Third parties, such as agencies, realtors, or websites, may be a helpful place to start your search. For housing purposes, we deem a “third party” to be defined as any organization, free or paid, that aids you in the search for housing. OCHSS recommends that you remain very cautious when using a third party resource. OCHSS can provide advice on whether or not we deem a third party resource to be reliable, or if students have found success in the past using that resource. To learn more about the different types of third parties, read more below.
Realtors or real estate agents are people or companies that aid you in finding and securing a rented accommodation. Similar to those in Boston, there may be a fee associated with their service. It is recommended that if you choose to use a realtor to assist you in finding a rented apartment that you do so using extreme caution. Of course, we do not recommend sending sensitive and/or personal information to realtors that you have not met in person or are unfamiliar with.
Social Media, such as Facebook, can be a helpful way to find accommodations, but remaining extremely cautious is certainly recommended. We cannot stress it enough: we do not recommend sending sensitive and/or personal information to individuals that you have not met in person or are unfamiliar with. Additionally, remain cautious when looking at photos on social media of accommodations that you have not seen in person before. Safe and useful examples of Facebook usage to find accommodations could be (i) your university exchange coordinator has a Facebook group that includes all of the individuals in the program, or (ii) your employer inviting you to join a Facebook group that includes all interns or co-ops at the company. Additionally, Facebook groups run by trusted administrators that you recognize, such as the university you may be studying at, can be a great way to meet potential roommates or find accommodations.
Universities, while they may not always have on-campus housing, they may have an off-campus housing website (similar to the Northeastern OCHSS website), where the university may provide recommendations, trusted realtors, or trusted landlords in the area. Googling the name of the university (where you’re studying or the closest university to your workplace) paired with the phrase “off campus housing” could present several accommodation options as well.