Post Content

shutterstock_199556258 (1)

If you’ve ever rented a home or apartment, you are probably familiar with the woes of a difficult landlord or tenant. Before beginning the search for a new apartment or renters, make sure you understand Massachusetts landlord and tenant law to ensure a favorable outcome.

Tenancy and Rental Agreements

The terms of tenancy partly determines the rights and responsibilities of both the landlord and tenant(s). There are two main types of tenancy:

  1. Tenancy based on a lease – A lease is a written agreement that the tenancy will last for a certain amount of time, usually one year. During the time covered by the lease, monthly rent must stay the same and the landlord cannot end the tenancy early.
  2. Tenancy-at-will – This is anagreement that lasts as long as both parties agree to it. Sometimes there is no written agreement, but 30 days written notice, or one full rental period, must be provided prior to moving out.

According to Massachusetts state law, a landlord must include the following in a rental agreement:

  • The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the owners and persons who are responsible for the care, maintenance, and repair of the property;
  • The name, address, and telephone number of the person authorized to receive notices of violations of law and to accept notice of a lawsuit on behalf of the owner; and,
  • The amount of the security deposit and disclosure of the rights under the Security Deposit Law.

Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

Before agreeing to a tenancy or signing a lease, a tenant should know their rights and responsibilities:

  • Do not put any money down until you are absolutely certain you want the apartment.
  • When determining which apartments you can afford, be sure to calculate the anticipated costs of utilities.
  • Know what is expected of you in terms of pre-payments or a finder’s fee.
  • Check the apartment for repairs and ensure that it is in acceptable condition.
  • Talk with neighbors about the competency and reputation of the landlord and/or management company.

Additional Resources

Finding the right apartment or tenant in Massachusetts is not always easy. Take the time to understand your rights as a tenant or landlord to ensure a stable business or living situation!

What are your tips while apartment or house hunting? Share them in the comments below, or tweet us @MassGov.

Written By:

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Childhood Vaccination Schedule and Requirements in Massachusetts posted on Apr 17

Childhood Vaccination Schedule and Requirements in Massachusetts

Massachusetts was among the first places in the world to eliminate smallpox through the use of vaccines, according to the state’s Bureau of Infectious Disease Prevention, Response, and Services. With this precedent in mind, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (HHS) created   …Continue Reading Childhood Vaccination Schedule and Requirements in Massachusetts

How to Delay or Prevent Type 2 Diabetes posted on Apr 15

How to Delay or Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes accounts for 90 to 95 percent of cases of diabetes, in which blood sugar (glucose) levels are too high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The good news is that type 2 diabetes can be prevented, even among people   …Continue Reading How to Delay or Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

The 2015 Boston Marathon Spectator Guidelines posted on Apr 13

The 2015 Boston Marathon Spectator Guidelines

This is a guest blog post from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). The 119th running of the Boston Marathon will be held on Patriot’s Day, Monday, April 20, 2015. This year, 30,000 registered participants will run the 26.2-mile course, which starts in Hopkinton and passes   …Continue Reading The 2015 Boston Marathon Spectator Guidelines