What types of apartments do you rent?
Our apartment inventory stems from many resources including other brokers. We rent apartments that are CRG exclusives, apartments listed by other management companies, apartments that are privately owned and managed by the landlord, condominiums that are for rent, and apartments listed through the multiple listing service (MLS). We can even find apartments not listed yet if its not listed already.
What is the September 1st Rent Cycle?
Boston is unlike the rest of the country and has what is known as the September 1st Rent Cycle. There are over 100 colleges & universities in the greater Boston area, most of which start classes the first or second week of September. As a result of the semester schedules, landlords took note of the demand for September apartments and demanding that leases start on September 1st and end around August 31st.
Pro Tip: For the best selection of apartments try to plan for a 9/1 move in date if possible
When should I start looking for an apartment?
With the exception of a September 1st move date, we recommend starting your search 45-60 days prior to when you want to move in. If you moving to a college area these areas tend to have their own start cycles and we recommend speaking to one of our agents. Believe it or not the Boston College search starts the September before, almost a year ahead.
Note: Most leases will start on the 1st of any given month, or in some cases the 15th of a month.
I’ve located an apartment I like, what’s the next step?
Awesome, you have found an place you can call home! The next step would be to fill out and submit a rental application, along with a deposit which is usually equivalent to one month’s rent. The application package usually consist of a copy of your photo ID, credit report, employment/student verification, former landlord references, and/or a co-signer before accepting your application. Once your application has been accepted a lease will be prepared and signed, and all remaining funds will be finalized to secure the apartment.
Pro Tip: Generally landlords do not negotiate pricing, terms, etc. until they have seen a perspective tenant’s application and proof of a deposit. So make sure if you are negotiating for different terms that you include them on your application, or in a cover letter. Your agent will assist in this process.
Boston is known as a historic city, a college influenced city, even as Beantown. However, if you are a renter, Boston is not known as a pet friendly city. The truth is most landlords in Boston do not want pets in their unit(s), and since demand for apartments is generally high they do not need to make exceptions to their rules…there is usually another qualified pet-free applicant right behind you. Finding a pet friendly apartment has its challenges, but we will do our best to help you locate an apartment that you and your furry, scaly, or feathered friend can call home.
What if I cannot travel to Boston to view apartments before renting?
We have many solutions like Facetime Tours, Matterport Virtual Tours, and videos to help with this process. All our paperwork can be filled and signed electronically over the internet.
Some landlords will allow this type of rental, and others will not. Your agent will be able to find out which ones will work for you and can take pictures and video tours for you before committing to an apartment from afar. We would also recommend having a friend or family member view the apartment on your behalf (if possible).
Apartment searching with roommates?
If you are looking to find an apartment with other roommates it’s always best to know who you want to room with before you start looking. Most real estate agencies will not match roommates, and most landlords will not sign a lease without all parties having been identified (ie. signing a 3 bedroom lease to 2 people with a 3rd roommate to be identified later).
Pro Tip: When searching with roommates try to find a time that works for everyone to see the apartment(s) at the same time. We find that many times groups will lose out on apartments simply because they couldn’t all get in to see it in time. Also make sure all your roommates are on the same page in terms of budget, location,
What is a broker fee and do I need to pay it?
A broker fee is a professional fee paid to a rental agency for helping you identify, locate, and secure an apartment (which essentially means signing a lease). Your rental agent will work with you from the moment you first start your search to the day you move in.
Broker fees in Boston are generally equal to one month’s rent. Depending on the season and current market conditions, you may find reduced fee apartments as well.
The broker fee is a one time fee, meaning if you renew your lease you will not be required to pay another broker fee for the same apartment.
What are the up front costs to rent an apartment in Boston?
The cost to secure an apartment will vary from landlord to landlord, but here are the up front costs we see most frequently:
– First month’s rent (paid as your deposit at time of application and returned if not accepted by the landlord)
– Last month’s rent (paid up front, but used at the end of the lease term)
– Security deposit (will not exceed 1 month, could be less)
– Key/lock deposit (generally $75-100)
– Broker fee (will not exceed 1 month, could be less)
Not all landlords will charge all of these fees up front. Some may take first, last & security. Others may only take first month and security and forego last month’s rent. Depending on the building you are moving into there may also be other fees such as an amenity fee or a move in/move out fee(s). These charges will vary and will be disclosed up front. To be safe it’s best to budget 3 to 4 month’s rent to secure an apartment.