Apartment Condition and Safety
- Rental Delivery Standards – All rental units in the City of Boston must meet rental standards on move-in. If the apartment is not up to Rental Delivery Standards, report it on: BOS:311 for non-emergency Boston city services.
- Housing Code Checklist – A Housing Resources guide to a safe and sanitary apartment.
- Do not move into an unsafe or unsanitary apartment. Report on: BOS:311 for non-emergency Boston city services.
- Apartment Condition Statement is added to your lease by the landlord, and you must complete it within 15 days of moving into the apartment. Take pictures of the apartment’s condition for your records. See Leases-Renting Essentials.
- Check to see if previously agreed on repairs are complete. Notify the landlord at once if repairs have not been made. Also, include incomplete repairs with other maintenance issues on the Apartment Condition Statement.
Apartment Safety and Precautions
- BU Fire Safety links are the most important to read. In event of a fire, leave the building immediately and then call 911 from a safe location outside. Get out, time is critical. Have a fire evacuation plan in place.
- Boston Fire Safety-Apartment – Make sure your apartment has a working smoke detector. The city requires smoke detectors in all apartments and if your landlord refuses to install or repair them, contact the City of Boston to report the violation.
- If you live in an apartment not covered by the smoke detector law, seriously consider installing a smoke detector on your own. It could save your life.
- Carbon Monoxide Safety – Properly working carbon monoxide (CO) detectors should be installed in the immediate vicinity of the sleeping area. This is the responsibility of the property owner. If not installed, contact the City of Boston to report the violation.
- Dial 911 if your CO alarm sounds.
Smart Apartment Security, your personal safety
- Use COMMON SENSE, EXERCISE CAUTION and TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.
- Always lock your doors even when home and your windows on the first floor and lower levels when not home or sleeping. A secure door should include a deadbolt only accessible from inside the apartment.
- Request that your locks on the doors be changed when you move in.
- If you have a sliding glass door, place a wooden rod in the door rail so it cannot be opened from the outside.
- Never “buzz” someone in you do not know; never allow strangers to follow you into the building, or to enter while you are leaving.
- If your front door lock is not working report it to the property manager or landlord to have it fixed.
- Never open the door to someone you do not know. Ask for an ID.
- Do not leave valuables in view.
- Public areas of your building should be well lit.
- Keep mailbox locked and write only your last name with/without first initials on your mailbox.
- Take your newspaper and packages in daily. Cancel papers while away.
- Keep emergency numbers in a common area or on refrigerator door.
- Notify the police if any unfamiliar person is hanging around your building.
- Know how to contact the person responsible for maintenance and who has the master keys.
- Know your neighbors.
City of Boston Emergencies
- Call 911 In the Boston area for emergency assistance: police, fire, or medical.
- Alert Boston to receive messages from the City of Boston about snow emergencies, parking bans and school closings.
Boston University Medical Campus Emergencies
- BUMC Emergency Communications – Connect to campus emergency information and resources.
- BUMC Emergency Information Hot Line 617-638-6886 – Call for immediate update for emergency weather or any other on-campus situations.
While not all rentals require renters insurance, understanding the cost, benefits and what happens when you are not covered is important. For those who are likely to rent, this guide will help determine if renters insurance is necessary and how much it will cost. You can review the guide here: Why You Need Renters Insurance.
Renters insurance covers you and your possessions as a renter of an apartment or house. Landlords have insurance, but only for their property, not yours. A standard renter’s policy protects your personal property, in many cases for theft or damage, and may pay for temporary living expenses if your apartment is damaged and unlivable. It may also protect you from personal liabilities.
This list is provided as a courtesy and service for students. It is not intended to endorse any company or product.