Students Renting in Boston

“Boston is a great place to come for college or graduate school. If you are a student living on your own, considering moving off campus, or making plans for after graduation, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities as a tenant and a neighbor. The information on this page can help you make smart choices that will enhance your experience as a resident in this world-class city.”
– Mayor Thomas M. Menino

Living in an apartment in Boston can be an exciting experience, but being a tenant and a good neighbor comes with certain rights and responsibilities.

The Boston Rental Housing Center (BRHC) is here to help you understand those rights and those responsibilities.

Household Size Limits for Students

If you are an undergraduate college student looking for an apartment in Boston or a landlord renting to college students, you need to be aware that amendments to the definition section of the Boston Zoning Code effective March 13, 20081 may affect you. This amendment does not apply to undergraduate students living in dormitories, or fraternity or sorority houses.

In a nutshell, while up to four full‐time undergraduate college students may live together in a dwelling unit in Boston, it is not permissible for five or more full‐time undergraduate college students to do so. For more detailed information, call DND’s Boston Rental Housing Center at 617-635‐RENT (or 4200).

1 Boston Zoning Code art. 2 and 2A.