What to Expect in the Boston Rental Market
The rental market in Boston is competitive and peak rental season is in full swing! We thought it would be a good time to provide an overview of the rental process from the search to lease signing.
Identifying Needs, Wants and Preferences
Before embarking on a rental search, there are a couple questions that we always ask our clients to help us guide them through the search and process.
- # of bedrooms and bathrooms?
- How many people will be living in the unit?
- Do you have any pets? If so, what is the breed?
- Neighborhood preferences?
- Do you need to be close to public transportation?
- Move in date?
- Desired length of lease?
- Is central A/C a must have or need to have?
- Is in-unit laundry a must have or need to have?
- Do you need parking?
- Price range?
All of these questions help to narrow down the search before we go out on property tours. Once we have the criteria above, we are able create a list of rental options tailored to your specific needs to send over for review. Additionally, we will set you up to receive alerts the moment a new rental hits the market that meets your criteria.
We proactively keep you updated on new rentals as well as for any off-market or pre-market opportunities. Good rentals rent quickly so we always encourage you to reach out as soon as possible once you come across unit of interest. If any given unit currently has a tenant in it, 24-hour notice for a showing may be required. Below are some questions to ask while you are on your tour:
- What utilities, if any, are included in rent?
- What are the move-in costs?
- Is any of the furniture staying in the unit?
- Will the unit be professionally cleaned before move-in?
- Where does the trash go?
Once we identify the home for you, we start the application process. In addition to the application which we would provide you, applicants are typically asked to provide the following:
- Proof of Employment- [usually in the form of an offer letter or last two pay stubs]
- Proof of funds if proof of employment is not an option
- Credit Report
- Copy of Photo ID
As soon as we have these items in hand, we are able to submit the application to the listing agent or the landlord. Once the landlord reviews and accepts an offer, the lease is drafted up and signed by both parties. Upon lease signing, first month’s rent, security deposit and a broker fee equal to one month of rent will be due. Last month’s rent may be required as well. Your security deposit, which is typically equal to one month of rent, is kept in an interest-bearing account, separate from the other funds. Once the tenancy ends, the landlord performs a walk through and returns the security deposit, within 30 days, to you should the unit be in the same condition.
On move-in day or prior we facilitate the key hand-off for you. Depending on the building, there may be move-in rules and regulations, so we make sure you are aware of those. If you are planning on having a large moving truck, you should consider applying for a street moving permit sign to reserve space in front of the building for the move-in. Signs are required to be put up 48 hours in advance of a move and can be attained at City Hall.
To reserve a parking spot for your moving truck visit: https://www.boston.gov/reserve-parking-spot-your-moving-truck
Looking for a mover? Visit www.smallhaulmover.com
Once you get settled, you can apply for your resident parking permit. You can apply online for your parking permit here: https://www.boston.gov/departments/parking-clerk/how-get-resident-parking-permit