Realtors & Property Owners
Area realtors, property owners, management companies, and Northeastern University share the common goal of making affordable, quality housing opportunities available to Northeastern students. To promote this goal, Off Campus Engagement and Support (OCES) provides the service of our Online Housing Database. Along with OCES at Northeastern, realtors, property owners, and management companies agree to the conditions outlined below for participation in Northeastern University programs, including but not limited to the Off Campus Housing Database and the Off Campus Apartment Fair.
Off Campus Housing Database
Are you a realtor, property manager, or property owner and interested in listing your property on the Northeastern Online Housing Database? Please register as a Property Lister on our Apartment Search Database here.
- Click on Sign Up on the upper right corner to create your account.
- Select Property Managers and fill out the information required.
- There will be a confirmation link sent to the email you included. Follow the link, and your account will be all set.
- Go back to the site and login using your new credentials.
Once you have a registered account for property listings, you will be able to post your listing through the Post/Manage Listings tab. Here, you can list unit descriptions and contact information. The website manager may also help you with posting. For any technical questions, contact Apartments.com at (877) 895-1234.
As a subscriber of the Northeastern Off Campus Housing Database, you are agreeing the OCES Database Program Policy Statement and Expectations of Good Practice outlined below.
OCES Database Program Policy Statement
By working with and housing Northeastern University students, realtors, property owners, and property managers are to comply with applicable local, state, and federal laws, including municipal housing maintenance codes and all local rental registration and licensing requirements. Northeastern University, in its sole discretion, may refuse participation in programs, or may de-list any realtor, property owner, or property manager when the University becomes aware of issues that may adversely impact students including, but not limited to, significant or repeated code violations, or repeated unresolved complaints.
Off Campus Engagement and Support at Northeastern offers several programs to realtors, property owners, and property managers including, but not limited to, the Off Campus Housing Database and Off Campus Apartment Fair. Northeastern, in its sole discretion, may refuse to allow realtors, property owners, or property managers to take part in such University Programs, or may de-list already participating properties:
- When there has been substantial or multiple unresolved tenant complaints filed with Off Campus Engagement and Support within the previous twelve-month period.
- When there is a suspected material violation of a state or federal law, such as illegal discrimination of a tenant or perspective tenant (M.G.L.c. 151B).
- When there is misrepresentation(s) by the realtor/property owner/management company to a prospective tenant, tenant, or University.
- When their properties are included on the City of Boston Problem Properties List.
- In circumstances in which the actions or failure of a realtor, property owner, or property manager may adversely impact students.
The Realtor/Property Owner/Property Manager who is refused participation in University Programs or is de-listed under the provisions of this program policy shall not be permitted to participate in any University Program for a period of 6 months (or such longer period if the University determines that a longer period is appropriate), and then only if the Realtor/Property Owner/Property Manager satisfies the University that the problems with tenant complaints and regulatory services issues have been resolved and the relationship with the University students has improved.
Expectations of Good Practice
Realtors/Property Owners/Property Managers are expected to abide by the following laws, ordinances and expectations, in addition to all applicable local, state, and federal laws.
Deposits (M.G.L.c. 186, §15B (1)(b))
- A lessor cannot charge more than first month’s rent, last month’s rent, security deposit equal to the first month’s rent, and a key fee/deposit.
- This only applies to lessors, not other entities, including realtors/brokers.
- Realtors/brokers should not ask for a deposit before a lease is reviewed, understood, and agreed to.
- Realtors/brokers should clearly state the application fee and all other deposit fees on the fee disclosure/schedule.
- OCES will educate students on the following:
- Read the lease and agree to it and all terms before completing the application and paying the application fee and any deposits or other fees (first, last, Security, broker fee, key fee).
- Read all application terms and understand the fee payment schedule to know what you are paying and what is refundable and not refundable.
- All aspects of the lease and addendum must be in compliance with city, state, and federal law.
- Leases are to include the following:
- Amount of rent
- Tenancy termination date
- Names of those allowed to live in the apartment
- Amount of the security deposit (if received)
- Name, address, and phone number of the landlord or person responsible for maintaining the property, as well as the person authorized to receive notices and court papers.
- Illegal clauses in the lease and/or addendum are to be removed, as they are unlawful and unenforceable. Any that remain are to be brought to the attention of the Realtor/Property Owner/Property Manager to be removed.
- M.G.L.c. 186 §15D – “A lessor who has agreed orally to execute a lease and obtains the signature of the lessee shall, within thirty days thereafter, deliver a copy of said lease to the lessee, duly signed and executed by said lessor.”
Security Deposit (M.G.L.c. 186, §15B)
- Security deposits should not exceed the amount of one month’s rent.
- Any lessor who accepts a security deposit from a tenant or prospective tenant, upon receipt of security deposit or within ten (10) days after commencement of the tenancy, whichever is later, furnish to the tenant a written statement of the present condition of the premises to be leased or rented.
- Upon receiving a security deposit, the Owner/Property Manager must give the tenant a receipt stating the following:
- The amount of the security deposit
- The name of the lessor receiving it
- The date on which it is received
- A description of the premises being rented
- Within thirty (30) days of receiving the security deposit, a landlord/property manager must give the tenant a second receipt containing the following information:
- The name and location of the bank where the money is being held
- The account number
- The amount of the deposit
- If lessor holds the security deposit for a period of one year or longer, interest must be paid at a rate of five per cent (5%) per year, or other such lesser amount of interest that has been received from the bank where the deposit has been held.
- The lessor shall, within thirty (30) days after the termination of occupancy as specified in the valid written lease agreement, return to the tenant the security deposit or any balance thereof; provided, however, that the lessor may deduct from such security deposit for the following allowable deductions: unpaid rent or damage caused by the tenants.
- For any deductions made, the Owner/Property Manager must return the balance along with a statement that includes an itemized listing of the deductions with supporting documentation and receipts.
Contact Information (M.G.L.c. 143, §3S)
- With the exception of owner-occupied rentals, all dwellings rented for residential use are required by law to post the name, address, and telephone number of either the landlord or property manager in a visible interior location.
- If the landlord is a realty trust of partnership, the name, address, and telephone number of the managing trustee or partner shall be posted.
- If the landlord is a corporation, the name, address, and telephone number of the president of the corporation shall be posted.
- Where the landlord employs a manager or agent who does not reside in such dwelling, such manager or agent’s name, address, and telephone number shall be included in the notice
Tenants’ Right to Privacy (M.G.L.c. 186 §15B)
- Landlords/property managers must respect tenants’ right to privacy and may not enter their unit without providing the tenants with reasonable notice and may only enter during reasonable hours to make repairs, improvements, or to show the property to prospective tenants or purchasers.
- Landlords/property managers can enter units without notice only in situations where there is a genuine emergency that threatens life or property, if the premises appears to have been abandoned by the lessee, or in accordance with a court order.
Rental Delivery Standards
- Property owners/agents shall deliver rental units to new tenants in a clean, safe condition, in compliance with the provisions of CBC 9-1.3, CBC 9-1.4, the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code, 105 CMR 410, and with all other applicable codes and ordinances.
- At a minimum, rental units, upon delivery, shall:
- Be clean and sanitary
- Have the owner’s information posted inside
- Be equipped with working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Be free of conditions which may endanger or materially impair the health and safety and well-being of an occupant or the general public as set forth in 105 CMF 410.750.
- Owners must provide the occupants and city officials with appropriate contact information.
- Properties must be registered for inspection per City of Boston Code (CBC), Section 9-1.3
- Repairs are to be made within a reasonable time and within the required timeframe outlined in the state Sanitary Code (105 CMR 410).
Over-capacity, No More Than 4 Ordinance
- Boston’s zoning code requirement, which limits the number of unrelated individuals that share an apartment to four (4).
- Realtors are not to enable overcrowding in violation of the law.
- Realtors/property Owners/Management Companies are to advise Off Campus Housing and Support Services if Northeastern student tenants violate this ordinance.
Act Honestly and Ethically
Professional Standards of Practice (254 CMR 3.00): Realtors, real estate brokers and salesmen must adhere to the provisions of 254 CMR 3.00, including the following:
- (4) Display of License – Each broker and salesperson shall display a copy of their license in a conspicuous location that is readily observable to the general public.
- Agents/brokers will be professionally licensed and work for only one brokerage firm with a physical office location and will provide credentials upon request.
- (9) Advertising – A broker shall not advertise in any way that is false or misleading.
- All properties listed on the database and shown to prospective tenants are to be factually accurate, available and comply with zoning codes.
- (11) Conflict of Interests – A broker or salesperson must act honestly and ethically and in the best interests of their client at all times.
- (14) Additional Grounds For Discipline
- Realtors/Property Owners/Property Managers shall not discriminate against a prospective tenant based on any of the following “protected classes” (M.G.L.c. 151B):
- Physical or mental disability or handicap
- Religion or creed
- Age (except minors)
- National origin
- Sexual orientation
- Gender Identity
- Familial status (including families with children and pregnant women)
- Genetic information
- Marital status
- Veteran status and or member of armed services
- Source of income, such as public assistance, including Section 8
Additional Accountability Expectations
Realtors/Property Owners/Property Managers are to provide and adhere to the following when listing properties on the Northeastern Off Campus Housing Database:
- Read, understand and follow OCES Database Program Policy Statement and Expectations of Good Practice
- Read, understand and follow the Boston Town & Gown Association (BTGA) Service Expectations and Standards of Good Practice.
- Provide copies of all application, co-signer, fee schedule, lease, and other tenancy sample forms to Off Campus Engagement and Support.
- Do not use Northeastern University name, seal, or other marks on Facebook or other social media groups, or for any other purpose.
- Provide honest and timely responses to questions.
- Act with integrity and do not misrepresent demand for property or time constraints to sign a lease for a particular property.
- Show only actual and available properties.
- Upon request, disclose to potential tenants the name of the landlord and/or property manager of any property that is being considered by the potential tenants.
- Provide copies of application, co-signer, fee schedule, lease, and other tenancy forms to a prospective tenant prior to application completion, signatures and payments made by the prospective tenant.
- Employ reasonable resigning fees and dates. Any deadline for resigning should be no earlier than the date that is eight (8) months prior to lease expiration.
Participation Review & Student Education
To maintain accountability, the following will be performed by OCES:
- Review of the following upon participation in the Off Campus Housing Database and annually thereafter:
- Better Business Bureau rating
- All property resources listed below.
- Documented student issues and complaints
- Track problem properties, landlords, property managers and realtors
- Educate students on property resources:
- Boston Assessing
- RentSmart Boston
- MySmart Renter
- Problem Properties in Boston
- OCES’s Problem Property List
- Inspectional Services Department
- Refuse participation in University Programs or de-list from the Off Campus Housing Database when the University becomes aware of issues that may adversely impact students including, but not limited to, significant or repeated code violations, or repeated unresolved complaints. See OCES Database Program Policy Statement above.
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