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Utilities

Many landlords include some or all utilities in the rent. Depending on what is or is not included in your rent, your monthly costs could vary considerably. If previous utility statements are available, you will have a good idea of what to expect.

Heat

Some apartments have heat included in the rent. This typically means that the temperature is set for the whole building by the landlord and there are not individual thermostats in each apartment. Other apartments do not include the cost of heat in the monthly rent, but allow for individual control of the thermostat. This should be taken into consideration when considering your monthly budget, especially during the winter. Electric heat can be more expensive than gas or oil. Ask to see past heating bills, and check to see if the apartment is well insulated. Check windows to see if they are equipped with screens and storm windows. Check that the walls and the ceiling have adequate insulation.

Water

Most often the landlord pays for city/town water. If you are uncertain about who pays for the water, check with the landlord.

Parking

Many landlords charge an additional fee, usually monthly or yearly, for off-street parking arrangements. Parking can cost up to $300 per month per spot. It is not uncommon to find tandem parking spots which may rent for $50-100/month cheaper than a single parking spot in the same neighborhood. Tandem spots require that you share an extended space (large enough for two vehicles to park one behind the other). It is important that you exchange contact information with the person you are sharing a space with and discuss a plan for ensuring that each of you is able to move your car when needed. If your landlord has no available parking spaces, s/he may know of someone who will lease one to you.

A parking space is a precious commodity in Boston, and parking regulations are strictly enforced. Many neighborhoods provide permit stickers to residents that enable you to park within that neighborhood's restricted area. This does not, however, guarantee you a spot. Pay attention to towing signs, street-cleaning restrictions, parking meters, permit requirements, and time limitations.