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Renters FAQ

Leasing FAQ

Thanks for visiting our web site, an invaluable source of information for working professionals, graduate and undergraduate students researching rental opportunities in and around greater Boston, Boston University and Boston College. Following is some information that we hope you will find helpful as you begin your search for housing:


If we decide to rent an apartment or house, what’s the procedure?

If you have found an apartment or house that you wish to rent, and you want to take it off the market, you will be required to complete rental applications and tender a deposit equal to one month’s rent. We will immediately deliver the applications and deposit to the landlord, which will give you first crack at the apartment. However, until the landlord has the applications and deposit in his/her hands, the apartment is still on the market; thus it is critical that you act quickly once you’ve decided that you are interested in renting the apartment.

What’s the big hurry?

Although there is an abundance of apartment inventory in the Boston area, there is a limited inventory of outstanding places offering quality at a reasonable price. Competition amongst leasing agents and prospective tenants can be intense; we recommend you be prepared to complete application material and leave a deposit (have a checkbook with you!). Other valuable information you’ll need to process a rental application quickly includes employment contracts, former and current landlord information, guarantor credit and employment information (if a student or newly employed) and credit references.

How much money will we have to come up with, and when?

The general rule of thumb for most landlords is:

First month’s rent – the deposit you tender with your applications. Last month’s rent – usually due a few weeks after the first month’s rent. Security deposit – if applicable (required of most undergraduate students) Realtor’s fee – we collect one month’s rent as a fee for services rendered; market conditions will dictate what portion of the fee would be paid by you and/or by a landlord

What’s a security deposit?

Most landlords leasing to students require a security deposit equal to one month’s rent. The security deposit is held in an escrow account and it is used by the landlord to pay for any damages or satisfy unpaid rent incurred during the term of the lease. Normal wear-and-tear is not deducted from the security deposit; as long as you leave the apartment in the same condition as when you moved in, your money will be returned to you with interest.

What’s a realtor’s fee?

A realtor’s fee is a finder’s fee that rental agents collect for services rendered towards securing a house or apartment for you and your roommates. It is typically equal to one month’s rent, and may be paid by the tenant, landlord or shared by both.

What if we want to take an apartment off the market but we can’t come up with a full month’s deposit right away?

We will work with you. Time is of the essence. As long as you can come up with most of the deposit, we will temporarily cover the balance to forward to the landlord so that you won’t lose the apartment. Please understand that you’ll need to settle up with us within a few days!

What about the leasing paperwork?

Once you’ve put down a deposit and the landlord has accepted the deal, you will be required to sign an apartment lease. Your parents will be required to co-sign the lease, if applicable (students). Before you sign anything we will be happy to fax or email any documents to your parents so they can see what the paperwork entails and obtain their approval and consent. We will be available to answer any and all questions pertaining to the apartment and lease, affording you and your consignors the comfort of a thorough understanding of the process and premises.

What if we change our minds and don’t want the apartment? Will we lose our money?

Probably not, particularly if the move-in is not imminent and if you haven’t signed a lease; ultimately the decision as to whether or not your deposit will be refunded is the landlords. However, you should not put down a deposit unless you and your roommates are 100% positive that you want the apartment. Once your deposit has been forwarded to the landlord, it can be difficult to get back, especially if the apartment has been off the market for weeks and the landlord has turned away other deals on the unit. Once again, the decision lies with the landlord.

We know how important it is to have a good leasing agent working on your behalf. We realize that there are many other agents competing for your business. That’s why we want you to know that we will do our best to find you an apartment or house that suits all of your needs and requirements. Our extensive experience and an exhaustive inventory of apartments and houses afford you an advantage that no other real estate agency can come close to matching.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions regarding the rental process.

We look forward to working with you.

Thank you very much.