What is a Boston apartment application?

If it’s your first time renting a Beacon Hill apartment , though, the rental application process may be different than you imagined. Applying for a Boston apartment can take some efforr and requires that you have references that can be contacted. For first-time Boston apartment renters, here’s what you can expect the rental application process to look like:

Filling out the application

At risk of being too obvious, you need to fill out the application. You can usually find the form online and email a completed version to management or do it in person at the leasing office. Either way, once you’ve decided you want this apartment, get an application in as soon as you can, since every day you don’t apply is another day for someone else to show interest in it.

Don’t let your first choice apartment get swept out from under you ! On the application you should expect to include all of your personal information , including either a social security or driver’s license number, along with employment information and references. There’s a lot of information they need, the most common of which are listed below.

Related:  Why do they need so much info?!

Application fee

Applying for an apartment sometimes requires an application fee.. Here at Ford Realty we DO NOT require an application fee

Depending on the landlord and building, you’ll have to pay an application fee, a processing fee and sometimes a security deposit. Expect to pay as much as $100 or more per person just to apply for an apartment in some areas. The security deposit may come after the application, but it can be a large expense, costing some fraction of the monthly rent.

Once again I do not charge an application fee

Proof of income

You need to have money to pay for a Boston apartment, so you’re going to need to prove that you make enough money. Generally, you should be making three times the rent to qualify, and you’ll need to prove that you have this income. This is where you’ll need two or three recent pay stubs, or a W-2 if you’ve had the job for more than a year. They may also call your employer to get proof of your employment, as well as questions about you and your salary. We’ll talk a bit more about this later.

Credit check

When applying for a Beacon Hill apartment, you’ll also have to give the landlord permission to check your credit. Checking on how financially responsible you are will be an indicator of how well you’ll pay your rent on time. If you have bad or new credit , it’s harder for them to get a feel for your dependability, but don’t try to cover this up. Talk about it when you apply, so you know if you need a co-signer or to depend on your roommate’s credit.

Background check

Like the credit check, this shows your personality and dependability. The application will include both a line authorizing them to do a background check, and somewhere to explain anything on your record. If you have anything in your past, you’ll want to explain this there, rather than letting them find out without context.

Landlord references

The best indicator if you’ll be a good tenant now is that you were a good tenant in the past. For this reason, you should have your rental history handy to make the application go easier. If you don’t have any past landlords and they’ll have to rely only on your personal references.

Provide references outside of your family, like college professors and employers, so that they’ll be able to give the landlord an idea of your work ethic, responsibility and other important character traits.

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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