Common Questions About Rooms for Rent in Boston, MA
What does the average room for rent cost in Boston?
Rooms for rent in Boston can cost between $600 - $1300 per month. The price typically depends on the Boston neighborhood you are interested in and the amenities the apartment has to offer.
Where can I find rooms for rent in Boston?
You can find them on Boston Pads! We have the largest database of rooms for rent in the area. Popular neighborhoods for room rentals include Allston, Brighton, East Boston, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, and Mission Hill, among others. You can also find rooms for rent in areas near Boston, such as Cambridge, Brookline, Somerville, and Malden.
How do I rent a room in Boston?
There are a number of things to keep in mind when you are looking at rooms for rent in Boston. Consider your finances and credit history, the location you need, amenities you want, and most importantly, be honest with yourself about how you are to live with and what you are looking for in potential roommates. If this sounds like a lot, don't worry. Boston Pads is here to help. We make the process of renting a room in Boston simple and hassle-free.
About Rooms for Rent in Boston
Boston Pads welcomes you to the most vibrant, exciting and fun city in the world! However, a newcomer might feel overawed with the huge amount of housing and activity that defines Boston. Rooms for rent are in high demand in a city with the best schools, colleges, and universities, a thriving job market, amazing history, world class shopping, dining, and entertainment, internationally renowned medical institutions, and champion sports teams.
Rooms for rent move quickly and the market is competitive. Property Owners can be discerning, but so can you. Whatever your requirements, desires, and tastes, Boston Pads will help you find the perfect rooms for rent. Even if you are not new to the area, navigating through the real estate market without proper guidance can place you at a clear disadvantage. We can efficiently and skillfully help you find the best rooms for rent in Boston.
Investigating Rooms for Rent in Boston
First, do your homework! Sit down and have a conversation with yourself. We often overlook details because we are too busy running to work, school, social engagements, etc. Now is the time to take that deep breath and focus on your real needs. Do not focus on wishful thinking. We all want a waterfront view, concierge service, and a swanky roof deck. However, most of us are dealing with a real-world budget rather than a celebrity’s bank account. When looking at rooms for rent in Boston, consider what you really have to spend and what you can spare. Always leave a little in the bank for the unexpected. Life has a way of throwing ants into the cake mix.
Most experts advise that you spend no more than 25-33% of your available funds on rent. If you need to calculate in utilities, you will need to estimate around 35%.
Be aware of other fees that might emerge. Some landlords want a security deposit, a pet deposit, pet rent, or parking fees. You might think that the hamster should not pay rent, but not every landlord will agree with you. Remember the 36 rule: divide your annual salary by 36 to determine what you can afford. If you are a student, this may not apply, though you may need a cosigner. If you are not sure how to calculate expenses, Boston Pads has many trained professionals to help you find rooms for rent in Boston.
Room Rental Costs
Some proprietors may try to take advantage of the unwary renter. They will sometimes ask for more than the going rate for their locations. Landlords or present tenants with rooms for rent might misrepresent the area. That’s why it’s so important to have an experienced leasing agent on your side. If the room rent equals the rent of a whole apartment, it might not be a good deal. Travel around Boston and get a feel for different places. As of this writing, the current average rates for rooms for rent in the Boston area are as follows:
- Allston: $750 – $1,000/month
- Brighton: $700 – $900/month
- Cambridge: $1000 – $1300/month
- Dorchester: $600 – $1,000/month
- Roxbury/Mission Hill/Fort Hill: $750 – $1,200/month
- Medford/Malden: $700 – $1,000/month
- Somerville: $900 – $1100/month
- East Boston: $700 – $1000/month
- Revere: $600 – $900/month
Where Should You Look for Rooms for Rent?
Every area in and around Boston is unique. You might want to consider more than just the proximity to work, school, family, transportation, shopping, etc. If you love music, you want to be in Allston. Harvard Square in Cambridge is alive with street performers, some of whom have become famous. Roxbury is home to Boston’s largest park – Franklin Park. If it is green space you want, there are 527 acres of it. The available rooms for rent in Boston give you lots of choices.
Medford is the location of Tufts University, which has a lovely campus with a beautiful view. If history is your passion, Downtown Boston might be your perfect spot. If you want to be in the Innovation District, Seaport Boston is the place to look for rooms. Of course, for people who cannot resist the crack of the bat, Fenway is for you. The list of activities, sites, and amusements would take a book. This is just a taste. Boston Pads is pure, 100 % Boston and we never run out of rooms. Boston Pads has the largest inventory of rooms available and will work with you no matter what your price range.
Living with Roommates
Be Honest With Yourself
Ask yourself why you are looking at rooms for rent in Boston. Your answer will probably be that you need a place to live. However, if you rent a room within an apartment, there will be other people there. Do you play well with others? Knowing someone and living with someone are very different relationships. This is the time to look at your past relationships.
Was it difficult to share space? Did you feel as if people were in your way? Does noise bother you? Do you have trouble tolerating the views of others? Are you very neat and want everything in its place at all times? Do you have good communication skills? Are you a good listener? Do you embrace a healthy life-style and have trouble living with drinkers or smokers? Before you embark on a shared living situation, be honest with yourself. Your answers to these questions will determine whether you should look for rooms for rent in Boston or find an apartment.
Enjoy the Company
On a very positive side, finding rooms for rent in Boston has many advantages. It could be isolating and lonely to live alone in a big city. Having someone there to share some food or a drink might be just what you need after a long day. In addition, we humans need to communicate with others of our kind. It is sometimes difficult to vent to an empty chair, enjoy your favorite show by yourself, or frequently eat alone. You also might move in with people who have common interests. This will give you some support and people with whom to socialize.
If you are just looking for more of a business relationship, there are other advantages to moving into one of the rooms for rent in Boston. If you cannot afford the kind of apartment you want or the area you want, you might be able to afford a room. There might be parks, restaurants, stores, museums, libraries, music venues, or athletic facilities that you really like and want to be near. Maybe you cannot afford an apartment near your school or place of employment but rooms for rent are within reach. Boston Pads will help you find the best rooms for you at the best prices for you.
Time is a Factor
Time factors also need to be part of your equation. You must determine how long you want to stay in a particular place. You also have to consider how long the room will be available. Your roommates might only be staying until the end of the year, but you need a place for two years. However, if you are graduating soon, just have a temporary assignment, or are in the area for a finite amount of time, selecting one of the many rooms for rent in Boston might be a better choice than renting an apartment. Finding someone to sublet a room would be easier than trying to find someone to sublet an entire apartment. If you’re responsible for the contents of an apartment and you need to move, you have much more stuff to move, sell, or dispose of. One room would make more sense for someone in transition.
Knowing the house rules before you move in could save you and your roommates a lot of grief. If you are a smoker and your potential roommates do not smoke, do not move in. If you like to party and this is a quiet group, do not move in. In other words, find out what their pet peeves are and ask why they keep them as pets.
Boston Rooms for Rent with Pets
No article on rooms for rent in Boston would be complete without mentioning real pets. We are a nation of critter lovers. However, not everyone feels the same about living with animals. The first thing you have to ask is whether pets are allowed in the building. Some leases will specify “no pets”. Some leases will say “only small, caged animals”. Some leases allow cats but not dogs. There could be many variations.
If they allow pets, ask how your potential roommates feel about animals. If a potential roommate is allergic to animal fur, no on Fido or Fluffy. However, that does not mean that you can move in with a reptile or bird. Phobias can be much more traumatic than allergies, so remember to ask. Some roommates might be okay with a pet if it is kept solely in your room. However, be realistic about your pet. Few cats or dogs will remain in only one room. I understand how you feel about your fur babies, or scale babies, or feather babies, or indeterminate babies; however, if not a good fit with your potential roommates, keep looking. There are plenty of rooms for rent available in Boston.
Discuss and determine shared responsibilities before you move in. Some people have a rotating cleaning schedule; some people never clean at all. Determine shower times that coincide with everyone’s schedules. Ask if everyone prepares their own meals or if that is one of the responsibilities that is shared. Ask about consequences if tenants do not mop up their own messes. You might not be a neat person, but space is limited. If someone has trashed a shared kitchen space, you may not have time to prepare your own food.
You might also want to discuss if there are any common food items you will all share. Sometimes it is cheaper to buy certain items in bulk. You might want to chip in for condiments, milk, and other staples, as well as toilet paper, paper towels, dish soap, and other household supplies. If there is a television in the living room, what are the times you can use it? You do not want to be watching your favorite show and have someone interrupt. This could lead to a lot of resentment and you do not want that.
Boundaries are also important. Ask if people have locks on their bedroom doors. I know that you think you can trust the people with whom you live. Some of your roommates might even resent this question. This is not the time to be squeamish about asking sensitive questions. Inform your roommates that you do trust them, but you do not personally know all of their friends.
While we are on the subject of sensitive topics, be on the lookout for anything that might be questionable or illegal. You might be cool with certain activities in other people’s homes, but if someone you live with is involved in illegal activities, you are also under suspicion. If the police have to seize one of your roommate’s computers and/or phones, they will likely seize everyone’s computers and/or phones. Always be cautious.
Furnished Rooms for Rent in Boston
Some of the rooms for rent in Boston are already furnished. There could be many reasons why someone leaves furniture in a room. The furniture could be in good condition and has been in that room for eons. It is the permanent resident that has never left the apartment. It could be in terrible condition and the current residents are just too lazy to haul it to the curb. Perhaps the current tenants think that they can get more money for a furnished room. Maybe they can get more money for a furnished room because so many people looking for rooms to rent in Boston are in transition.
When you look at the furnished room – never rent a place sight unseen – examine the furniture closely. Now, do not stop reading because I sound like your mother. This is important! Pay attention! Does the furniture have a bad odor? Is it falling apart? Does it have stains that may have questionable origins? All of these characteristics could indicate furniture that is infested or unsanitary.
So what can you do if everything else about the rental is perfect? Ask some simple questions. Ask your potential roommates if you can cover the furniture with slipcovers. These are inexpensive and available in most department stores. If you are concerned about something crawling out, ask if you can keep frames and replace cushions. If the furniture is disgusting beyond the point of resurrection, see if you can reach an agreement with the current residents. Maybe they will reduce the price and you can get some used furniture. You can tell them that you will leave it when you move. The people at Boston Pads have dealt with every situation imaginable; they can provide solutions that may not be obvious to the non-realtor.
Rooms for Rent in Boston with Utilities Included
On the surface, that sounds great. It is part of the package. Well, let us pick this apart a little. You are not getting the deal you think you are getting; it only sounds like a bargain.
Property owners use a formula to calculate how much money to add to the rent for utilities. They start with the highest amount ever spent in a month for utilities at that particular address. They divide that amount by the number of bedrooms in that unit. Then, they add that amount to your monthly rent. Experts estimate that you are paying $25.00 to $100 .00 more per month for rent. That is a lot!
The safest and least expensive route is to divide the utilities among the tenants. Have one bill in each name. The above formula only benefits the proprietor. There might be months in which you use less electricity, gas, or oil. In addition, the cost of electricity and fuel fluctuates; the utilities market is not stagnant. These fluctuations and savings should go in your pocket, not the landlord’s pocket. Again, your best source of information is Boston Pads. There are sharks out there so get some experienced divers.
Boston Rooms for Rent: Do You Need Renter’s Insurance?
The simple answer is “yes”. You are probably thinking that you do not need insurance because your old stuff is not worth much or you are going to replace it anyway. So what if someone breaks in or there is a fire, or snow caves in the roof, etc. Let us think about this a minute. Think about all of information stored in your computer. Think about having to acquire money if you have to move. Insurance can provide some peace of mind if anything unforeseen happens.
The first thing you need to do is buy a fireproof box in which to store important papers. This would include your insurance policy and your lease agreement, as well as important personal documents such as your birth certificate, passport, and medical information. You should also have a list of the important items that you would need to replace if there was a disaster of some kind. That list should include replacement costs.
What Type of Insurance Coverage Should You Have?
Insurance plans can get elaborate, but it is a good idea to at least cover the basics. Minimum insurance should cover personal property, liability, and living expenses.
Personal property coverage covers the cost of repairing or replacing stolen, damaged, or destroyed possessions. For example, a chunk of ice falls through the roof and demolishes your computer. This coverage will pay to replace the computer. There is a loophole here that might require an add-on to the basic policy. The insurance company might want to just give you the original price of the computer, not the replacement cost. A replacement cost value plan will cover the cost of that computer in real time.
Liability coverage will cover you if you damage the property. For example, your 140-pound Rottweiler wants attention, tries to jump on you, misses you and sends your computer crashing through the window. (It could happen.) That window belongs to the property owner.
Coverage for living expenses would pay for lodging if your room were no longer habitable. For example, that aforementioned ice chunk left a large enough hole for pigeons to fly into your room. This is a health hazard due to pigeon droppings. (Not to mention that the aforementioned Rottweiler will leave pigeon pieces all over the room, which is also a health hazard.) You need a different place to stay while they are repairing the roof.
If you are not accustomed to reading insurance policies, ask for help. Boston Pads has the personnel to answer all of your questions. Do not sign anything you do not understand!
What Is a Cosigner and Why Do I Need One
A cosigner/guarantor is someone who signs a written agreement to pay your rent if you do not. It is a kind of insurance for your property owner. In other words, if you do not pay your rent, your cosigner will.
You are probably wondering why you need a cosigner since your portion of the rent is relatively small. Relatively small is a relative term. Let us examine this concept further by crunching the numbers. Suppose the rent for your room is $800 a month. If you have a six month lease, that will add up to $4,800. Twelve months will add up to $9,600. That is a lot of money!
Before renting the room to you, the property owner will do a credit check. This will reveal if you are a good prospect or not. Your credit score is your real-time financial report card. They give you a number that will indicate how fiscally responsible you are.
Creditworthiness & Credit Scores
Credit Score of 300 – 450: You are a human being with a pulse who is not aware that those unpaid bills are chasing you. Perhaps you are protesting capitalism by defaulting on everything. Perhaps you believe a hungry computer who regards these paltry sums as appetizers will eat all of the bills. Maybe you are dead and someone somewhere has forgotten to update a database. However, if you are alive and need to move into one of the great rooms for rent in Boston, you will need a cosigner.
Credit Score of 450 – 550: You have serious delinquencies on your record. You will need a cosigner.
Credit Score of 550 – 650: Property owners must assess this score on a case-by-case basis because you cannot get the whole picture based on these numbers.
Credit Score of 650 or above: You probably will not need a cosigner unless your landlord is a risk adverse algorithm that demands nothing but perfectly choreographed perfection.
At this point, you might be thinking that this in inhumane. You are so much more than a number. You are bright, talented, and kind to puppies and kittens. This is an outrage! Actually, this is just business. The property owner or property manager does not know you any better than those puppies and kittens. She/he wants to know if there is someone out there who does know you and believes you are trustworthy. This person has to believe in you enough to risk her/his own income and financial report card. If you cannot find that one person, then how can you expect a property manager, property owner, or algorithm to believe that you will pay on time?
Renting a Room in Boston
There are so many details to consider when finding a place to live. There are so many rooms for rent in Boston that it is easy to throw your hands up and jump into the first place you see. You do not need to do that! Boston Pads is an integral part of the Boston community and we will rescue you. We are famous for high quality, trustworthy service that always delivers on its promises. Boston Pads has more information than all of the other real estate companies combined. We will find you the best rooms for rent because we bring out the best in Boston. Welcome to your new home.