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!
Where to Look for Apartments Near MIT
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.
If you're not in the "big budget" boat, Central Square is your best bet for being close to campus without breaking the bank.
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:
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
Required Forms for MIT
Check out this step-by-step guide to getting approved to live off campus at MIT.
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
- A student for whom no Cancellation Form is received by the given deadline will automatically lose his or her housing assignment for the following academic year and will be fined $100.
- Source: Residential Housing and Dining Policies 2013-2014 (MIT)
2. Cancellation Before the Start of the Academic Year: $250 or $500
- If you have confirmed your intent to reside in an MIT residence for the upcoming academic year and you wish to cancel that assignment, you must notify Undergraduate Housing by submitting a Cancellation Form by June 15.
- Cancellations received after the deadline will be subject to a cancellation fee of $250.
- If you do not take your confirmed room assignment by 4PM on Registration Day of the fall term, you will be charged a $500 fee and your assignment will be canceled automatically.
- Source: The Housing Assignment Process (MIT)
3. Cancellation During the Academic Year
- You may cancel spring semester assignments without paying a penalty if you submit your cancellation form by December 1.
- You will be charged a fee for cancellations occurring during the term in addition to any rent charges that have accrued.
- Rent for the semester will be prorated to the day that you turn in your keys and check out of your room. (see below)
- If you cancel your housing assignment or withdraw from MIT, you must move out of your residence.
- Source: The Housing Assignment Process (MIT)
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.
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)
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.
“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.
- Hours: Mon - Fri, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
- Phone: 617-258-6510
- Phone (after hours): 617-253-2997
- Fax: 617-258-6357
- Building: W20-022
- Email: [email protected]
- Twitter: @mitcommuter
- What will it cost? Check out the parking rates for the 2013-2014 school year.
- What if I carpool or don’t need to park every day? You’re in luck! MIT provides an application for Occasional, Evening and Student Carpool Parking Permits.
- What about sharing a permit? Totally cool -- just make sure to fill out the Additional Parker form to allow a friend, spouse or relative at MIT use your permit as well.
- Where can I park? Check out MIT’s Lots, Zones and Where You Should Park page.
- What about when my family visits? Bring ‘em all! Just be sure to get a Temporary Permit for Family Visitors so they can park with peace of mind.
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 & Residence||Minimum plan||Cost|
|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|
- Full 19: 8 guest passes per semester
- Any 14 and Basic 14: 6 guest passes per semester
- Any 12 and Basic 12: 4 guest passes per semester
- Any 10, Basic 10 and Any 7: 2 guest passes per semester
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.
|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|
|Ashdown House||Denise Lanfranchi||617-253-2963|
|Baker House||Jonathan Nolan||617-253-3675|
|Bexley Hall||Jonathan Nolan||617-253-3675|
|East Campus||Joseph Graham||617-253-2863|
|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|
|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|