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What to expect renting an apartment for the 1st time in Boston

Hello! Thanks for giving us a chance to help you this year. If you’re new to the rental process, I hope you’ll find this helpful. My goal is to let you know what to expect from the process and what to look out for should you happen to not rent through Preview Properties again this year.
The first thing you are going to sign is called an agency disclosure notification, and while not every agency uses them, it’s required by law, so we do. This form discloses that we receive a fee for our services should you decide to rent through us.
Your agent has prepared a “cheat sheet” for you to keep track of details and amenities for each property that you are going to view. Please feel free to make notes on this sheet as it’s yours to keep. Your agent has found the top properties in our database based on the information, your wish list, etc. If you see a place that works for you, a one-month deposit check is required to take it off the market.
The difference between an apartment that works for you vs. an apartment that you love, more often than not is how it shows, the condition it’s kept in, etc. What do I mean by this? You could take two identical apartments, same layout, same square footage, etc. and have one staged by Crate & Barrell and the other with two really smelly/messy tenants. The “Crate & Barrell apartment” is going to rent for more and quicker than the smelly/messy apartment, even though it’s the same apartment on paper. Try to remember this as you’re out looking. Keep in mind that the apartment that you rent is going to be clean and empty when you move in.
I recommend discussing with your group or on a piece of paper what is important to you. Is it location? Is it a large kitchen? A porch? I’ve seen too many groups start out not fully sure of what they were looking for only to realize the first or 2nd place that they were shown was the best of everything they ended up seeing. More often than not it’s too late at that point, so I highly recommend ironing out what’s important to you now so that you don’t lose out on that great place.
Below I hope you’ll find some interesting/helpful tips for you to consider during your apartment hunt…
*This process should be smooth from start to finish. You look at some apartments, pick the one that meets the most of your criteria, fill out applications, leave a one-month deposit and once accepted you sign leases. Your Preview agent stays on top of your paperwork, makes sure you receive working keys to a clean apartment. Easy. What complicates the process with other agencies is inexperienced/undertrained agents. What complicates the process with us is if you don’t get your forms/leases signed asap and your payments aren’t sent in on time. These are things that you can control so you can plan on an extremely smooth transaction with us.
Can I/we move in early?! The top request we get is “Can I move in a day or two early to beat the rush?” The short answer is no. We wish you could too but I’m sorry you cannot. Why? Many of our properties are managed by professional management companies who have strict rules for handing out keys on the lease start date. Another reason is that the incoming tenants may not be out until the 1st. . Also, if the apartment needs to be professionally cleaned, the only time to do that is in between the old tenant leaving and you moving in. Lastly, we cannot release your keys until your balance is paid in full, and all paperwork is in. If there is a perfect storm and all of the outlined conditions are met, we will do everything in our power. One thing I will tell you book your moving truck NOW for September 1st.
*95% of the time buildings include the heat and the hot water. 95% of the time houses do not.
*If you are not working a full time/salary job, most landlords are going to require you to have a co-signor. It’s Assurance for them that someone without income to support the rent payments will not be a financial risk. The process is easy and straight forward and all forms can be accessed on our website previewbostonrealty.com The lone exception to this is students who are here on an I-20 Visa
*Not all Landlords and Management Companies are created equal. There are certain Landlords who we refuse to work with that other companies are happy to work with. Make sure if there’s a deal that’s too good to be true, you’re not getting stuck with a crappy management company. I cannot mention any names, but Google can. An apartment that looks great when you see it, is great for the price isn’t going to be so great if your repair and maintenance needs aren’t being met.
*Try not to get caught up in the idea of a FEE. A $1,375 FULL FEE apartment is the same as The $1500 NO FEE!! Apartment, just being marketed in 2 different ways. We do not do this. You will know what the fee is on every one of our apartments before you go out. Most of the time, it’s dependent on what the market is doing. Currently the way things are renting very quickly Landlords aren’t willing to pay any portion of the fee.
*Applications/Paperwork If you are working/professional and will not be needing a cosigner, your social is required to obtain a credit report. We shred your credit report as soon as the landlord has it. We are not legally allowed to give you a copy of the report, unfortunately. We use Experian for our reports.
Once you are accepted, you will be signing a lease, we use the standard Greater Boston Realty Board, a fixed term lease that is most common in Massachusetts. Please make sure that you and your co-signor do not make any changes to this. This is the same lease we use for every apartment we rent, and as I mentioned, it’s very standard. You will want to pay special attention to the lease addendum as the lease typically includes state laws, the addendum is more tailored to your specific landlord/apartment.
Typically students and anyone without a full-time job will require a co-signor aka a guarantor. If you have co-signors, they can fill them out on our web site, and the sooner we get them back, the better. That goes for any additional documentation that is asked of you. Paperwork can be a breeze or a drawn out mess so stay on top of it, and you’ll be done in a day or 2. Now you can sit back and enjoy your summer, work on your tan, etc.
*Application fee’s are ways for other companies to make more money. We don’t charge any application or move-in fee’s, and we only charge you $5 per credit report because that’s what we pay for them. You shouldn’t pay more nor should you pay an application fee
*Keys. We test our keys on a daily basis but sometimes we get keys so close to your showing that we are unable to test them first. If this happens, please don’t be too hard on your agent who is embarrassed that keys to that apartment don’t work. They will always get you in within 24 hours and apologize for the inconvenience.

With Preview Properties, you are assured of the following: You will be shown at least one apartment that few if any other agencies have. You will be working with a knowledgeable, well trained and professional agent and that the process will be as smooth as possible. After you secure your apartment and send in the paperwork, your job is done. Stick to the payment schedule that you’ve worked out and go work on that tan…

We are committed to offering our clients the best rental experience possible. If you have any feedback on your experience, what you liked/what you didn’t like as well as any other things that we could do to improve the experience in the future, please email me directly at adam@previewbostonrealty.com Thank you!

 

Adam Mason
Preview Properties

p.s Please check us out on yelp!!

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