The challenges of finding accommodations in the Boston area can be difficult. The list of temporary accommodations will be helpful as you look for off campus housing or wait to get into a dorm. Harvard University Housing leases and manages more than 60 properties. They have also engaged Off Campus Partners to create a searchable database of permanent non-Harvard housing in the Cambridge and Boston area. You may also search the Off Campus Partners site for Harvard University Housing sublets if you meet the eligibility guidelines in the Sublet Kits.
If you have not finalized your housing arrangements in advance of arriving at Harvard, you may want to make plans to stay someplace temporarily. While Harvard does not have any temporary accommodations, there are various options available in the Boston area.
You may be eligible to sublet a room or apartment in Harvard University Housing. Please view the Sublet Kits to confirm eligibility. For a list of available HUH sublets, visit Harvard Housing Off-Campus click “Housing” and then click “HUH Sublet”.
Please note the following:
- Rates are subject to change without notice.
- A tax of 14.45% is added to all room charges.
- Some hotels offer special rates for Harvard students, scholars, faculty or staff. Ask about this when you call to make reservations. These special rates are dependent on room availability.
- Special rates might also be available for stays of 7 days or more, weekends, or for reservations made far in advance of your proposed stay. Ask the hotel or guesthouse about this.
- Many accommodations include continental breakfast and/or free parking. Ask when you call.
- Summer rates are always significantly higher than other times of the year; check for rate changes.
Harvard University Housing
Harvard affiliated housing includes apartments available to full-time Harvard students, scholars, and faculty. Listings of apartments in the greater Boston are also available. To apply, contact Harvard University Housing.
Renting an Apartment
Harvard University Housing has engaged with Off Campus Partners to provide this service to members of the Harvard University community. This site is owned and operated by Off Campus Partners. The listing of rental opportunities on this site is offered as a service to local rental property owners and to Harvard University graduate students, faculty, and staff. Property owners and persons seeking roommates are responsible for reporting information fairly and accurately; Harvard University, HUH, and Off Campus Partners do not review such listings or endorse or inspect any of the listed properties. We caution all prospective tenants and roommates to verify all information you receive. Harvard and Off Campus Partners expressly disclaim any responsibility for any issues that may arise out of these listings.
Most landlords require tenants to sign a lease, a legally binding contract outlining the conditions that both the landlord and the tenant agree to meet. Leases are usually for one year, although it may be possible to arrange a lease for a shorter period of time. Before signing any lease, one should understand everything in it. Signing a lease commits a tenant to paying the amount of rent specified on the lease every month for the duration of the lease, whether one occupies the apartment or not.
Landlords may ask for the first and last month's rent when one signs a lease. Some will also require a security deposit (usually equal to one month's rent). The security deposit will be returned to the tenant when the lease ends, provided that there has been no damage to the property. For the tenant's protection, the landlord should document (in writing) any damage that existed before the tenant moves in the apartment. The landlord is required by law to put the security deposit in a special account (called an escrow account). Within 10 days of receipt of the deposit, the landlord must give the tenant in writing the name and address of the bank, and the account number where the tenant's security deposit has been placed.
NEVER WIRE MONEY OR PAY A DEPOSIT FOR A RENTAL WHICH YOU HAVE NOT SEEN IN PERSON.
It is important to find out whether or not the rental price of an apartment or house covers utilities and heat (oil, electricity or gas). Cold water usage for apartments is usually included in the rent. The prospective tenant should ask the landlord which type of heat is being used and which company to contact to arrange for service. You can get an estimate of the monthly utility bills by calling the respective companies. If utilities are paid separately, the tenant will be charged monthly for gas and electricity. If your heat is provided through oil, you will usually need to pay for the oil at the time of oil delivery.
Stoves and Refrigerators
Most apartments are furnished with either gas or electric cooking stoves. Please be certain that the pilot light of a gas stove, which automatically ignites the burners, is always burning. If the burners do not light when turned on or if there is an odor of gas, the pilot light should be checked immediately by the gas company. A refrigerator may or may not be included in an apartment. You can lease a refrigerator from Harvard Student Agencies or purchase a second-hand one from individuals or discount appliance stores.
Washing Machines and Dryers
Apartment buildings may have coin-operated washing machines and dryers in the building. Also, many neighborhoods have Laundromats with coin-operated washers and dryers. It is best to bring your own soap to the Laundromat because it is expensive to purchase soap there. Most Laundromats are open for 15 - 18 hours a day and have money-changing machines and counters or tables for folding clothes. Some Laundromats offer washing-and-folding services for a fee.
Renter & Property Insurance
Anyone living in a rented apartment should consider having personal property insurance to cover both property loss and personal liability (protection against any person sustaining an injury or loss in the apartment). Such insurance covers personal liability even when one is not home. The usual coverage for personal liability is up to $100,000; this amount can be increased to $500,000 with little extra cost. When discussing coverage with an insurance representative, you should mention any special conditions such as subletting, roommate coverage, or additional coverage for expensive items such as jewelry, computers, or other equipment. Personal liability and renters insurance may be obtained through private brokers.