Looking for an apartment? Wondering what neighborhood to live in? Looking for a roommate? We can help you answer these questions and navigate the process of moving off-campus and all the decisions that come with your off-campus living experience. Use these steps as your guide.
Watch our quick Apartment Search video for tips & tricks!
STEP 1: Ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my budget? How much do I need to pay upfront? View rental costs.
- What size apartment do I want? (studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom or more)
- How long do I want to live there?
- What neighborhood do I want to live in?
- Do I want to live with roommates? Use the Roommate Selection Worksheet and Good Roommate Doc to find the best roommates for you!
- Do I have a co-signor?
- Do I need furniture?
STEP 2: Find an Apartment
- Attend the Apartment Fair, go to a Living Off Campus Session, and watch our Apartment Search video.
- Find out when to start looking for an apartment in Boston using the off-campus-timeline.
- Sublet searches start in November for spring and March for summer.
- Contact Off Campus Housing and Support Services for advice on realtors and property managers.
- Going outside of Boston for co-op? Check out our Beyond Boston Housing and Resources.
- Use our Housing Database to search available apartments in the area and to find roommates.
- Contact a trusted realtor listed on our Housing Database.
- Visit several apartments in person with a realtor until you find one you like. Use the Apartment Hunting Checklist as your guide.
- Tell the realtor which apartment you want and ask about the next steps.
STEP 3: Understand Your Lease
- Request fee disclosure form and due dates for payments.
- Request a copy of the application and lease (with addendum) for review. Do not complete the application or pay an application fee until you have seen and agree to the lease, all addenda, and applications clauses.
- Read the lease and ask questions.
- Send the lease and addendum to OCHSS for a Lease Genius review.
- Do not sign the lease until you have fully read and understood it. If you do not agree to the clauses in the lease, ask for revisions or do not sign it and find another apartment.
- Complete the application and co-signer form. Take note of any application fees and/or credit check fees you are asked to pay, and any non-refundable clauses.
- Make sure all important information is included in the final completed lease.
- All tenants and the landlord sign the lease.
- Pay deposits (first, last, security & realtor/broker fee) and obtain receipts.
- Receive fully executed lease (not just a sample) signed by all tenants and the landlord within 30 days.
STEP 4: Prepare for Your Move
- Review our Move-In step-by-step guide. Many leases start on September 1st, when there are special move-in instructions for Fenway and Mission Hill on September 1st.
- Before you unpack, take pictures of the condition of your apartment. Send copies of the pictures and a completed Apartment Condition Statement to your landlord within 15 days.
- Watch our Is Your Apartment Up to Code? video to ensure your apartment is safe.
- Use our good neighbor tips to keep your neighborhood safe, clean and enjoyable for all.
Download these PDFs and use them while you are looking for an apartment: