Welcome to the Boston Area real estate rental experience. If you are new to the process, there are some essential facts for you to learn before you begin the hunt. It is a highly competitive market. Preparing yourself for the process will save you valuable time, headaches, and your parents will appreciate you being prepared for the road ahead. Use the following as your check list:
Have roommates gathered in advance. Know how many. What are the priorities as far as number of bedrooms, baths, windows, kitchen, eating space, living room? Do the members of your group study at the library, at home or none of the above? Agree on a price range per roommate.
Get your finances in order
Have your parents on board and ready as guarantors before you start looking. Additionally or in lieu of guarantors, financial statements may be necessary to present to the landlord. Many international students will be asked to show their I-20 form previously provided to their university admissions department.
Have your checkbook ready
Be ready to pay first, last month’s rent, a real estate agent’s finder’s fee equivalent to one month rent, and a security deposit, which is also the same as a month’s rent. By law the landlord has 30 days to return the security deposit from the end of the lease, minus any damages. Most apartments are non-smoking, so most landlords will have you sign a no smoking addendum.
Each prospective tenant will fill out an application. A $20 application/processing fee will be charged for each tenant. There is a credit check as part of the application process. Parents or guarantors will supply their social security number. The landlords prefer in-state parents. Once the application is completed, the landlord makes the final decision if you are accepted!
The rental agent will prepare the leasing contract. Some landlords want parents to sign the contract. If renters leave before the lease is over, the rent is still due until the end of the lease. If you leave in May and your lease goes until September, you still are required to pay the rent. The rent should be paid with one check. You are responsible to pay the utilities. Depending on the unit, it can include electric, heat, cable, which will be in the renters’ names. Tenants will sign a condition statement when they get the keys. It is a good idea to video the apartment and save it as proof of how the apartment looked when you arrived.
Choose your Real Estate agent wisely
Work with a real estate agent who knows the area well. We can help you find a knowledgeable, well trained and professional agent who will make the process as smooth as possible. I have been living near Cleveland Circle for nearly 27 years and know the restaurants, transportation and the local secrets well!
Write a cover letter
Separate yourself from your peers. Write a nice letter to your future landlord. Include your areas of study and your interests. This will put your application on top of the pile. Ultimately, the decision whether to choose you as tenants is up to the landlord. Make sure you are organized, have your financial backing in order, and have a good cover letter all ready.
We are committed to making your rental experience the best it can be. If you would like further information, you can contact me at Emily@CentreRealtyGroup.com or 617-233-5043 Are there other Boston area real estate topics you would like me blog about? Please let me know.
Emily K. Beal Director, Business Development and Customer Experience