Application Process

Renting with Harvard University Housing is different from a typical apartment search. We’re here to help guide you through each step. 

Ready to apply?

Full-time Harvard graduate students, faculty, and employees who meet our eligibility requirements are welcome to submit an application at any time of the year.

  • Once we receive your application, we will email you within five business days to let you know if your application is approved, denied, or if more information is required.
  • Applications will only be processed when all requested information is submitted.
  • Once your HUH application is approved you will be able to login to the Applicant Portal, see the Currently Available list, and choose an apartment to lease.

Important Privacy Information

Beware of email scams! If you get a request for personal information about your application or your login information that seems suspicious please call (617) 495-1459 or email

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The Housing Lottery

Each spring, a large number of HUH apartments become available to rent. To manage all the requests, we have created the Housing Lottery. It’s often called the “View and Select window”. The lottery begins in early to mid-May and runs through early June, or until all available units have been selected.

View Window

  • The View window is the time when applicants can research units that are available in the lottery.
  • HUH recommends making a list of at least 10 unit options for your Select window.

Select Window

  • During the Select window, all applicants choose from the available units.
  • Units go fast. Selection is “first click, first served”, so be ready to choose quickly.

Important information

  • All applicants who submitted by May 1st but have not selected a currently available unit will be included in the Housing Lottery, and randomly assigned a View and Select window.
  • All applications eligible for the HUH Lottery will receive an email in early May indicating that they have been assigned to a View and Select window.
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Menu icon eligibility white
Before you apply, check to make sure you meet our applicant requirements and review our occupancy guidelines.
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Learn about the lottery preferences for families.

If you plan to live with a roommate, we recommend that each roommate applies individually between March 1st and May 1st. More information about living with roommates can be found in our Roommate section.
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Find out how HUH provides reasonable accommodations, and learn how to make a request.
Menu icon signing lease white
Understand the steps involved in signing your lease. Your lease is not valid until you and HUH have both signed it.
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Learn when rent is due, and how the rental payments are made.
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Explore the list of terms we use to better understand leasing and living in HUH apartments.
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Approved applicants can select from Currently Available apartments to rent at any time during the year. The list of available apartments changes regularly.

The annual Housing Lottery occurs in early to mid-May for apartment selection with leases beginning in the summer.

Help Us Stay In Touch

We communicate with applicants and residents via email. They will come from one of three different email addresses: “,” “,” or via “”. We also send important information through Constant Contact, so please do not opt out. We recommend checking your junk and spam filters regularly for updates.

Application and Rental Process

1. Apply

  • Applications are accepted all year long.
  • Applications are not binding and there’s no cost to apply.
  • Apply by May 1st to participate in the annual Housing Lottery.

Tip: Sign up for our Informational Webinars during our spring application period (March 1–May 1) to learn more about the rental and application process, or watch our HUH Informational Video on YouTube which outlines all the need-to-know information about our process!

Start Your Application

Screenshot of selecting academic term to begin application process

2. Get approved

  • Look for your approval status email, which typically arrives within three business days.
  • Approval emails will come from
  • Be sure to check your junk/spam folders on a regular basis.
Sample application approved email

3. Select your apartment

  • Select from Currently Available apartments at any time of the year.
  • Or select your apartment during the annual Housing Lottery period each spring.

Tip: If you select a Currently Available apartment, you will not be eligible to select a different apartment during the Housing Lottery.

If you make a mistake or change your mind after confirming your selection, please contact us immediately at Please note that during the annual Housing Lottery period, there’s no guarantee that you’ll be able to get back into your Select Window to choose another apartment with HUH.

Screenshot of apartment selection process

4. Sign your lease

  • Typically within two business days, you will receive an email from a leasing coordinator, requesting that you sign your lease electronically. 
  • Make your initial rent payment.
    • (Note: You must make your initial payment before HUH will countersign your lease).
Screenshot of lease signing process

5. Pick up your keys

  • Once your lease is executed and countersigned by HUH, key pickup can happen on or after the date your lease starts.
  • Make arrangements 2–7 business days in advance of pickup (check with your property management office on the exact timing).
Image of a keypad and key fob