Leases, Moving In & Housing Code

Quick Links

Boston Housing Code & Viewing an Apartment

As you search for housing, you will need to make appointments with landlords or property managers to view apartments. It is important to be prepared and informed when you go to visit an apartment. The tools below will help you ask the right questions and know the appropriate conditions of an apartment for rent:

For more in-depth information about Boston housing code regulations visit:

If you believe that your apartment does not meet housing code, contact a Board of Health Inspector in your community:

  • Boston Housing Inspection Department  - 617.635.5322
  • Cambridge Building Department - 617.349.6100
  • Somerville Board of Health - 617.776.6120
  • Quincy Code Enforcement – 617.376.1238

Housing Scams and Fraud

Be cautious of housing scams as you search for apartments online. To learn the warning signs or report a scam visit:

Rental Applications and Leases

Rental Applications

A rental agent or landlord may require that you and your roommates submit a rental application if you are interested in renting an apartment. The landlord may use this information in making a decision whether or not to rent the unit to you, but the landlord is prohibited from discriminating against you on the basis of race, sex, religion, ethnic origin, family status, or disability. See a sample rental application here:


Leases are a contractual agreement between landlords (the “lessor”) and you and your roommates (the “tenants” or “lessees”). Most landlords in Boston require a minimum lease period of one year. You should pay close attention to the terms and conditions for renewing a lease, subletting, and the ability to add roommates to the lease at a later time. Make sure you receive a copy of the lease that has been signed and dated by both the owner and you and your roommates. See a sample lease and a list of common terms here:

Moving In and Out

Moving In

Download the Moving In Checklist to stay on track through the moving process:

Moving Out

Use the Moving Out Checklist to avoid problems or extra charges when you move out:

Use the Vacation Checklist to keep your apartment safe and problem-free while you are away for an extended break: