Frequently Asked Questions

How does the renewal process work? Do I need to reapply every year?

Once you are a Harvard University Housing tenant you will typically have the option to renew your lease at your current unit as long as you continue to meet eligibility requirements.

Am I able to sublet my room or apartment?

You may sublet at certain times of the year and to those meeting eligibility requirements. Please visit the sublet page for more information.

Why live in Harvard University Housing?

There are plenty of reasons to make your home with us – here are just a few.

  • We offer properties near the Cambridge, Allston, and Longwood Medical Area campuses
  • Public and Harvard transportation systems are easily accessible.
  • Utilities (heat, hot and cold water, electricity, gas, and – where provided – air conditioning) are included in your rent.
  • We do not require a security deposit, application fee, or finder’s fee.
  • Rents are conveniently paid via your student account or payroll deduction.
  • Properties are managed by Harvard University Housing; after-hours emergency services are available.
  • All our properties are non-smoking.
  • Apartments at select locations include Internet service. Free wireless Internet access is available in many common rooms.
  • Several properties offer special housing options, including pet-friendly and furnished apartments.
  • Laundry facilities are located in most properties.
  • In-building fitness rooms are available to residents of Harvard @ Trilogy, 5 Cowperthwaite Street, 10 Akron Street, and the Cronkhite Graduate Center.
  • Sustainability practices are integrated into all of our operations, we offer sustainable living programs, and several of our properties are LEED certified.
  • Graduate Commons, an interdisciplinary, community-based program is offered in all HUH properties.
Can I make changes to my application after I submit it? Will it impact my View and Select windows?
  • Yes, you can make changes, but the process varies by date and may have consequences on your window assignment. Please read this information carefully and contact the Leasing Office if you would like additional information. Note that approved applications that were submitted between March 1 and May 1 are eligible for View and Select window assignments.
  • Between the time you submit your application and when it is validated (approved) you are able to login to the Applicant Portal and make changes, including adding or dropping roommates or family members. Note that approval can happen in a matter of minutes or it might take several days.
  • Once your application is validated, you must contact the Harvard University Leasing Office to make changes to your application.
  • Very important:  You may contact the Leasing Office at any time to make a change to your application. However, if your change will impact your window assignment (such as adding a child), it must be made by 5:00 p.m., EDT, on May 1 in order to be taken into account when the assignments are made. Once the window assignments are made, they cannot be changed.
  • If you would like to add or drop roommates from your application after it has been approved but before May 1, you can do so by contacting the Leasing Office. You may not add or drop roommates from your application after May 1; the original application must be cancelled, to which all roommates must agree in writing. Note that this will mean everyone on the application will lose access to the assigned View and Select windows. Those who still want to live in Harvard University Housing must submit a new application. As the deadline for window assignments will have passed on May 1, the applicants will have access only to units on Currently Available.
  • When submitting an application with a roommate, please be absolutely sure you want to share a unit if you are submitting one application together. If you are not certain about sharing a unit, we suggest applying separately and adding a roommate at a later date. After you have signed a lease, you may add a roommate through the Roommate Addition process or drop a roommate by submitting a Roommate Lease Termination form. Information on these processes is available in our Tenant Policies.
How and when can I add a roommate?

If you would like to apply for Harvard University Housing with a roommate, click here for information.

If you would like to add a roommate after your lease is signed, click here for information.

If a property is listed on the Our Properties page does that mean there are units available?

No. We list information about all of our properties on our web site. Approved applicants who are ready to select a unit will have up-to-date information about availability by logging in to the Applicant Self Service page.

Who is eligible for Harvard University Housing?

All lease or housing contract holders in Harvard University Housing must be full-time Harvard graduate students, faculty, or employees, eligible for the property and apartment size chosen. Click here for details.

Is there a housing wait list?

No, all available units are posted on-line on our Applicant Self Service page. Click here to learn more.

How many units will become vacant?

Approximately 1,300 units become vacant each year.

Does Harvard University Housing offer any non-smoking housing?

All Harvard University Housing properties are smoke-free. Smoking is prohibited within the apartments, on apartment balconies/patios, near building entrances and exits, all exterior premises, and in all common areas within these buildings, including hallways, stairways, elevators, laundry rooms, and any other designated non-smoking areas.

Does Harvard University Housing rent furnished units?

Yes, it does. You can select “furnished” as one of your search criteria when viewing our properties. Note that not all units in the property are necessarily furnished. View a list of all furnished units.

Can I bring my pet?

Certain apartments and properties are designated as pet-friendly. Please click here for more information. You can select “pet friendly” as one of your search criteria when viewing our properties and you can then see which units in that property are pet friendly.

In addition, fish are currently are permitted at all HU Housing properties except Cronkhite Graduate Center. Fish are limited to an aquarium that does not exceed 50 gallons.

If you sign a lease for a pet friendly apartment, you will need to complete a Pet Authorization Form, whether or not you plan to bring a pet.

Is parking available at Harvard University Housing complexes?

Harvard University Housing does not manage any parking facilities. However, parking is available, for a fee, through Harvard University Parking Services. They offer parking at or near many HUH properties.

Parking restrictions apply at certain properties; specific information is available on each property page.

What should I do if I need a unit modified to accommodate my disability?

Please begin by reading the information here and then contact the Harvard University Housing Disability Coordinator, who is available to assist you.

How much can I expect to pay for my unit?

Harvard University Housing rents are set at market rates. We offer units at a range of prices, based on location, size, and building amenities. You can see the rent ranges for each building when you view our properties.

Please note that the Cambridge/Boston real estate market is expensive. You can lower your housing costs by sharing with a Harvard-affiliated roommate. Please visit the HU Housing Roommate Center to help find one.

What is the standard lease or housing contract term?

HU Housing leases vary in their start dates, but under most circumstances they end on June 30 of each year. Exceptions sometimes occur when a building or an apartment is being taken off-line or is part of a pilot program.

Cronkhite Graduate Center housing contracts typically start in early July and end on June 30 of the following year.

Are any additional services available for Harvard faculty members?

The Faculty Real Estate Office offers a variety of individual real estate counseling services to relocating and current faculty members of the University. For more information, click here or send an email to fres@harvard.edu.

My friend(s) are graduating. Why can't I just take over their unit?

The number of vacant units available each year is smaller than the number of applicants. In the interest of impartiality and fairness, we require everyone to submit an application and to participate in our regular leasing process. Visit Apply.

Can my friend rent a unit for me?

A friend or a family member may rent a unit for you if you have legally designated them to act on your behalf by obtaining, in advance, a Power of Attorney. Either you, or the person you designate, must provide the Harvard University Housing Office with the original Power of Attorney document. The form of the Power of Attorney varies from state to state and country to country, so we suggest you seek legal counsel regarding this matter. 

Am I guaranteed housing if I apply by the May 1 application deadline to be assigned an online View and Select Window?

No, unfortunately we cannot make that guarantee. Your chances vary due to a number of factors, including the number of available units, the total number of active applicants, the timing of your View and Select window assignment, and the flexibility of your housing preferences. Remember that you can also check Currently Available listings as soon as your application is validated.

If I sign a lease, how do I pay my monthly rent or housing payment?

Your initial payment must be returned with your lease or housing contract documents. Payment can be made by check, money order, traveler’s checks, wire transfer, or credit card. The fastest and most reliable method for making your initial housing prepayment is by credit card using Harvard University Housing’s (HUH) online rent payment credit card link. Your lease or housing contract package will include instructions.

Your ongoing or subsequent payment method depends upon your affiliation with the University. Click here for more information.