Rental cost for apartments in Boston can be expensive. With very few exceptions, there is no limit to how much rent a landlord can charge for an apartment. Monthly rent is one of the largest expenses to consider when living off-campus, but there are many others, such as up-front fees, utilities, furnishings, and commuting costs, that factor into the overall cost.
- Landlords may charge several up-front fees: first month’s rent, last month’s rent, a security deposit equal to one month’s rent, and a lock fee to cover the expense of replacing the previous tenant’s lock and key.
- It is illegal for a landlord to charge any other upfront fees including a deposit to hold the apartment for a prospective tenant, a damage deposit or fee to allow pets, or a finder’s fee, unless he is a licensed realtor.
- If you are using a realtor to find an apartment, you may be required to pay a broker’s fee equivalent to one month’s rent.
- A large determining factor in utility cost is what utilities the landlord will pay and what utilities the tenant will pay. It should be clearly stated in the lease who is responsible for which utilities.
- Most tenants do not have to pay for water usage. However if the landlord has installed sub-meters to measure the actual water usage and has installed low-flow fixtures, the tenant may be required to pay for water.
- Some apartments may include heat and hot water. In apartments that are heated by the landlord, the heat must be on from September 15th through June 15th. The temperature must not be less than 68 degrees Fahrenheit between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. and 64 degrees Fahrenheit between 11:01 p.m. and 6:59 a.m. There is a maximum allowable temperature of 78 degrees.
- If the apartment is separately metered for heat the tenant may be responsible for heating costs. Be sure to ask the heating costs from the previous year. In addition to usage, factors such as what floor the apartment is on and how well the building is insulated can impact the total heating cost. Most apartments will require you to pay for electricity usage.
- Once you have found your apartment, you’ll still need stuff to put in it! Beds, furniture, kitchenware, and home electronics all can add up pretty quickly. Consider what items you already own and what items you will need to furnish your apartment. Another possibility is renting furniture. Check out cort.com for more details.
- The landlord is required to provide a working stove, oven, sink, and screens for each window up to and including the fourth floor. The landlord is not required to provide a refrigerator (however, they are required to provide a space for one), window blinds, shades, window safety bars, or laundry facilities.
- The landlord must maintain all structural elements such as windows, staircases, floors, walls, doors, etc. It is the landlords responsibility that all exits are free of snow.