Massachusetts Landlord Forms
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.
The Statutes requires landlords to avoid prohibited acts, wording or terms in the execution of the lease. Landlords are not permitted to include any terms in a rental agreement that excludes a landlord from liability imposed by any statute of Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Law. Under Chapter 186 Section 15 F, a provision in which the tenant waives his or her right to a jury trial in any litigation with the landlord or if the tenant agrees “that no action or failure to act by the landlord shall be construed as a constructive eviction,” that section of the rental agreement “shall be deemed to be against public policy and void.” If there is any other type of agreement “which purports to exempt the landlord from any liability imposed by this section,” that agreement is also void under Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Law.
The lease is just one of the crucial Massachusetts Landlord Forms that a landlord needs as documentation of the terms of the rental agreement, should you ever have to take the tenant to court. Section 15B (1) (a) prohibits landlords from entering the premises for any reason prior to termination of the tenancy except to make repairs, inspect the premises or to show the property. Give tenants proper advance notice that you need to enter the premises to make repairs or for other reasons in accordance with Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Laws, by including the Notice of Entry and the Notification of Right to Inspection prior to Termination of Tenancy in your Massachusetts Landlord Forms.
The Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office explains the amount of money that a landlord is permitted to require from a tenant up-front. A landlord may only ask:
- The first month’s rent
- A security deposit to cover the cost of any damage to the apartment beyond normal wear and tear (which may not exceed the amount of one month’s rent)
- The last month’s rent (the month that will turn out to be the tenant’s last one in the apartment)
- The cost of a new lock and key for the apartment
When a tenant does not pay rent on time, you cannot just evict the tenant. You must comply with Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Law, Chapter 186, Section 11, which states that a landlord must provide “fourteen days’ notice to quit, given in writing by the landlord to the tenant.” Including the Past Due Rent and the Notice to Pay Rent or Quit with your Massachusetts Landlord Forms allows you to have the necessary forms on hand to provide the required notice to a tenant who fails to pay rent on time. If the tenant tenders past due rent payments, along with interest and the cost of the suit, “has been tendered to the landlord within such time, treat the tenancy as not having been terminated.”
Massachusetts Landlord Forms allow you a means to provide proof of the condition of the premises at the beginning and end of the tenancy with the Move In/Move Out Checklists. You and the tenant sign the forms, agreeing to the condition of the premises. Should there be damage to the property beyond normal wear and tear and you commence an action for recovery of the cost of the repairs, you have the tenant’s signature as evidence.
The American Apartment Owners Association provides landlord forms nationwide. Looking for a state other than Massachusetts? Visit our State Specific Landlord Forms page to learn more.