When renting in Boston it’s essential to be informed about the process. Being knowledgeable can allow you to search and quickly secure a great deal with more confidence. Below are many of the common questions or concerns that renters often want to know about. If you don’t see your question listed here, please ask us and we’ll be glad to help!
The paperwork required to complete a rental application usually includes a credit check (usually done by us), letter of employment, bank statements, pay stubs or proof of student enrollment. You may or may not need all of these items. If you are unable to provide any of these documents, you may be able to use a guarantor (cosigner). Consult with your agent, as many landlords have different qualification procedures.
Most local landlords want to see that your monthly income is equal to three times your portion of the monthly rent payment.
At the discretion of the landlord, some buildings allow guarantors with Massachusetts residence only, However, certain landlords will accept a guarantor from anywhere in the United States. Typically landlords will require a cosigner if an applicant does not meet income requirements and credit requirements, does not have sufficient work history or cannot verify stable income.
A guarantor typically must earn an monthly income that is 5-6 times greater than the monthly rent in most buildings and have a good credit history.
Sometimes landlords will allow prospective tenants to combine their incomes, while in other cases, they will require that one individual qualifies on his or her own.
The length of time varies. A rental application can take as little as one hour, or as long as one week to be approved. We will do everything we can to make sure this process is done as quickly as possible for you, but you can greatly speed up the process by having all paperwork ready prior to starting your search.
Typically the broker fee amount is equal to one month's rent. We get compensated for our services by being paid this fee either by you or the landlord. The market conditions determine how much of it the landlords are willing to cover for you. When the market is slow or when a landlord is eager to fill their apartment, they will usually pay half of the fee or pay the whole portion for you. When the market is hot, or when the landlords have already discounted the rental price and know they can rent it quickly, they sometimes do not offer to pay any of the fee for you. Keep in mind that "no fee" apartments are often higher in price so its best to keep all available options open.
Usually in large apartment buildings located near MBTA Trains, the heat and hot water are included. Electric and Cable are typically paid separately. Often when renting in a multi family house, the tenants are responsible for heat and hot water costs.
A deposit is usually one month's rent, though it can vary in each building. The money is used in the event that damages are incurred to the apartment. The deposit money may not be used to pay the last month's rent. Your security deposit will be refunded in full at the end of your lease, provided there are no damages to the apartment.
Typical lease terms are either 12 months, or run until August 31st of any given year.
Depending on the building, different rules dictate whether a particular pet would be allowed. In some cases, pets need to be under a certain weight requirement, typically 30-40 lbs, which would exclude larger dogs from living there. Some buildings allow just cats, while others do not allow pets at all. It is also possible for a building to limit the number of pets permitted to one or maybe two.
We encourage you to use the www.MBTA.com website to locate the nearest train/bus station and estimate commute times. Our agents are happy to provide you with the closest stops to your apartment of interest.