Off-Campus Student Services

What to Consider When Renting an Apartment

  • Renting an apartment from a distance (without being physically present in the area) can be difficult. Some landlords prefer to meet their tenants in person before agreeing to rent the space. Be prepared to meet your landlord and potential roommates in person before signing the final lease agreement.
  • Typically, landlords will require you to pay up to the equivalent of three months' rent before you move in. These costs will cover the first month’s rent; last month’s rent; and a security deposit, which is equivalent to one month’s rent. The deposit is returned at the end of the lease if the apartment is in good shape and there are no major damages when the contract expires. Renters should carefully review the rental contract to understand the agreement and responsibilities of both parties.
  • Apartments can be furnished or unfurnished, but unfurnished apartments are more common. Renting an unfurnished apartment means you will have to buy furniture (sofa, bed, TV), kitchen items to prepare meals (pans, pots, forks, plates, etc.), linens (bed sheets, towels) and all cleaning supplies. Some apartments include some or all utilities (electricity, Internet, cable, water). You may also decide to rent furniture for the school year, so you do not have to worry about selling any furniture when you leave the Boston area.
  • If the apartment you select does not include all or some of the utilities, this is an added expense you must pay each month. You will also need to pay for laundry service if the apartment does not include a washer and dryer. Cleaning the apartment is the renter’s responsibility.
  • To find out how close an apartment is to Emerson, go to Google Maps and click on the "Get Directions" link. Point A=the address of the housing location you are interested in and Point B=Emerson College (80 Boylston Street, Boston, MA 02116).