Things you need to know before renting a Boston apartment (5 Tips)

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The idea of moving to a Beacon Hill apartment can be both exhilarating and nerve-wracking. And while it may seem that renting a Boston apartment instead of purchasing a home outright could ease some of that apprehension, you may still feel a few jitters about choosing the right living situation for your needs. It’s important that you not only select the best possible neighborhood location and apartment, but also protect your interests as you move forward with your move. Here’s what you need to know:

Tip #1: Compare and Contrast

When you begin your Beacon Hill apartment search, you’ll probably find a few apartments that you like. Narrow down your list and begin to compare and contrast the locations that seem to be the best fit. One great resource is Google, where you can read reviews of the communities on your list. Just remember that there will always be some negative reviews; your goal is to find a community/street with more positive than negative critiques—and be sure that you’re reading reviews from residents who actually live at the communities.

Tip #2: Explore the Neighborhood

The right Beacon Hill apartment will not only provide you with a fantastic living space, but also a great surrounding community. Take some time to explore the neighborhood, checking out features like shopping options, recreational and fitness centers, the local social scene and more. Also consider your personal need for walkability. What’s more, it’s a good idea to visit the communities on your list both during the day and at night to identify any differences.   

Tip #3: Research the Management Company

Once you sign a lease, you will be might be dealing with the management company for an extended period of time. Before you put pen to paper, research the company in charge of the Beacon Hill apartment building in which you want to live. Do they care about the resident experience? Does the company respond to resident reviews or complaints quickly and fully? Find out how long they’ve been in the Beacon Hill area. Reviews are helpful in this area as well; Google the company and look for any rankings that may help you make your decision.

Tip #4: Get the Details 

When you’ve narrowed down your choices to a particular area, the next step is to get the details about the specific  Beacon Hill apartment that will become your home. What kind of availability does the community have in terms of its units? Will you be able to get the exact apartment you want? What’s the reservation timeline? What is the average lease term for most of the residents in the community? How soon can you move in? The answers you receive will play into your final decision.

Tip #5: Read Before You Sign

You have your heart set on an apartment, but before you sign on the dotted line, read the lease closely for transparency. Look for two clauses: a satisfaction guarantee clause and a termination clause. With the first, you want to make sure that what you receive upon moving in is what you have been promised. What is the policy if you want to terminate the lease.

Prepare Your Paperwork

To make sure that you are ready to move forward when you find the Beacon Hill apartment of your dreams, have these items on hand for a seamless process:

  • A driver’s license or passport
  • Proof of income at the time of your application (the general rule is that you need to make three times the cost of rent before taxes)
  • If you are changing jobs, a letter from your new company
  • Confirmation that the utilities will be turned on before you move in (just remember that some utility companies require down payments)

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