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With move-in day around the corner for college students, it’s important to be aware about tenant rights and renter’s insurance. We’ve compiled some tips and reminders as students prepare to move into off-campus apartments or houses:

  1. Beware of rental scams. Ensure that you visit and thoroughly inspect your future apartment before moving in. Landlords that are unable to schedule a viewing of your prospective apartment or ask for rent installments via wire transfers and gift cards may be a scam.
  2. Check your lease agreement to confirm whether or not utilities are included in your rent. The amount of monthly utility bills often fluctuate according to your usage. Utilities can become very costly if managed inefficiently.
  3. Pay your rent on time to avoid any possible fees and the risk of eviction. Review your lease for the dates each rent payment is due.
  4. Hire movers from a reputable and reliable company. Scammers may attempt to trick your into hiring companies with very low rates. Do your research before paying for any moving services.
  5. Reserve a parking spot if you plan on using a moving truck to avoid a potential parking ticket. Also remember, you cannot drive a moving truck on Storrow Drive!
  6. Plan your route you are driving through Boston. Due to the number of college students and other renters moving around Boston at the beginning of the month many streets are closed. Check out what streets will be closed or have restrictions during move-in weekend (August 31st through September 1st).
  7. Purchase renter’s insurance. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, students have the choice between personal property and liability insurance. You may have to purchase additional insurance depending on what you own. Parents can contact their insurance company to check whether existing insurance covers their child’s rent agreement..
  8. Familiarize yourself with your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. Review our blog on tenant rights when handling minor disputes with your landlord is a disagreement arises or contact Housing Court if necessary.

College can be both exciting and stressful. We hope these tips and resources help make move-in day go smoothly.

Additional resources available

 

The Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation along with its five agencies work together to achieve two goals: to protect and empower consumers through advocacy and education, and to ensure a fair playing field for Massachusetts businesses. The Office also oversees the state’s vehicular and customized wheelchair Lemon Laws and Arbitration Programs, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs and the MA Do Not Call Registry. If you have additional questions, contact the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation by calling our Consumer Hotline at (617) 973-8787, or toll-free in MA at (888) 283-3757, Monday through Friday, from 9 am-4:30 pm. Follow the Office on Facebook and Twitter, @Mass_Consumer.

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