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Find information about living Off-Campus and browse through our collection of resources.

COVID-19 Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

  • BC Off-Campus Student Living FAQs

    Have a question about your upcoming move to Boston College's off-campus community? Your answers await! This site includes the following off-campus housing search information: getting started, leases, finances, parking and transportation, roommates, and staying connected.

  • How to Sublease

    If you're studying abroad and need off-campus housing for a semester, or have an internship in Boston for the summer and would like a room in an apartment, check out this document for our recommendations on how to find a space to sublease!

  • How to Sublet

    Studying abroad and signed onto a lease? Interning outside of Boston for the summer and looking to have your off-campus space filled? Take a look at this document for our recommendations on how to find a good sublessee!

  • Guarantors Overview
    What's a "guarantor?" Is this different than a "co-signer?" Who can be my guarantor? Check out this document for an overview of what you need to know regarding guarantors that addresses many common questions we receive.
  • Moving in Boston

    A guide on moving into an apartment in the City of Boston.

  • Renting in Boston

    A guide on renting an apartment in the City of Boston.

RentSmart Boston

  • RentSmart Boston

    RentSmart compiles data from ISD and 311 to give renters access to property violations, maintenance requests that provides prospective renters and homeowners with data about Boston's properties. Developed through a collaboration between the City of Boston's Department of Neighborhood Development and the Department of Innovation and Technology, RentSmart Boston compiles data from BOS:311 and the City's Inspectional Services Division to give prospective tenants a more complete picture of the homes and apartments they are considering renting.

Sample Forms & Documents

  • Rental Application

    A rental application is the key screening document that landlords give to prospective tenants. It covers a wide range of information, including the applicant’s employment, income, and credit; rental history; references from landlords, employers, and others; identifying information, such as Social Security and driver’s license numbers; past evictions, criminal convictions, bankruptcies; and more.

  • Fixed Term Lease Example

    Many landlords require tenants to sign a written lease. Remember that the lease is a contract which, once signed, legally binds both parties to the terms of the lease. Before signing the lease, read it and make sure that you understand everything. Leases are often written in confusing language. Have your landlord or an appropriate advisory agent explain everything that you do not understand. Make sure that your lease protects your interests, not just the landlord's. Try to delete or modify clauses that are a disadvantage to you. Since many landlords now require student's parents to co-sign the lease, you should encourage your parents to thoroughly review the lease as well.

  • Tenant-At-Will Lease Example

    A tenancy agreement where a tenant occupies property with the consent of the owner, but without an agreement that specifies a definite rental period or the regular payment of rent. Tenancy at will is also known as estate at will.

  • Move-In Checklist

    The checklist describes the condition of the property as a whole and of each room in detail. As the tenant, you should inspect the checklist and make any changes before you sign and date it. The move-in checklist is important as it allows you to compare the condition of the property to the property’s condition when the you move out. Our office also recommends you take time-stamped photos of the apartment at upon move in and move out.

  • Roommate Agreement

    A roommate roommate agreement takes a preventive approach toward any potential problems that might happen between you and your roommate during the year. Instead of waiting for conflicts to arise, a roommate contract helps roommates figure out what each roommate wants and needs so that conflicts don't arise in the first place. Most roommate contracts are not legally binding but are meant more as a guideline for the living space you and your roommate will share.

  • Sublease/Sublet Agreement

    Check with your landlord as to his/her requirements or procedures before subletting and check you lease to be sure that you are allowed to sublet. Unless otherwise instructed, make sure that you sign a sublet agreement. This ensures that the sublessee is obligated to you. You are still obligated to your landlord, so if the sublessee does not pay, you will be expected to! Remember: You remain liable for all obligations until your sublettor(s)' leave. Try to get as much rent up front as possible, as well as a security deposit to cover possible damages. The landlord has the right to approve any sublessee, however, his or her approval must be based on a financial assessment, not any discriminatory factors. Some landlords charge a fee to allow their tenants to sublet, this is legal.

Tenant Resources

  • Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation

    Student rental tips and information provided by the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.

  • Office of Massachusetts Attorney General

    Contact Information for the Consumer Advocacy and Response Division, and other Massachusetts Attorney General Assistance Hotlines.

  • Housing Code Checklist

    In Massachusetts, the state Sanitary Code is the main law that gives tenants a right to decent housing. All rental housing must at least meet the state Sanitary Code. The Housing Code Checklist will help you protect your right to safe and decent housing.

  • Rental Cost Comparison

    This rental cost comparison information contains approximate ranges and averages of rent based on location and apartment style. Information was gathered from internal Boston College listings, local area postings, and a student survey. Money to which the landlord is entitled in advance of occupancy are limited by law to first and last month's rent, a security deposit, and a charge for purchase and installation of a lock and key. The amount of the security deposit and/or the last month's rent cannot be greater than the first month's rent. Rental agents typically charge one full month's rent commission fee. This fee is collected after all rental arrangements have been finalized. It is wise to negotiate and compare fees with the various agents.

  • Security Deposits 101

    Unless you owe rent or the landlord claims you have damaged the apartment, he/she must return your deposit within 30 days after your tenancy ends. If the landlord claims damages, he/she must send you an itemized list of them within 30 days and return any part of the deposit not needed to cover repairs. He/she cannot deduct for "reasonable wear and tear." If the landlord does not contact you regarding the security deposit within the 30-day period (give or take a few days), you are entitled to the full deposit back. You can take your landlord to small claims court and sue for up to three times the amount of the deposit

  • Rights & Responsibilities

    As a tenant you have both rights and responsibilities. Be sure you know what's expected of you - and what you can expect in return.

  • Fair Housing Law

    In Massachusetts, it is unlawful for a housing provider to discriminate against a protected class.

Student Insurance

  • Renter's Insurance
    Renter's Insurance can provide protection against the loss of personal property and give you peace of mind at the same time. You will want to weigh the costs and benefits of Renter's Insurance for your particular situation. Rates and coverage will vary widely from company to company.
  • Student Personal Property Insurance

    Supplemental Student Personal Property Insurance can provide additional protection for your personal property on top of a renter's insurance policy. You will want to weigh the costs and benefits of supplemental insurance for your particular situation. Rates and coverage will vary widely from company to company.

Legal Assistance

  • Lawyers for Affordable Justice

    Lawyers for Affordable Justice is an initiative by Boston College Law School, Boston University School of Law, and Northeastern University School of Law to help their graduates start successful solo practices that serve low to moderate income clients in the Boston area.

  • Mass Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service

    The Massachusetts Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service is one of the largest legal referral services in the nation, which makes it easy to connect you to the right lawyer in your area.


  • Parking and Transportation FAQ Info

    Click here to be taken to the Off-Campus Student Living FAQs section on Parking and Transportation. Included is information on parking regulations and residential parking permit information.

  • Transportation & Parking Information: On vs. Off Campus
    Have questions about commute times for municipalities around Boston and BC? Want to rent an off-campus parking spot? Need to catch the BC Shuttle Bus and want to track it via Transloc? Check out this document for the most general information on transportation and parking!
  • BC Parking & Transportation

    Transportation and Parking Services offers the Boston College community a single location for all transportation and parking information. Students, faculty, staff and visitors will find information on Boston College parking rules and regulations, inter-campus transportation, commuting aids, maps, directions, and a host of links to the greater Boston area.

  • BC Shuttle Bus

    Convenient free bus service is available around Main Campus, off-campus, and to and from the Newton Campus.

  • MBTA

    MBTA makes riding the T easier with rider tools, schedules/maps, fares and passes information, and anything you need to know about the T.

Safety Resources

  • The Community Assistance Program (CAP)

    The Community Assistance Program (CAP) is run by the Office of Governmental and Community Affairs and the Dean of Students Office. The purpose of CAP is to enhance the relationship between the wider community and Boston College’s on and off-campus students. The Off Campus Student Community Liaison leads the CAP by responding to concerns and complaints in the community to help maintain a safe, respectful neighborhood.

  • Eagle Escort

    The BC Eagle Escort service is provided as a safety resource to the BC community. Eagle Escort can be reached at (617) 552-8888. This service is available 24 hours a day and is provided to individuals who are concerned for their personal safety while traveling in and around campus. It is provided as a public safety service and is not intended as a substitute for public transportation, the BC shuttle or local taxi services.

  • Fire Safety

    For most students, the last fire safety training they received was in middle school. It is important that both off-campus and on-campus students understand fire risks and know the preventative measures that could save their lives including safety tips along with smoke alarms and sprinklers.

  • Internet Fraud

    Although this website is relatively secure, we advise all users to learn the danger signs of Internet fraud. If you are a victim or attempted victim of Internet fraud, please report the scam to police and university officials immediately so law enforcement authorities can shut the fraudulent operations down.

  • Massachuetts Lead Law

    The Lead Law requires the removal or covering of lead paint hazards in homes built before 1978 where any children under six live. Owners are responsible with complying with the law. This includes owners of rental property as well as owners living in their own single family home.

City/Neighborhood Resources

  • No More Than Four Zoning Ordinance

    While up to four full-time undergraduate college students may live together in a dwelling unit in Boston, it is not permissible for five or more full-time undergraduate college students to do so. For more detailed information, call the Department of Neighborhood Development's Boston Rental Housing Center at 617-635-RENT (or 4200).

  • Neighborhood Profiles & Descriptions

    While living in the off-campus community, we encourage you to think of yourself not only as a student at Boston College, but also as a member of the local community.

  • Boston 311

    Connecting residents to city services: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

  • Boston Inspectional Services Department

    The Boston Inspectional Services Department is responsible for administering and enforcing building, housing, health, sanitation, and safety regulations mandated by City and State governments. If you have concerns about the quality of your off-campus housing, please notify your local Inspectional Services Department of the issue and request an inspection.

Local Utilities

  • Local Utility Companies

    When you move into an apartment, you will need to have the utilities (electricity, gas, water, waste removal, and cable) turned on in your name. Your city or county government may handle some services, such as water, sewer, and garbage collection. If you live in an apartment or are leasing a house from a homeowner, the landlord may handle this for you, but that is not required. If you request service, provide as much advance notice to the utility company as you can, at least one week in advance of the date you need service to start.