Housing Resources

  • To connect with potential roommates and find available housing, log on to the Brandeis Classifieds.
  • Contact a real estate agency or a realtor. Most realtors charge a fee (which is normally between one-half and one full month's rent) if you sign a lease on an apartment they show you.

Guide to Renting


Commonly Used Terms


"lease" is a written contract between you and your landlord that specifies the terms and conditions of your residence. It will include the amount of monthly rental payment, when it should be paid, and how long you are expected to occupy the property. Since the lease is a legally binding document, make sure to read it thoroughly before signing it. Once you sign a lease agreement, in most cases, you are legally bound to its terms.

Security Deposit

When you sign a lease, you will normally have to pay rent for the first and last months in advance, along with a "security deposit" equal to one month's rent. This security deposit will be returned to you after you leave, provided that you have not damaged the property during your stay. It makes sense, therefore, to get a signed, written statement from the landlord as to the condition of the property before you move in. This will protect you from charges for damages for which you are not responsible. Please be advised that once you sign a lease, it is a legally binding document, so be sure that you are certain about renting the apartment before signing the lease.


Rental costs do not normally include "utilities" such as water, electricity, heating, and telephone services. Ask your landlord for advice on which service companies to contact to provided these utilities. Some companies may require you to pay an initial deposit that will be returned to you after a given period of time. The average costs of utilities will vary if you live in a large house, with roommates, or if you live alone in a one bedroom apartment.  

Classified Ad Abbreviations

Classified ads use many abbreviations. Some are listed below:

a/c air conditioning               
or br bedroom
bldg building                        
dr dining room
d/d dishwasher/disposal       
e.i.k eat in kitchen (large)    
efficiency or eff one-room apartment (flat)
frpl fireplace
furn furnished
h/hw heat and hot water
ht heat
immed occpy immediate occupancy (available now)
incl included                        
kit kitchen
lr living room                       
lux luxury
mo month                            
nr near
nwly renov newly renovated  
owner occ owner-occupied (owner lives on property)
refs references
sec req security deposit required
studio one-room apartment (flat)
util utilities
w/ with
w/d washing machine, clothes dryer