Before Your Search
Prepare for your apartment search by asking yourself a few important questions:
- What type of apartment do I want? How many bedrooms?
- What neighborhoods are suitable for me?
- Do I want to live with roommates? What kind of living habits?
- Who will be my co-signer?
- Will I need temporary housing before move-in?
Neighborhoods and Price
Research neighborhoods around Brandeis and commute times. Many students live in Waltham, Allston, Brighton, Cambridge, Newton, Somerville and other neighborhoods close to campus.
Use the Brandeis housing website and other tools to find apartment listings. Soial media and connection with current students are great resources for your apartment search as well! Visit the the apartment search to find more resources.
Finding A Roommate
Living with roommates is often preferred runong students for social and financial reasons. Use the Brandeis Housing Facebook Group and Google Group to connect with students in the area. Social media and student clubs are powerful tools to meet roommates as well. Let your groups and social circles know that you need a roommate.
- After finding the apartment listing, contact the property realtor or landlord.
- Schedule a tour with the agent or landlord.
- If you like the apartment and it looks well maintained, complete a rental application. Take note of the condition of the unit and/or take pictures.
- Receive the completed lease and read through it to understand yom rights and responsibilities. Email your lease to The Office of Graduate Affairs to have it reviewed by our staff. Communicate with your landlord if you have any issues regarding the clauses in the lease or addendum.
- After you've agreed to the terms on the lease, sign it and pay the upfront fees. Get a hard copy of your lease for yourself. You will receive the keys at the time of move-in.
Understanding your Lease
A lease is a binding contract between a Landlord and a Tenant. Lease terms are typically 12 months. The purpose of this contract is to define the rights and responsibilities of both parties. Only sign your lease after fully reviewing and understanding the clauses. If you any question regarding about your lease please email us.
Common Lease Clauses
Jointly and Severally: All parties have joint liability; earn party is respo nsible for obligations.
Legal Tenancy: Only individuals named on the lease as tenants or lessees are legally permitted to reside on the premises.
Right To Entry: Your landlord has the right to enter the apartment after giving reasonable notice for any valid reason.
Lessee To Maintain: You are responsible for reporting maintenance issues and the upkeep of the apartment including all appliances ru1d amenities. The landlord is responsible for repairs needed due to typical wear and tear.
Sublet Rules: You must acquire written permission from your landlord before subletting. Subletting fees are common.
Disturbance: You are not to disturb your neighbors with excessive noise, music, guests etc.
You must prepare the following fees and deposits when signing the lease:
- First month's rent
- Last month's rent
- Security deposit
- Broker's fee (if you used a realtor)
* Security deposits and broker's fees are usually one month's rent.
Avoiding Rental Scams
- See the apartment in person before you send any money to ensure that the property exists and that your lessor is legitimate.
- Do not share your financial information with anyone.
- Stay updated on market prices for rentals. Be cautious of listings that seem "too good to be true," such as very low rent.
- Never pay with cash or MoneyGram.
- Be wary of landlords who claim to be out of the country and cannot meet.
- Ask The Office of Graduate Affairs for assistance with any housing concern.
Securing a Lease While Overseas
If you are successful in finding a place to rent while you are still overseas, please follow these precautions in securing your apartment or room:
- Have the landowner email the lease to you so that you can sign it and send it back to them.
- Wait to send any deposit until you have received the signed lease back from the landowner.
- Deposits should be paid by check or money order and returned via the mail (this can be done using an expedited service). Request a written receipt of this letter through your mail service. This will provide a paper trail ensuring that the landowner has received your deposit along with the signed lease.
- Beware of scams. Examples include prices that are too good to be true or a landowner who happens to be overseas on a mission trip. Documents containing common grammatical and spelling mistakes are also a tip-off to a possible scam.