Off-campus housing tips

This past year the Office of Admissions surveyed our current students to provide incoming students with more information about on- and off-campus housing at Fletcher. We hope that this information is useful to you as you search for housing.
Finding an apartment
  • Start looking early!
  • Tufts Off-Campus Housing Office is an excellent source.
  • Try to see the apartment in person (or send a proxy) before signing the lease.
  • Define your housing preferences before you start your search.
  • Save all of your records related to housing.
  • Review all of the details of your lease before you sign it. Be sure to know your rights.
  • Talk to people living in the area about the area.
  • Connect with current students - they are the best resources about housing and may lead you to an available apartment.
  • The Fletcher Orientation Website (available in June) is a very useful source for housing information and connecting with other students.
  • If you start really early, get in touch with second-year students who are graduating.
  • If you wait until August, your housing options will be limited.
  • Consider starting your lease in June and subletting your apartment. This allows you to finish your lease in June rather than August.
  • Compare a few places before deciding on one.
  • Don’t spend too much time on places advertising ridiculously low rent - you get what you pay for!
  • Try to see the place (in person or through pictures) before accepting it.
  • Do not feel that you need to rent the first place you see - shop around a bit.
  • You may be able to avoid realtor’s fees by contacting the building management directly.
  • Try to get a place for August 1 (rather than September 1) - this will give you time to move and get settled before classes start.
Additional Costs
  • Be clear about what utilities are included or not included in the rent.
  • Having utilities included in your rent will increase your monthly payment, but may be worthwhile in the end considering the cost of utilities.
  • The winters are cold in the Boston area. Plan accordingly for heating and electricity costs. Be sure to ask the landlord for a realistic sense of utility costs.
Location and Transportation
  • Living close to public transportation or the Tufts University Shuttle is a real time saver.
  • Learn about Zipcar if you do not have a car.
  • Be sure to consider the cost of commuting to school versus a cheaper apartment farther from the school.
  • You will pay more if you want to live closer to Davis Square (near the subway).
  • The closer you live to campus, the better since there is so much happening at Fletcher day and night - just look at our Events Calendar.
  • Investigate the MBTA Bus Lines carefully. You might be able to find a reasonably priced apartment that is just a short bus ride away.
  • Be sure to ask about parking availability.
Apartments and Roommates
  • Living with other graduate students/Fletcher students makes arranging house schedules much easier.
  • Blakeley Hall is a terrific option. It is very convenient and affords you opportunities to interact with your classmates in a way that you otherwise might not be able to.
  • A great place is not worth it if you sense that the landlord will be difficult and not willing to fix problems.
  • Make sure that your apartment has a good work space that is quiet.
  • If possible, meet or connect with potential roommates before committing.
  • Ask about laundry facilities.
  • If you have children, ask landlords up front if the apartment is de-leaded.