Searching for Off-Campus Housing
When students begin their off-campus housing search, these are the most typical questions they have.
Is it more expensive to live on or off campus?
When trying to make the decision between on- or off-campus housing, we recommend checking out our Getting Started page to learn more about renting in the Boston area. You can also download worksheets to help you identify what you're looking for and compare the costs of your off-campus housing options to what it costs to live on campus.
When calculating costs, be sure to factor in services and benefits included with on-campus housing, such as maintenance services, internet, proximity to classes and dining, practice rooms, and access to residence hall staff.
Can I sign a Housing License Agreement for on-campus housing and then cancel it if I decide to live off campus?
Students who fill out the housing application, pay the prepayment, and are offered housing will be responsible for paying the full amount stated in their contract. The only students permitted to be released from their housing contract are those who are withdrawing from the institution.
Students who have applied for housing on campus should not sign leases for off-campus housing.
Services for Off-Campus Students
Living off campus doesn't mean you lose access to all of the helpful resources and services on campus. The questions below are the top things off-campus students ask about their access to on-campus services.
What are my transportation options as an off-campus student?
The public transportation system in Boston is run by the MBTA and is referred to as the "T". It is a network of bus and subway lines that connect all areas of the city. Berklee's campus is within walking distance from a number of T stops. All Berklee students are eligible for a discounted MBTA pass (login required), referred to as a Charlie Card.
We strongly discourage students from bringing a vehicle to campus as the only available parking is limited and metered. Parking restrictions are strictly enforced.
If I live off campus, can I still have a meal plan?
Off-campus students have the option of purchasing a meal plan through Dining Services. All meal plans are purchased directly online and can be paid for using a credit or debit card. The meal swipes are automatically added to your Berklee card. There are many different meal plans to choose from, and you can always add additional meal swipes to your card later in the semester. Off-campus meal plan options are generally posted several weeks before the start of the new semester.
Please note that meal plans are not available for the fall 2020 semester.
For more information regarding meal plans, visit berklee.campusdish.com or call 617-747-8964.
Can I rent an on-campus drum locker?
On the first day of classes, off-campus students can come to the Housing Office to rent a drum locker at a rate of $50 per semester. Students renting a drum locker must sign a rental agreement and pay using cash, check, or credit card. Drum lockers are available to nonpercussion principals on a limited basis and are not available for students not registered for classes on the Boston campus.
Please note that drum lockers are not available through the Housing Office for the fall 2020 semester.
All drum lockers are located in the basement of 130 Massachusetts Avenue near the Ensemble Department office. Any equipment left in the locker after the rental period has expired will be removed, and the renter will be fined.
What resources are available to me if I experience an off-campus roommate conflict?
Conflict is a normal, healthy, everyday occurence. Successfully resolving conflicts can provide opportunities for growth, development, and learning. Berklee's Office of Community Standards and Conflict Resolution is committed to helping students mediate and resolve interpersonal conflicts while providing students with the skills to succesfully navigate conflicts throughout their lives.
Conflict coaching and mediation sessions are available to students. For more information on these services, please visit the Office of Community Standards and Conflict Resolution website. To request conflict resolution support, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
COVID-19 Information for Renters
Wondering how the pandemic might impact living off campus? Be sure to check out the resources linked below to stay updated on anything you need to know about COVID-19 and being a renter.
Is there any COVID-19–specific information that applies to renters?
The City of Boston has a COVID-19: Housing Response website where homeowners and renters in the Boston area can learn about any pandemic-specific information that may apply to them, as well as find various options for support.
What legislation has been passed to protect tenants in Massachusetts during the pandemic?
Governor Charlie Baker signed a moratorium on evictions, which you can view here. This legislation includes the following provisions:
- It establishes a moratorium on most residential and commercial evictions within the Commonwealth for the duration of the State of Emergency and 30 days after the State of Emergency ends.
- Landlords may not charge late fees or send reports to credit rating agencies if a tenant notifies the landlord within 30 days of a late payment that the nonpayment of rent is due to a financial impact related to the COVID-19 emergency.
- It prohibits landlords from sending “notice to quit” letters for the duration of the State of Emergency and 30 days after the State of Emergency is terminated.
- It establishes a moratorium on foreclosure actions for the duration of the State of Emergency and 30 days after the State of Emergency ends.
- Emergency evictions may proceed during the moratorium for actions that involve allegations of criminal activity or substantial lease violations that may be detrimental to public health or public safety.
I no longer need housing. How can I get out of my lease?
You will need to speak directly to your landlord or property manager as you are still responsible for your contract through the end date. You may have the option to sublet or terminate your lease early for a fee.