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Off Campus Student Services

Guidelines

So, you're looking for an apartment but don't know where to start? Well, we've done some of the thinking for you. Here's a handy checklist of things you should consider when looking for an apartment. Take this with you when you visit apartments, and you'll have an easy way to remember all the little details you might want to consider when looking for off-campus living arrangements.

Before You Rent

  • Always inspect the actual apartment you will be renting!
  • Consider your budget (rent, utilities, food, parking, etc.)
  • Do not sign a lease for an apartment under construction unless you understand the risks that construction may not be complete when you move in.
  • Is the lease a “tenant-at-will” lease which permits both you and the landlord to terminate the lease with 30 days' notice?
  • Does furniture come with the apartment? If not, can you afford to furnish it?
  • Does the refrigerator come with the apartment (Boston landlords are not required to provide a refrigerator)?
  • Consider completing a roommate contract before moving in, to avoid unnecessary conflicts.

Moving In

  • Do not move into an apartment if it is in unacceptable condition. Once you “take possession” of an apartment, it will be difficult to resolve this issue.
  • Complete an Apartment Condition Checklist, verifying the condition of the apartment.
  • Arrange for utilities before moving in (utility information available in Off-Campus Student Handbook).

Eviction

  • Owner may evict for violation of terms of lease, destruction of property beyond normal wear and tear or nonpayment of rent.
  • The landlord must give written notice of 14 days for nonpayment of rent or of seven days for other reasons.
  • If the tenant refuses to move, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit.

Rent Increases

  • The rent cannot increase until the lease expires.
  • If you do not have a lease, your landlord is required to give you 30 days' notice in writing, and you have to agree to it. If you do not agree, your landlord can have you evicted but must provide proper notice.

Moving Out

  • Give your landlord 30 days' notice, even if your lease expires. You may want your landlord’s acknowledgment in writing for your files.
  • Make an appointment to jointly inspect your apartment with your landlord and determine whether or not you will receive your full security deposit back.
  • Change your address with the University and the local post office.

Subletting Your Apartment

  • You must have your landlord’s permission to sublet your space to someone (they pay you the rent, you pay the landlord).
  • You will still be responsible for the rent and damages.
  • You're not entitled to your security deposit until the lease expires.

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