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? Refer to our Roommates page to for some helpful tips.
- Do I have a co-signor?
- Do I need furniture?
STEP 2: Find an Apartment
- Attend an Apartment Fair and/or go to a Living Off Campus Session.
- Find out when to start looking for an apartment in Boston using the off-campus-timeline.
- Sublet searches generally start in November for spring and March for summer.
- Contact our office for advice on realtors and property managers.
- Use our Housing Database to search for 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.
- Going outside of Boston for co-op? Check out our Beyond Boston Housing and Resources.
- Use the City of Boston – Guide to Renting site for additional information.
STEP 3: Understand Your Lease
- Use our Lease Genius and review your lease! Submit an inquiry if you have questions!
- Keep a copy of the following for your records if applicable (request if not given):
- Lease and all addendum
- Application form
- Fee disclosure form
- Due dates for payments
- Do not complete the application or pay an application fee until you have seen and agree to the lease, all addenda, and applications clauses.
- 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 find another apartment.
- Complete the application and co-signer form once everything is reviewed and meets your expectations. 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 Moving In guide. Many leases start on September 1st, when there are special move-in instructions for Fenway and Mission Hill.
- Before you unpack, take pictures of the condition of your apartment. Send copies of the pictures and a completed Apartment Condition Checklist to your landlord within 15 days.
- Use our good neighbor tips to keep your neighborhood safe, clean, and enjoyable for all.