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MIT Off-Campus Housing

Looking for off-campus housing near MIT? We're here to help.

Living off-campus at MIT provides a great lifestyle for you active, independent undergrads and grad students at one of the premier academic institutions in the world. If you're considering the off-campus life, we hope this guide will help you out — feel free to reach out if you have any questions too!

mit off campus housing

Where to Look for Apartments Near MIT

Kendall Square

If you have a big budget, you'll probably look for Kendall Square apartments near campus. We've put together a list of apartments near MIT for bigger budgets.

Central Square

If you're not in the "big budget" boat, Central Square is your best bet for being close to campus without breaking the bank.

Other neighborhoods

If Kendall or Central aren't your style or you're having trouble finding available apartments there, check out our post on the best neighborhoods in Boston for young renters.

When to Look for Apartments

Knowing you want to look for apartments near MIT is one thing. Knowing when to look is another. Let's see if we can't shed some light on the subject for you.

As opposed to living on-campus – where you can more or less follow the instructions and timing of the housing department and snag a room – finding apartments near MIT takes some coordination if you want to up your chances of finding a great place. Here are some ground rules on timing your search, in order of months with the most apartment availabilities:

September

79% of Boston/Cambridge apartment availabilities

Overview: Most apartments near MIT run on the standard 12-month lease starting on September 1st. That's nearly 140,000 apartments changing lease-holders on one day! Timing Suggestion: Start in May/June

mit off campus housing

January 

11% of Boston/Cambridge apartment availabilities

Overview: Boston's second biggest month for leases is January, some of which is attributed to students returning from Fall semesters abroad and looking for long-term off campus housing. Timing Suggestion: Start looking in August/September. Note: Many MIT students living off campus sublet their apartments over the winter recess in January while they are away.

August 

8% of Boston/Cambridge apartment availabilities

Overview: The last significant chunk of availabilities for apartments near MIT happens in August. Some lease-holders don't want to deal with the craziness of Allston Christmas -- one of the more notable nicknames for September 1st in Boston -- so they jump in on a lease a month before the madness. Timing Suggestion: Start looking in April/May. Apartments near MIT are out there for the taking! If you know you'll be in the market, make sure you give time yourself as much time as you can for your search. The earlier, the better.

How to Look for Apartments near MIT

Use the MIT off-campus housing search

OCH works with a large and diverse list of rental properties, from MIT off-campus properties to locally owned units offered by real estate agencies that have worked with the Institute for years.

Use Craigslist

It's the worst and it will cost you an extra month's rent to use a broker, but they have the biggest selection. You can also use this IFTTT recipe that Jumpshell put together that will automatically send you new "by-owner" (i.e. no fee) Craigslist ads for September 1st lease dates:

IFTTT Recipe: 9/1 Apartments in Boston: By-Owner Craigslist Ads — #Boston #apartments connects craigslist to email

Required Forms for MIT

Check out this step-by-step guide to getting approved to live off campus at MIT.

mit off campus housing

So you're an undergrad looking for off campus housing at MIT, but you're not sure how to get the thumbs-up from MIT off campus housing department. Jumpshell's got you covered with this step-by-step guide to getting approval to live off campus at MIT:

STEP 1: Fill Out a Housing Cancellation Form

During the Spring semester, eligible students are asked to renew their housing assignment for the following year by signing a new Housing and Dining Agreement or cancel their on-campus housing by completing a Housing Cancellation Form.

STEP 2: Timing is Important - Watch Out For Fines

If you do everything by the book, you'll be fine. But watch out for these scenarios where you can get fined for deciding to live off-campus: 1. No Cancellation Form: $100

2. Cancellation Before the Start of the Academic Year: $250 or $500

3. Cancellation During the Academic Year

STEP 3: Give MIT the Head's Up if You Want to Live On-Campus Again

Students who wish to reside again in MIT housing must complete a Housing Request Form, and then will be added to a waiting list for housing. Waiting lists are satisfied in the order of application date. Click here to find out more information about the waiting list. Unfortunately, return to the MIT Undergraduate residence halls is not guaranteed for students who leave the Undergraduate Housing System to pursue other off campus living opportunities including those who ask for return to housing within their 8 semesters of eligibility.

Landlord Documents

If you're looking to rent an apartment near MIT, it will be really helpful to your landlord to provide a few documents to show you'll be an awesome resident. Because you are!

The typical documentation that landlords ask for from their future tenants -- significant credit and employment history -- will likely not apply to you as an undergrad at MIT. Luckily, there are a two documents that you can provide that should work just as well for securing MIT off campus housing:

1. Guarantor Form

An apartment guarantor form is a form that you can use to have someone vouch for your personality and your ability to make payments. The person who vouches for you is the guarantor. You, or the person requiring a cosigner, will need to hire a Notary Public for a small fee. The notary will need to stamp, date and sign the form. Here are a few places to find a Notary Public in Cambridge and Boston. Tip: As a student, you should anticipate the landlord asking for an guarantor form -- make sure you fill one out in advance so you can quickly snag an apartment that looks good to you by staying a step ahead of the competition.

2. Confirmation of Scholarship Stipend (if applicable)

If you have a scholarship to MIT and you're looking for off campus housing, landlords will often be reassured if they see evidence that you're receiving financial support from the school. Likely you'll be receiving a scholarship stipend, so showing the letter from MIT's financial aid department confirming that stipend -- which should state the amount you're receiving -- should be a great "support" document to make you a more attractive candidate. Questions about guarantor forms or other documents you'll need for MIT off campus housing? Hit us up with a question in the comments below!

Parking On-Campus

Check out this step-by-step guide to on-campus MIT parking as a commuter student.

If you're living off-campus and you have a car, chances are you’ll be looking to snag some MIT parking -- unless your M.O. is to just park it on the curb and flash the hazard lights (not advisable). Here’s the lowdown on parking at MIT.

MIT Commuter Connections

“All students who park any motor vehicle on MIT property are required to purchase a parking permit each academic year from the Parking Office.” - MIT Commuter Connections

So, to get your MIT parking permit: Apply Online or head to the Parking & Transportation Office and fill out an application there.

MIT Parking & Transportation Office
FAQs and Corresponding Resources: If you're looking for information on how to park off-campus in Boston and/or Cambridge, be sure to check out our guide to Parking Permits in Boston and Cambridge.

Meal Plans for Off-Campus Students

Check out this in-depth resource on on-campus meal plans while you live off campus at MIT.

If you live in an apartment near MIT, you may still be interested in capitalizing on the MIT meal plan. Of course, what you can get and what it costs will depend on whether you're an undergraduate student or a graduate student. The team at Jumpshell -- in our continued effort to make off-campus living at MIT more enjoyable -- has broken it all down for you: Students who reside in a non-dining residence hall or live off-campus may voluntarily enroll in the meal plan program. These students must purchase the minimum meal plan for their semester term. See the chart below for your options. We've also provided the per meal cost for your convenience:
Student's Class Year & ResidenceMinimum planCost
Maseeh Freshmen FULL 19  All 19 meals/week: breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinnerPLUS: 8 guest meal passes (per semester) $4,774/year (570 meals) Per meal cost: $8.38
Optional plan (open to anyone from a lower-level plan) ANY 14 Any 14 meals/week: breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinnerPLUS: 6 guest meal passes (per semester) $4,562/year (420 meals) Per meal cost: $10.86
Baker, McCormick, Next, Simmons FreshmenORFreshmen from a non-dining residence hall. BASIC 14 14 meals/week: 7 dinners and 7 breakfastsPLUS: 6 guest meal passes (per semester) $4,032/year (420 meals) Per meal cost: $9.60
Maseeh Sophomores ANY 12 Any 12 meals/week: breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinnerPLUS: 4 guest meal passes (per semester) $4,112/year (360 meals) Per meal cost: $11.42
Baker, McCormick, Next, Simmons Sophomores ORSophomores from a non-dining residence hall BASIC 12 12 meals/week: Any combination of 12 breakfast/brunch or dinner.PLUS: 4 guest meal passes (per semester) $3,608/year (360 meals) Per meal cost: $10.02
Maseeh Juniors and Seniors ANY 10 Any 10 meals/week: breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinnerPLUS: 2 guest meal passes (per semester) $3,580/year (300 meals) Per meal cost: $11.93
Baker, McCormick, Next, Simmons Juniors and SeniorsORJuniors and Seniors from non-dining residence halls BASIC 10 10 meals/week: Any combination of breakfast/brunch and dinner.PLUS: 2 guest meal passes (per semester) $3,078/year (300 meals) Per meal cost: $10.26
Once you're on a meal plan, you're also allotted a number of guest meal passes for visitors. Here's how those break down (naturally, the more robust your meal plan, the more guest passes you get): WARNING: You can't rollover unused meal credits from one semester to the next. So be sure to make the most of your meal plan if you get one. If you're into checking out the nitty-gritty, MIT has made its full House Dining Meal Plan Contract available online. Check it out here or scope out MIT's dining FAQ page for answers to more granular questions. So, if you know any future or current MIT students thinking about apartment renting in Boston or MIT off campus housing, let them know that being a part of the meal plan is definitely an option.

Important Contact Information

If you're trying to track down someone at MIT Housing to talk to, check out this list.

Still have questions about MIT off campus housing? Below, you will find contact information for individuals providing key resources to residents of undergraduate housing.

Key Services Directory

OfficeLocationPhone
Evening Residential Emergencies (4 PM-8 AM) - ask to "page Unit 12" 617-253-1500
Graduate and Family Housing Assignments W59-200 617-253-5148
Off-Campus Housing Service W59-200 617-253-1493
Housing Renovations and Construction W59-200 617-253-4324
Summer Guest Housing W59-200 617-253-1485
Undergraduate Housing Assignments W59-200 617-253-2811

Residence House Managers

ResidenceHouse ManagerPhone
Ashdown House Denise Lanfranchi 617-253-2963
Baker House Jonathan Nolan 617-253-3675
Bexley Hall Jonathan Nolan 617-253-3675
Burton-Conner Ken Donaghey 617-253-3263
East Campus Joseph Graham 617-253-2863
Eastgate Carla Bengtson 617-253-7463
Edgerton House Trudy Morris 617-253-4954
MacGregor House Bob Ramsay 617-253-1463
Maseeh Hall Rui Borges 617-324-4936
McCormick Hall Jonathan Nolan 617-253-5963
New House Michael Doucette 617-253-6563
Next House (500 Memorial Drive) Jason Doucette 617-253-8763
Random Hall Julie Gagnon 617-253-7563
Senior House Ken Wolff 617-253-3190
Sidney and Pacific John (Jack) Ahern 617-253-0553
Simmons Hall Nika Hollingsworth 617-253-2065
Tang Hall Michael Collins 617-253-5146
The Warehouse Julie Gagnon 617-253-0400
Westgate Michael Collins 617-253-5146
 

Housing Staff Directory

StaffLocationPhone
Hapgood, Jen (Associate Director of Housing) W59-200 617-258-5488
Bowen, Geri-Lyn (Graduate and Family Housing) W59-200 617-253-5148
Carton, Naomi (Associate Dean of Residential Life & Dining) W59-200 617-452-4280
Charles, Stephen (Graduate and Family Housing) W59-200 617-253-5148
Collins, Dennis (Director of Residential Life, Capital Renewal and Renovation)  W59-200 617-253-5145
Coppett, Tasha (Assistant Director Graduate and Off-Campus Housing)  W59-200 617-253-4449
Hatchouel, Phil (Renovations and Construction) W59-200 617-253-4324
Honohan, Colleen (Information Technology) W59-200 617-252-1555
Kelly, Bridgette (Guest and Summer Conference Housing) W59-211 617-253-1485
Kotadia, Nilam (Manager of Housing Assignments) W59-200 617-253-0191
Lonero, Chris (Evening Operations/Nightwatch) W51 617-253-1579
Lugo, Sandra (Graduate and Family Housing) W59-200 617-253-5148
McLaughlin, Charlene (Evening Operations/Nightwatch) W51 617-253-1588
Nolan, Chris (Renovations and Construction) W59-200 617-258-0215
Patton, Linda (Part-Time Off-Campus Housing Specialist) W59-200 617-253-1530
Roderick, Dan (Director of Housing Operations) W59-200 617-253-1392
Vacant (Evening Operations/Nightwatch) W51 617-253-1579
Whelan, Marsha (Renovations and Construction) W51 617-253-4324
Winsor, Ken (Evening Operations/Nightwatch) W51 617-253-6390

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