HOUSING: FAQ's

FAQ

When should I begin looking for housing?

We recommend you begin your search for housing as early as possible; many students will start apartment "hunting" as early as April or soon after they matriculate. Every year the Graduate Student Association hosts House Hunting Days on campus during the summer.  If you are a student moving to the area around mid-August, a lease beginning August 1st is recommended. 

To secure housing for the Summer, we suggest that students begin looking for rental options as early as possible. Summer starters are advised to secure housing for a June 1 lease start date, so they have ample time to make any travel or moving arrangements before the first day of class.  

What options do I have for finding a lease that begins in the summer?

Many students are able to find summer sublets (June 1 to August 31) in Waltham and around Boston. Another option is a month-to-month lease where rent is payable monthly, and the lease can be changed or ended by either the landlord or the tenant after giving appropriate notice. The Boston area rental market tends to run on the "academic calendar," in which September 1 is the start date and August 31 is the end date of any given lease. However, in residential Waltham, one can typically find more flexible leases that have start/end dates at the beginning or end of any given month.

Do I need a car?

This depends on where you live. Generally speaking, if you live in Waltham, Newton, Porter Square (Cambridge or Somerville) or in downtown Boston, either you do not need a car because of convenient public transportation, or we do not recommend having a car due to difficult and expensive parking in the neighborhoods. To learn more about which neighborhoods are best suited for having a car to get to Brandeis, please see our Neighborhood Guide.  The complimentary Brandeis Shuttle Route can also be found in the Neighborhood Guide.

We strongly advise Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) students to have their own transportation. Because an integral part of the MAT program includes an off-campus teaching internship, students find it helpful to have their own car to drive to campus and to their internship.

Can I bring a car to campus?

Yes. Parking, however, is limited. Students that park on campus must have a parking permit decal from Brandeis' Department of Public Safety. Campus commuter parking passes cost $120 for the academic year. You can apply for a parking pass here. For more information, visit the Office of Parking and Traffic, (781) 736-4250. 

Is there a bus service on campus?

Yes, the University provides bus and van shuttles for the campus and surrounding areas. More information about on-campus transportation can be found here.

Is there graduate student housing available on campus?

Unfortunately, Graduate Students can not live on campus. On-Campus Housing is only available for Undergraduate students. However, many students are able to find convenient rental housing in Waltham that is only a short car or bus ride from campus. We provide several resources on our Graduate Student Housing Page. For additional questions or assistance with your housing search, please contact Steven Weglinski.  

Since there is no graduate on-campus housing, where should I be looking?

This decision will largely depend on whether or not you have a car, an off-campus job or internship, and other personal factors. To help gain some insight about places to live around Brandeis and Boston, please refer to our Neighborhood Guide.

What resources are available to find housing? 

Many of our students use the Internet to perform the majority of their housing search. We offer several resources on our Graduate Student Housing Page to help you in your search for off-campus housing. These resources are provided as a guide to assist you in your search.  

I need to find short-term housing (7 days or less) to allow time for moving and/or apartment hunting.  What accommodations are available?

Hotels and hostels are available around Boston for temporary housing; please visit the following websites:

Hostels.com
Adams Street Apartments
Airbnb.com
Area Hotels

What kind of initial expenses should I expect when securing housing?

Some expenses associated with securing rental housing include, but are not limited to:

  • Average Monthly Rent = $750/month
  • first and last month's rent; 
  • security deposit (which can be up to one month's rent);
  • broker's fees for real estate assistance;
  • moving van or professional movers, storage units, furniture (if apartment is not furnished);
  • temporary housing (see the question above).
How do I avoid a Housing Scam?

Online resources can save you time and money, but please be careful of fraudulent postings and scams. In order to avoid falling victim to a housing scam, please follow these common sense rules:

  • Deal locally with people you can meet in person.
  • Do not send money or personal information to anyone unable to meet in person.
  • If trying to find a roommate on the Internet, fake cashier checks and money orders are common and banks will cash them and may hold you responsible when the fake is discovered weeks later.
  • Never give out financial information unless you understand why and how it is being used (i.e. a credit check to secure an apartment).
  • Examples: EXAMPLE 1 EXAMPLE 2
  • How to Avoid a Rent Deposit Scheme CLICK HERE
  • What Are Tenants Rights Regarding the Security Deposit? CLICK HERE
  • Tenancy Agreement: When Can My Landlord Enter My Apartment? CLICK HERE
  • Tenants Rights to Landlord Disclosures: Lead Paint, Pest Control, Asbestos, Building Demolition & More!: CLICK HERE
Do I need Renter's Insurance?

It is recommended and usually is less than $15/month! Renters Insurance typically covers liability, as well as damage or property losses, including damage due to fire, smoke or storms, or loss due to theft. We recommend that students get renters insurance to cover these damages. The Consumer Affairs website has helpful information to further educate you on the importance of Rental Insurance, along with reviews of leading insurance companies. Please check the companies' policies carefully to ensure that they cover what you need.

Brandeis University does not take responsibility for the actions of any specific realtors, roommate services, or companies.