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Instrata Lifestyle Residence introduces Fenway’s modern haven that offers new apartment tailored living - with a keen sense of style. Marked by a timeless pairing of stylish city luxury living and contemporary comfort, life at The Harlo is both fresh and familiar.


Instrata Lifestyle Residence introduces Fenway’s modern haven that offers new apartment tailored living - with a keen sense of style. Marked by a timeless pairing of stylish city luxury living and contemporary comfort, life at The Harlo is both fresh and familiar.



Surrounded by revered cultural institutions and a burgeoning social scene, Boston’s vibrant Fenway neighborhood elegantly interconnects historic legacy with modern city luxury living.



Surrounded by revered cultural institutions and a burgeoning social scene, Boston’s vibrant Fenway neighborhood elegantly interconnects historic legacy with modern city luxury living.

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The price to rent a one-bedroom apartment in Boston has plummeted 18% since last January, as the coronavirus pandemic has driven away student renters and many city dwellers, according recent data.

“People have found a lot less reasons to be in the hub,” said Doug Quattrochi, executive director of, a statewide community of independent landlords.

Data crunched by San Francisco-based rental website Zumper shows that as of January 25, the average rate for a one-bedroom apartment in Boston fell from $2,500 a month to $2,040. Rent for studio apartments also dropped, by 15%, to $1,700 a month. Additionally, rent for 2+ bedroom apartments dropped by double digit percentages.

“We saw rents start declining in April, and it’s been a decline since then,” Zumper’s Crystal Chen told the Herald.

One obvious factor driving down the local rates is remote learning: Boston’s tens of thousands of college students left university campuses in droves and have yet to return.

“We know the bottom fell out of the college market very quickly in 2020,” said Quattrochi.

But that’s not the only reason prices are dropping. Quattrochi, a landlord himself, says he and other property managers have seen unemployment affect people’s ability to sign new leases. In many cases, people are prioritizing having more space over living in downtown neighborhoods.

That’s what happened to Lisa LeBlanc, who has been trying to find a tenant for a two-bedroom apartment on picturesque Chestnut Street in Beacon Hill. LeBlanc said her longtime tenants moved out in December to buy a home. She let them out of the lease assuming that dropping the rent would attract another occupant quickly.

“My MO is always, if I can rerent the apartment to someone else good, it’s okay. We can work together,” LeBlanc said.

But even after reducing the monthly rent from $3,650 to $3,100, she hasn’t filled the unit.

The renters’ market will hurt mom and pop landlords like LeBlanc more than large leasing corporations, Quattrochi predicts, and that could be bad for tenants long-term.

“Small landlords help their renters. They’ll collect your mail and bring in your boxes in the rain,” he said.

LeBlanc said she recently had a tenant who lost one roommate during the pandemic and struggled to find a replacement. She reduced his rent from $2600 to $1500 while he looked for someone to fill the empty room, and he eventually added a new roommate to the lease.

“You can’t be greedy in a market like this,” LeBlanc said.

Mom and pop landlords got some government rental assistance at the end of 2020, but Quattrochi estimates Massachusetts will need another boost to prevent landlords from “selling out” to big leasing companies.


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Even before the novel coronavirus pandemic made it that much tougher to rent here, the Boston area was already one of the nation’s most expensive and competitive apartment markets. Making sense of it can therefore be a bit overwhelming as can any initial search for that perfect—or at least habitable—rental in a desired neighborhood.

These 12 sites can help prospective tenants filter through listings and hopefully find that next lease. None are comprehensive, and many rely on landlords or brokers paying to list on the sites; but they are each very good on-ramps into the market in that they show what sorts of apartments are available where at what prices and with what amenities.

So, whether you’re looking for a spacious spread in a luxury building or simply a place to sleep in between classes or work, start with these.


Abodo has snazzy region-wide filtering features such as “near campus,” “fitness center,” and “pool” as well as the more utilitarian filters such as price range and number of bedrooms. Abodo also covers both new-development rentals and older apartments listed individually. There also apps for both iPads and Androids.


Many of RENTCafe’s listings come via property managers, so it can skew toward newer apartment complexes—which can often mean the more expensive listings in the Boston area at a given time. But the site does provide a tool for divining your rental budget. And there’s a cool feature that allows users to search for listings within a radius of a map point.


Zumper relies on landlord or property manager listings. That said, it’s quick and to the point, and will provide reams of listings in given ZIP codes or neighborhoods. Users can also filter fairly fast by not only standard things such as number of bedrooms or whether a building allows pets but by “senior living,” “income-restricted,” and “Section 8” (referring to the federal rent voucher program). So Zumper is a good place to look for affordable rentals. There are also Zumper apps for iPads and Androids.


Founded way back in 2011, Zillow is one of the oldest online apartment listings sites. It too is quick and to the point—and can be overwhelming without its filters. There is a lot to choose from in a Zillow ZIP code or neighborhood search. Luckily, there are those filters. The site also provides a fast rental budget calculator. And, yes, there’s an app for that.


A Zillow-owned property, HotPads has all the bells and whistles that Zillow itself has—though a much more user-friendly and direct homepage as well as a helpful feature called simply “If you like [fill in the blank with the neighborhood or city you were just searching].” This feature lists other areas you might try based on your most recent search. There are HotPads apps for iPad and Android.


Another Zillow-owned site, Trulia is sort of a clone of its parent. But what makes it worth using is its 35-plus filters that include more mundane things prospective renters might not consider, including whether an apartment has a balcony or other outdoor space or whether there’s a microwave or other appliances.


The wizened granddaddy of online apartment searches in the Boston area—its first local listings posted in 2000, four years before the founding of Facebook—Craigslist is still worth checking out for a no-frills, low-filter romp through available apartments of varying quality. Users can also hunt for sublets or single rooms for rent; and they can post housing-wanted ads. There are Craigslist apps for iPads and Androids.


The top half of ApartmentList’s homepage provides a quick avenue for filtering where prospective renters want to lease and what size apartment they’re looking for. The site also has a well of data and trend posts; and there’s an easy rent calculator. ApartmentList relies on landlord and property manager listings.


RentHop is a particularly to-the-point listings search, with a quick rundown of availability right from its homepage, plus rundowns of the Boston region and its component parts. In other words, it’s both a quick entryway into the market and a quick way to filter through that market. Plus, RentHop’s listings cover both newer apartments and older ones. There’s an Android app and one for iPads.

This site is positively Google-esque in its homepage—just a box in the upper half to start searching right away. does tend to lean on newer, more expensive listings, however, though it does include a snazzy “lifestyle” filter that weeds through listings to find apartments geared toward students or for the short-term or for those seeking corporate housing. There are Android and iPad apps too.

Boston Pads

Also presenting a simple initial interface, the locally based Boston Pads bills itself as possessing a real-time database of available homes for rent or sale in—well—the Boston region. The search box that pops up right away, too, allows for fast queries by Boston neighborhood or by municipality (Cambridge, Somerville, etc.). And there ways to search for specifics such as amenities, parking, and the permissibility of pets.

Rental Beast

Somerville-based Rental Beast bills itself as hosting the “most comprehensive database of rental listings” for multiple metros nationwide, including Boston. It does not charge landlords to list on the site, and for tenants includes a snazzy interface that quickly leads to ways to filter apartments by things such as price, neighborhood, and building features. There’s also a clever tool for searching by commute. Rental Beast itself reviews the veracity of many listings and will note that.

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Renting in the Boston area amid coronavirus, explained

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Glut Of Empty Boston Apartments Means Good Deals For Renters

BOSTON (CBS) — Krista Cornchuck never thought searching for an apartment in Boston would be so much fun. “This is amazing,” she said walking into an apartment at 30 Dalton Street with a massive window and a panoramic view of Boston’s Back Bay.

Krista moved out of the city a few years ago to escape the steep downtown rents, but she is now looking at places that are hundreds of dollars below her budget.

READ MORE: Injuries Reported At Car Crash In South Boston

“Which is pretty incredible compared to what it was a year ago,” she said.

“We are seeing a lot of incentives,” said Krista’s Realtor Jacob Coro. “One, Two, sometimes even three months free rent right off the top.”

“It’s unlike any market we’ve seen before,” said Demetrios Salpoglou of Boston Pads, a real estate company that tracks vacancies across Boston. His data shows that back in the fall of 2019 Boston had about 1,200 apartments available. Right now there are about 5,500, which is great news for renters.

“The biggest price reductions we see are in move-in rates,” explained Salpoglou.

READ MORE: State Workers Face Sunday Deadline To Get COVID Vaccine Or Risk Losing Jobs

In Boston, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is about $2,500. A year ago, that would have required the first month’s rent, last month’s rent, a full month for a security deposit, and the broker’s fee. That’s $10,000 just to move in.

“Now you have tenants moving in with just one month’s rent.”

The condition of apartments is also better than ever according to Salpoglou. “Because we’ve had such a high vacancy rate, it’s given landlords an opportunity to go in and renovate their places,” he said.

Salpoglou also said if you are looking to move soon, you can even try to negotiate a lower rent, but he believes the market might tighten up again in the fall when he hopes the students will be back in full force.

MORE NEWS: Lawrence Teachers Will Rally Before School In Response To Increased Fighting

But for now, Krista is enjoying her options, which include a building with a pet spa, perfect for her pandemic pup, Cici.


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Apartment scams

Last updated:

We work with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office to educate consumers on many issues. Learn how to identify and avoid apartment scams online.

Many renters use third-party websites to search for housing since they are easy to access and there are no fees. Renters put themselves at a higher risk when using these websites because anyone can post a rental listing without it being verified. The best course of action against a rental scam is prevention!

Tips to avoid scams

general tips
  • Make sure the landlord is who they say they are. You can search the apartment address in our database to see who the actual property owner is.
  • If you are using a real estate agent or broker, make sure they are licensed by the state. 
  • Make sure the rental unit is registered with the City's Department of Inspectional Services.
  • Never give money to someone unless you're sure they are the landlord or leasing agent.
  • Never use a wire transfer to pay for an apartment. You can't get your money back after a wire transfer.

Don't fill out an application unless you're certain it is real. Be cautious about giving out personal information, like your social security number and bank numbers.


Always insist on seeing the apartment before you rent it. Scam listings usually have fake photos or photos stolen from an older listing. Keep an eye out for:

  • listings with unusually low rent
  • listings with grammatical or spelling errors
  • no screening process, such as a background or credit check, and
  • offers to pay the security deposit in installments.

Don't hesitate to walk away from something that seems suspicious. Trust your instincts. If you have spotted a rental scam, report it immediately.

'Historically Unheard Of' Low Rents, High Incentives For Boston Area Apartments

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