencies.  In fact, this behavior tends to dilute the process, putting yourself at a competitive disadvantage versus other apartment renters; your broker will not be as motivated as those brokers whose renters are exclusively committed to renting an apartment.  If you are working with a broker and do not like him or her go on and find one your comfortable with. Here at Mantra RE we know the simple fact . Our customer comes first.   I am not saying the customer is always right but thats what we are for to make sure you get the best deal and not get ripped off.     

                                              A Few Points About Apartment Hunting

  • When to Start Looking - You should begin to look for an apartment as soon as you determine your budget and desired move in date.  Our office receives listings for September starting mid-January.  We have found that more often than not, clients are forced to choose a Boston apartment due to time restraints.  If we know what you're looking for early in the game, you have access to a larger number of apartment rentals.
  • When Looking at an Apartment - Be prepared to rent the apartment on the spot.  In the current market, great rental apartments rarely stay available for more than a couple of days.  If you are not prepared to rent an apartment, do not bother visiting any.  By the time you’ve decided to rent later on, there is a high likelihood that those same apartments won’t be available anymore                                                
  • Bring the following: present and former landlord information; pay stubs; personal reference contacts; and a checkbook.
  • Be prepared to put down a deposit of one month's rent as a sign of good faith to the landlord.  This is necessary to take an apartment off of the market.
  • Thoroughly check the apartment, the building, and the surrounding neighborhood.  The more thorough you are the greater you reduce the risk of a surprise.
  • Define who is responsible for utilities (heat, hot water, electricity, parking)                                                           
  • Ask about move in costs (first months rent, security deposit, last months rent, fee situation, key deposits, ect.)
  • Ask any other questions that are on your mind.

Rental Requirements
Requirements vary based on the owner and the building.  The following are a few general guidelines that apply in most cases:

  • You will need to show an income of at least three times the annual rent (unless you are relying on a cosigner).                                               
  • You must sign the agency disclosure document stating the relationship of the agent to client and the fee situation.
  • You must show a secure and stable employment history.                
  • You must have good credit history or a co-signer with the same.                                               
  • You must have a social security number or the correct international paperwork.                                               
  • You must show a good rental history.                                                 
  • All students must have a guarantor to co-sign their lease.  Some buildings do not allow undergraduate students to rent.

Applying for an Apartment and Signing a Lease
Once you have found an apartment, the next step is to apply and then sign the lease.  A few things to keep in mind:

  • Bring all paper work and money required including: employment and income verifications, pay-stubs, and at least one month's rent in form of a check or credit card.    
  • When filling out the application, make sure you keep in mind all the specific requirements that the landlord was looking for: your income, employment, living preferences, etc.  Your goal is to convince the landlord that you are the right tenant for him/her.  This document is your first impression, write neatly and present yourself as a viable candidate                                               
  • You will need to leave a deposit equal to one month's rent which is fully refundable in case your application is not accepted.                     
  • Once your application is accepted, you are bound to the apartment you are applying for.  If you decide to back out at this point, your deposit becomes forfeit to the landlord.   
  • It usually takes anywhere from an hour to a week to hear back from a landlord.  Once you have been accepted for your Boston apartment, you can now go ahead with the lease signing.                                               
  • Read the entire lease and make sure you understand key elements such as: rent amount, term of lease, utilities, maintenance, pets, garbage, 

Looking For & Choosing an Apartment A Finder’s Fee (finder’s fee, registration fee or commission) for helping a tenant to find an apartment may only be charged by a licensed real estate broker or salesperson , and only after the broker or agent has signed a contract that states the fee amount and the tenant’s requirements for an apartment. ]

The contract must also state that the broker or agent will provide a certain number of listings, which may not be less than five. Tenant Discrimination. Federal law prohibits a landlord from refusing to rent any apartment to a potential tenant because of race or color. State law prohibits a landlord from refusing to rent an apartment to a potential tenant because of dependence upon public or rental assistance. Except in owner-occupied two-family dwellings, the Massachusetts Fair Housing Law prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion, national origin, age, ancestry, military background or service, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, blindness, deafness, or the need of a guide dog. With some exceptions, no landlord can refuse to rent an apartment because the tenant has children.

  • (In particular, a landlord cannot simply refuse to rent to a tenant with children in order to comply with the prohibition against exposing children to lead.) Types of Tenancy A Tenant With a Lease is a tenant who has signed a written agreement with a landlord to rent a dwelling for a particular amount of time, usually one year. During that year, the landlord cannot raise monthly rent, and the landlord will not be able to end tenancy unless the tenant fails to maintain the terms of the lease. A Tenant-at-Will is a tenant who has not signed a lease, but who pays rent periodically (usually monthly). Although there is not always a written agreement in a tenancy-at-will, often the tenant is asked to sign a “Rental Agreement” or “Tenancy-at-Will” form. Such a form should include the amount of monthly rent at the time of the agreement and any additional basic rules for tenancy. A tenant-at-will may end his tenancy for any reason as long as he gives his landlord notice that he is planning to leave, either thirty days or one month before the next rent payment due date, whichever is longer.
  •  Likewise, a landlord may end the tenancy for any reason as long as he gives his tenant notice that the tenant must leave either thirty days or one month before the next rent payment due date, whichever is longer. The landlord can raise the rent of a tenant-at-will as long as he informs the tenant of the rent increase, either thirty days or one month before it takes effect, whichever is longer. If, however, the tenant receives a rent subsidy from the government, the landlord may not raise rent without governmental approval. A Rooming or Boarding House Tenant becomes a tenant-at-will after three months of tenancy and is then afforded all the rights of a tenant-at-will. 
  • Termination notices vary depending on the length of tenancy: Less than 30 days – no notice required. Between 30 and 90 days – 7 days notice required. Over 90 days – 30 days notice required. However, the landlord is only required to give 7 days notice if tenant is disorderly or bothersome to other tenants OR if tenant pays rent weekly. The Lease or Rental Agreement The Lease or Rental Agreement should include the name, address, and phone number of the owner and the person responsible for the apartment’s maintenance and repair; and the name, address, and phone number of the person to whom the tenant can give copies of formal notices, complaints, or court papers. If the tenant pays a security deposit, the lease or rental agreement must show the amount paid, and must explain the rights regarding security deposits (which we outline later in this chapter).
  •  The lease or rental agreement cannot require the tenant to give up any legal rights in return for renting the apartment. In particular, the terms of the lease or rental agreement cannot prevent the tenant from suing the landlord, reporting violations of the Sanitary Code, or joining a tenants’ union. A Copy of the Lease or Rental Agreement must be provided to the tenant by the landlord within 30 days of signing. A landlord who does not provide the lease within 30 days may be fined up to $300. Types of Leases
  • • Fixed-term lease: Typically runs for one year. May or may not be renewed after the period expires. • Self-extending lease: Automatically renews if neither the landlord nor tenant gives formal notice that there will be no renewal by a date specified in the lease. Prepayments are often required by landlords before a tenant moves in. The following rules regulate prepayments that a landlord can charge on residential property that is being leased for more than 100 days. Note that this law does not apply to property that is used for commercial reasons. The only prepayments that a landlord may lawfully charge are 
  • : 1. First Month’s Rent 2. Last Month’s Rent – to protect the landlord from a tenant residing in the apartment for his last month and then “taking off” without paying rent. This covers the last month’s rent payment, and need not be paid again at the end of tenancy. 3. Security Deposit – a deposit to a landlord no greater than one month’s rent, intended to ensure that conditions of the lease will be met and that the cost of damage to the apartment will be covered. 4. Installation Costs for Lock & Key The laws about last month’s rent and security deposits are the most detailed and complex, so let’s look more closely at these: Last Month’s Rent 
  • • Last month’s rent is a prepayment for the last month of tenancy. A security deposit cannot be used as the last month’s rent and vice versa. 
  • • The amount of the last month’s rent cannot be greater than one month’s rent. If a landlord later raises the rent, he can require his tenant to increase the amount of the last month’s rent to equal the new rent. • A landlord is required to deposit the last month’s rent in a Massachusetts bank and must give his tenant a receipt for the deposit within 30 days. • A tenant is entitled to at most 5% interest (and at least the amount of interest given by the bank) on the last month’s rent, payable at each year on the anniversary date of tenancy. This interest is to accrue and be paid even if the tenancy lasts less than one year, and must be paid within 30 days of the termination of tenancy