1. When should I start to look for a new rental?
Nothing happens without a good plan! The BEST time to start your search is between four to six weeks prior to the move-in date- except for September 1st movers- start in January!
2. How quickly do I need to make a decision about renting an apartment?
When you walk into “your new home” you will know it – you will be able to visualize your belongings in the space. There is a limited number of outstanding places at a reasonable price. Competition among leasing agents and prospective tenants can be intense at times. You can always decide to go home and sleep on it for a day, but it is always best to come prepared to make a decision at the viewing.
3. How can I simplify my search?
Know what you criteria is – make a list and prioritize what is most important to you. Don’t run yourself to apartments or cities that you know don’t suit your needs. Stay within your budget. To qualify for an apartment, your income should be at least 3X the annual rent. Please keep this in mind as you are deciding what you can afford. If you don’t qualify for an apartment alone, some landlords accept a co-signer. The guarantor will need to demonstrate financial stability and good credit. Your time is valuable- use it to your best advantage!
4. What are the upfront costs associated with leasing an apartment?
Landlords and management companies have different criteria, but in a nutshell, most are looking for first month’s rent and a one-month security deposit. There are others that require first AND last month’s rent, and still others that require both of these along with a security deposit – and they could also ask for a key deposit.
5. What is a security deposit?
A security deposit cannot exceed 1 month’s rent. The security deposit is held in an escrow account and is used by the landlord to pay for any damages due to non-reasonable wear and tear. Normal wear-and-tear is not deducted from the security deposit; as long as you leave the apartment in the same condition as when you moved into it you should get your deposit back once you’re no longer living in the apartment.
6. What is a broker fee and why should I pay it?
The agents at Cosmopolitan Real Estate work hard finding and showing you the best apartments, negotiating with the landlord, and preparing all the lease paperwork. Working with our professional agents gives you access to the best exclusive listings, peace of mind that you are not being scammed, and saves you hours of scouring ads and scheduling appointments. The broker fee is equal to one month’s rent. Depending on the listing, either the full fee is paid for by the landlord, the fee is split between the tenant and the landlord, or the full fee is paid by the tenant. This information will be listed in the advertisement.
7. I’m seeing my dream home today- what should I bring?
Come prepared to rent the unit. Bring a checkbook, drivers license/passport/other government-issued ID, current paystub (from within the last 30 days) and references to complete the application.
8. What is required to apply for my new home?
- You will need to complete and sign an application
- Supply verification of income (a paystub from within the last 30 days)
- Copy of government issued picture ID (such as a driver’s license/passport/etc)
- One month’s deposit.
Upon receipt of all of this, we will process the application and submit to the landlord for approval. Once approved, you will need to provide a check for the remainder of deposits due and sign the lease. This should be done immediately, as the landlord is NOT obligated to anyone until they themselves have signed the lease. Under normal circumstances, we usually can get the application processed, approved, and a lease ready for you to sign the same day.
9. Will you rent me the apartment sight unseen?
Yes. Many of our listings are fully photographed – some with 3D virtual tours – and include good descriptions. You can file all the paperwork electronically, and funds can be wired or put on a credit card.
10. What is this document that I have to sign in order to view an apartment that I don’t know if I will rent?
Massachusetts law requires Our Terms of Service and Fee Disclosure be disclosed to you in writing prior to viewing any property. It can be found in the “forms” section.
Please consult your attorney if you need legal advice.