Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Law

Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Laws are provided in the Massachusetts General Law, Part II, Title I, as well as other sections of Massachusetts General Law. The statutes govern the rights and responsibilities of the parties to a landlord tenant relationship. The statutes also provide remedies in the event that one of the parties violates Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Laws.

No part of this information is intended to substitute for legal advice. If you have questions or believe you have a case under Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Law, you should seek the advice of an attorney.

Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Law

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Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Law – Security Deposit

In accordance with Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Law, Chapter 186, Section 15B (b), a landlord can require a tenant to pay a security deposit, however the security deposit may not exceed an amount equal to the first month’s rent. Security deposits remain the property of the tenant and are required to be kept separate from the landlord’s assets. The landlord must keep the security deposit “in a separate, interest-bearing account in a bank, located within the commonwealth under such terms as will place such deposit beyond the claim of creditors of the lessor…” Landlords are required to give the tenant a receipt for the security deposit and written notice of the location of the security deposit. If a landlord fails to provide the information within 30 days, the tenant is entitled to immediate return of the security deposit.

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Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Law – Miscellaneous Statutes

State Sanitary Code The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office points out that the State Sanitary Code “governs what it means to provide a habitable place in which to live.” If a tenant complains to the landlord about a sanitary condition of the premises and the landlord fails to respond, the tenant has the right to request that a code enforcement officer or a local board of health inspector inspect the apartment. If the landlord still fails to make repairs or otherwise remedy the unsanitary condition after notification from the inspector, the tenant can move out, even if a lease is in effect. It is recommended that a tenant first consult with an attorney or someone knowledgeable of legal services prior to taking legal action. Tenant Property Storage If a tenant is evicted, any property left at the premises is placed in storage. The tenant can provide notice in writing of a preferred storage facility prior to removal of the property. The officer removing the property shall make a written inventory of the property. The landlord pays to have the property removed to storage but is entitled to fair market reimbursement from the tenant. If the property is not claimed by the tenant and all fees paid, the warehouse or storage facility “may sell any property unclaimed after six months and retain that portion of the proceeds necessary to compensate the warehouse for lawful storage fees actually accrued as of the date of the auction…” Termination of rental agreement by certain crime victims Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Law permits tenants to terminate a rental agreement and quit the premises if the tenant provides written notice “that a member of the household is a victim of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking, if such notification is made within 3 months of the most recent act of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking; or if a member of a tenant’s household is reasonably in fear of imminent serious physical harm from domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking.” The tenant is entitled to recover any pre-paid rental payments but is still liable for any past due rent.

Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Laws provide legal protections to both landlords and tenants. Rent to the best-qualified tenants after you get the results of your Massachusetts Tenant Screening checks. Comply with all your responsibilities under Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Law and protect your property and yourself with the comprehensive Massachusetts Landlord Forms.

Massachusetts Tenant Screening Background Checks

A key component of landlord tenant laws is also Massachusetts Tenant Screening Background Checks. We’ve dedicated an entire page to it because of its importance. Visit Massachusetts Tenant Screening Background Checks to screen your tenant.

Massachusetts Landlord Forms

All states require a variety of forms to rent an apartment to a tenant and Massachusetts is no exception. Check out American Apartment Owners Association’s Massachusetts Landlord Forms now.

Nationwide Landlord Tenant Laws

Looking for landlord tenant laws outside of Massachusetts? The American Apartment Owners Association offers helpful landlord tenant laws for all 50 states. Click on any of the states listed below and go directly to its landlord tenant laws page.

Reminder: This information is a general explanation and summary of Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Law but is in no way meant to substitute for legal advice, nor does it list all the statutes under the Massachusetts Residential Landlord Tenant Act.