Maybe you are new to Boston, moving to Boston for work or for school. Or maybe you have lived here for a while, dropping your r’s and avoiding the green line at rush hour like a true Bostonian. Either way, renting a home in Boston can be a challenging and expensive proposition with many different hurdles to overcome. To find the perfect apartment in Boston without all the stress, you need to work with an agent who has access to all of the city’s best apartment listings, knows the neighborhoods you are looking in, and can guide you to the neighborhoods that you haven’t yet discovered. That’s where we come in.
Speak with your Real Estate Agent about what you want in an apartment and a neighborhood. From the North End, to the South End, Bay Village, and South Boston, Boston offers lifestyles that meet any taste and preference. Working with an agent, we will define the price range, apartment size, neighborhoods, and building amenities that will allow us to review the inventory and suggest apartments for consideration. In a city like Boston where apartments are in high-demand, remaining flexible in is important in order to find the place that suits your needs. Your apartment search in Boston should not be scheduled any earlier than 8 weeks prior to your desired lease start date. The Boston rental market operates on a 30-60 day cycle, and if you start your search too late, it is unlikely that many apartments in Boston with your desired move-in date will be available to be seen. Please view our Landlord Requirements section for a list of items you will need to bring with you on your visit.
Working With Your Agent
Always fully disclose your financial situation to the agent. Trust that they will guide you to the apartments that best fit your parameters, thereby reducing the time it takes to find an apartment and obtain a lease.
Your Home Finding Visit
Your agent will meet you at your pre-determined location to assist in viewing properties that match your parameters. It often happens that the perfect apartment is found on the first day; however, if it is not, your agent will take the knowledge gained from the day and apply it to the next day’s search. It is imperative that you be honest with your agent and openly express to them your likes and dislikes. This will allow them to help locate your new home in the shortest amount of time. The best time to view properties is Monday through Friday, 9am to 6pm. Many of the rental apartments in Boston are shared with many different real estate brokerages, meaning that our agents have the ability to show you everything in the city. Before you view property, you will be asked to sign Warren Real Estate’s Commission Agreement. The signing of this agreement is recommended by the Department of State and protects both you and the agent by specifying the services to be rendered and fees for the transaction.
Application, Lease, and Checks
Throughout all of the changes in the Boston real estate market, one thing remains the same: once you have found the apartment you want, it is best to act immediately. If you have prepared the documents listing in the “Landlord Requirements” section, then you are ready for the application process. The apartment application process in Boston is as varied as the landlords themselves. Most frequently you will be asked to complete an application, which together with your letter of employment, previous landlord reference, and credit report (run either by Warren Real Estate or the landlord) will be submitted to the prospective landlord for approval. Usually there is an application fee that can range from $25-100. Upon landlord approval, your agent will schedule a lease signing at which you will be required to provide all or a combination of first month’s rent, last month’s rent as a security deposit, and the brokerage commission. Remember that in most circumstances a personal check will not be accepted for these fees, and a certified check or credit card is typically required. Read the lease and any attached riders in their entirety before signing. Your agent can help define anything that is not clear to you.
Move In Day
Your new landlord will determine how your copy of the lease and keys will be provided to you. Speak to your agent or superintendent regarding the move-in policies of your building. Routinely an appointment is required, and some luxury buildings have very strict move-in policies.
Prospective tenants may be required to submit numerous items to prove financial ability to satisfy the lease terms. As a general rule, landlords require that the prospective tenant has an annual income equal to 40-50 times the monthly rent, a good credit history, and a previous landlord reference. (Depending on the landlord, combined incomes for roommates or couples may be used.) The following is a list of regularly required information:
What is a Guarantor?
Because many prospective tenants, especially young professionals or students, do not meet the strict requirements of some Boston landlords, the use of a guarantor is common. A guarantor is an individual that can co-sign the lease. Guarantors should earn in excess of 80 times the monthly rent in annual income. Guarantors from Boston are best but most property owners will accept anyone within the United States.
COMMON BUILDING TERMS USED IN BOSTON