Renting an apartment isn’t as hard as it’s sometimes made out to be, as long as you are educated. At the bottom of this page you can download the Good Neighbors Handbook (a guide for Boston landlords and tenants endorsed by Mayor Menino) and samples of all the paperwork you will have to fill out. Below is a basic guide to renting that we hope will help simply the process.
Find an Agent
Though using an agent may not be free, they can help you find an ideal apartment and are often more objective then owners of rental properties, and sometimes SAVE you money in the long run. Being loyal to your agent will get you the best services. If you aren’t familiar with the area you are moving a good agent is essential as he or she will point out all the best features of each unique neighborhood and make sure you don’t over-pay for an apartment. Ascend Realty Group’s brokers are focused on providing the best services possible, with honesty and integrity, hoping for future referrals and return business. Referrals are a broker’s best friend and are only obtainable through quality service. Brokers charge a fee equal to one month’s rent. Owners are often willing to split or pay the broker’s fee with well qualified tenants. Keep in mind this fee is only charged if an apartment is rented. Touring apartments is always free of charge.
Search for an Apartment
Searching for an apartment in Boston can be overwhelming. The rental market is very competitive, and often decisions need to be made quickly. The average well priced apartment is on the market for about 1 week. That doesn’t allow much time for thought. (Re-enforcing the need for a good agent). It’s very important for renters to know what they are looking for and be prepared to apply for an apartment before they begin their search. Because there are more people looking for apartments then apartment’s available sacrifices often, but not always, need to be made. We often recommend that if you are looking for 5 things, be happy with 3.
Securing an apartment
The process for securing an apartment is fairly straight forward. All potential occupants need to fully fill out an application and provide a deposit. The amount of the deposit varies, but is generally equal to one month’s rent, so be prepared to make a deposit of at least 1 months’ rent. Your broker will run your credit and check with your references. In the event you are not accepted by the landlord the deposit is REFUNDABLE (less credit check fees). Who pays the brokers fee is also determined during the application process depending on supply and demand as well as qualifications of applicants.
Leases and additional deposits
Once the application is accepted by the landlord the lease process begins. Leases are generally drafted and executed within one week of landlord acceptance. At lease signing, remaining deposits are agreed upon and a payment schedule is drafted if necessary. THE ABSOLUTE MOST an owner can ask in deposits is 1st month’s rent, Last month’s rent, Security deposit (equal to no more than one month’s rent). Depending on credit and references, many tenants are able to move into an apartment with only 2 deposits.
One of the biggest benefits to using a broker is the move process. Not only can brokers assist with finding affordable moving options, but also facilitate key exchanges, utility switchovers and help with any problems that may arise.
Here are some helpful links: