• 6 Major Things to Know Before Renting
    There’s no doubt that looking for a home is a big decision, especially when you’re searching for the perfect house to rent. The home or apartment you choose will define your lifestyle and your life—from your commute and your meals, to whether your new space can easily accommodate friends and family. As you check out locations you think you’ll love, it’s important to ask questions and get answers before signing a lease.
    Here are the six major things you need to know before renting.

    1. The cost of the property

    When searching for a home to rent, there are multiple costs to consider, so the first thing you need to know is the actual month-to-month cost in addition to other expenses. With some rental properties, cable, electric, gas, water, and sewer are a part of the lease agreement, while other properties may require you to pay for these expenses out-of-pocket.
    Your goal as a renter is to find a great house or apartment and get the greatest value which means you want to consider not only rent and utilities, but the other costs associated with moving to a new rental home. These can include the actual moving costs to get you into your new home.

    2. How much you need to pay upfront

    The next thing you need to know is how much you’ll need to pay before you move. Landlords may require your first month’s rent before you actually move in and a security deposit—this will typically be returned to you at the end of your lease period or cover any property damage caused by you during your rental term. Other landlords may tack on a non-refundable fee as well.

    3. Additional property fees

    It’s important to ask about other fees related to the property. For example, in addition to utilities,many rental properties charge additional fees for pets, lawn maintenance, repairs, etc. Asking these questions upfront can save you from lots of hassle after you sign the lease, plus you will discover what home maintenance chores you may be responsible for while you rent the home.

    4. What you’re responsible for

    According to House Method, renters should understand the policies regarding repairs and replacements. Do you need to pay for repairs out of pocket or will your landlord cover these fees? Perform an inspection of the property before you sign the lease and move in. As you examine the property, make notes and take pictures of any areas of concern, and have a copy for your landlord and one to keep.

    5. Guest rules

    Ask your landlord about rules for guests. Will your significant other, parent, or sibling be staying for extended periods of time? Check your lease agreement carefully to be sure you won’t be charged additional fees for long- or short-term guests in your rental home.

    6. Release clause

    Look for a release clause in your lease. Circumstances, often beyond your control, may mean you need to break your lease. Specifically, you need to know under what circumstances (and fees) your lease can be broken, you can be released from the lease, and you can sublet the property, should a move be required due to a job change, marriage, divorce, deployment, etc.
    Knowing these six things before you rent, counting the costs, and understanding your lease agreement can make renting your new home stress- and hassle-free from start to finish.

    Kaytie Elizabeth Pascale


    Beacon Hill Apartments for rent

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Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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