RENTAL RESOURCE HUB
Applying for an apartment in the Greater Boston area is pretty straight forward. These are the documents you'll want to have completed and ready to send to your agent/broker when you have found your dream space.
Rental Application. (Use this link to download via PDF)
Two recent pay stubs (or a signed offer letter if you've just started with a new company.)
Credit Report. (I advise my clients to print and save as a PDF their report from CreditKarma.com. It's easy, free, and doesn't affect your score.)
Copy of your driver's license or state ID
Co-signer form (Click here to download. This may be requested depending on income, credit score, and other factors)
Complete these documents before starting your apartment search. Save everything to a folder on your desktop so they are easy to find and send to your agent/broker. Getting all your rental docs sent to the property owner or management company in a timely manner can mean the difference between you and someone else getting the apartment.
Still Have Questions?
Renting can be stressful and very competitive in the Greater Boston area. Use these tips to stay ahead of the competition and save time searching for your next rental.
1. Most lease leases specify a 60-day notice to terminate or renew. This means if you're shopping for a June 1st rental, the majority of those listings won't hit the market until late March or early April.
2. Work with a reputable agent/broker. 95% of the time, you're going to have to pay a broker fee anyways so you might as well have someone who's looking out for your best interest, coordinating your showings, accompanying you on tours, and helping negotiate the lease terms.
3. Renting in the offseason means better deals but it could also mean less inventory to choose from. No one wants to pay the heating bills for an apartment all winter. If you're shopping in the offseason (I.e. not May through September) than you can normally leverage your position and have more favorable lease terms.
4. There are lots of real estate agencies that will advertise apartments that are NOT available. The best practice is to work with an agent who can properly vet these listings for you and confirm their availability.
5. When you're shopping on Zillow, Trulia, Craigslist, and some of the other mainstream rental sites, be prepared to have a 40-50% response rate.
6. Utility payments like electric and gas are public record. So if you think an owner or an agent is not giving you the right utility estimates, you can always call and check yourself.
7. If you're shopping for an apartment before September 1st, make sure to lock in your price per month. Many times, If you lease before Sept. 1st the lease will go through August 31st with an option to renew. Make sure this price doesn't increase with this option to renew.
8. If you need to break a lease for whatever reason, here are the best practices.
A. Contact your real estate professional to explain the scenario. This is a proactive approach when you have the conversation with your landlord.
B. Even though your lease says you could be charged a fee for breaking the lease, most of the time you can avoid this by being transparent and proactive in getting a ready, able, and willing replacement tenant.
C. Let you landlord know you have an agent/broker you work with who can help you find a great tenant. This will relieve some stress from your landlord in having to find a replacement.