Housing Information for Faculty and Students

Guide to Renting

The Schusterman Center for Israel Studies wishes to welcome all faculty and students coming to Brandeis from outside Boston. We have created a guide to help ease the transition of moving from one location to another, and assist you in settling in here at Brandeis. Below we have collected various resources to provide you with information regarding renting. Hopefully, you will find this a helpful guide. You are welcome to contact us with any additional questions you may have, and we will do our best to help.

Apartments in the Brandeis  area:

These are  resources and apartment complexes that Brandeis visiting faculty and students use: 

Apartment Complexes- here are a number of complexes that visiting scholars and grad students have lived in:

 Brandeis Resources for Off Campus Housing:

 List of Program Administrators of all Brandeis Departments:

If you wish to inquire whether any current Brandeis faculty members are interested in renting/leasing/subletting their homes while they are away from Brandeis; it is possible to e-mail the program administrators of the various departments in order to explore this option. 

Sabbatical Housing Resources:

The following websites list homes being rented out by faculty members on sabbatical. 

Graduate Students House Hunting Weekend information:

Brandeis University runs a number of house hunting weekends in late July early August to help incoming graduate students find off campus housing. The information for these weekends can be accessed through the link below.

Additional Resources:

Here are other resources regarding how to find an apartment, as well as potential issues that may arise when looking to rent an apartment. 

Jewish Resources in the Area:

For information about congregations, Jewish organizations, Jewish institutions and kosher dining; click here.

Monthly T-Pass Info- subway and commuter rail information, in and around Brandeis:

Things to Consider:

  • A landlord can require first month’s rent, last month’s rent, and a security deposit (not more than one month’s rent).  This means if your portion of rent is $500, you will need to come up with $1500.00.  If you go through a real estate agent you may have to pay a fee equal to ½ month’s rent.  Make sure to get receipts.
  • A lease is a contract and a binding agreement.  If you sign for a year you are expected to pay rent for a year.  If you aren’t planning on staying for the entire time you should find out from the landlord if you can sublet your room.  If you do so without permission you will be held responsible for any damage that person may do.
  • A parent or guardian may have to sign the lease as well because of your income limitations.  They may also have to go through a credit check and show proof of income.
  • Keep all paperwork (leases, receipts) in a safe place.
  • If your apartment isn’t furnished you will need to buy/obtain furniture: bed, desk, lamp, chair, dresser, kitchen items. (* for inexpensive furniture see craigslist )
  • You will have to share common areas like the kitchen, bathroom, living room and everyone is responsible for its upkeep.  Will you have to make a cleaning schedule? Will you share groceries or have your own food cabinet?
  • Some landlords charge a fee for use of an air conditioner.  Make sure it is stated in the lease.
  • Roommate conflicts will have to be handled on your own.

Before signing make sure that you:

  • Don’t feel pressured into taking the first thing you see.  If you are able to, look at a few apartments to make comparisons.
  • If you think the rent is too high, you can always negotiate on a price.
  • Try to get feedback about the apartment and landlord from the present tenants.
  • When visiting the apartment, turn on the lights and faucets, flush the toilet.  Also ask about water pressure and heat.

Questions to Ask:

  • Who am I going to live with?
  • Where is the closest grocery store?
  • How long is the lease?  Can I sublet my room?
  • Laundry: Where will I do my laundry?  If it is on the apartment premises, is it coin-operated?  If not, where is the closest laundromat?
  • Snow removal:  Who is responsible for the steps etc. and parking area?  Will you have to buy a shovel?

Utilities:

* Often you will have to pay for your utilities separately from your rent:

  • Gas: heat, hot water, stove
  • Electricity
  • Oil: to heat the house, prices fluctuate constantly
  • Cable
  • Internet Connection
  • Phone: Landline or cell (if you have a cellphone make sure there is good reception in the apartment)
Make sure to ask what precisely is included or not included when utilities are mentioned. In some cases utilities are already included in the rent.