April 10, 2023
If you’re planning to buy a rental property in Massachusetts or already own one, it’s essential to know the landlord-tenant law that governs the state. This law outlines your rights and responsibilities as a landlord, as well as those of your tenants. Here’s what landlords need to know about the state’s laws:
In Massachusetts, landlords are required to disclose the following information to tenants:
Non-refundable fees in Massachusetts are seen as an optional disclosure. However, it’s recommended that any non-refundable charges be clearly mentioned in the lease or rental agreement.
Massachusetts landlords who charge tenants security deposits must disclose the holding information of the funds within 30 days. It should include the amount of the deposit, the location of the funds or the name of the financial institution where the funds are held, and the account number.
Landlords must also provide tenants with a receipt of the security deposit right after receiving the money, or within 10 days of the start of the tenancy. The receipt should include the amount of the security deposit, the date when it was received, the name of the person and signature who received the deposit, and a description of the rental unit.
The lease agreement must contain a provision indicating the tenant’s special statutory rights to seek a release of rental obligation if they are in danger from stalking or forms of domestic violence.
The rights and responsibilities of all parties must be clearly indicated in the rental agreement.
In Massachusetts, landlords or any authorized entity to act on behalf of the property owner should provide their names, contact information, and addresses within or alongside the rental agreement.
If the landlord intends to charge a security deposit, a move-in checklist must be provided within 10 days of the move-in date. This should include the inventory of the rental unit’s condition, as well as any pre-existing damage and furnishings provided.
Massachusetts tenants have the right to:
A tenant is responsible for:
The following are basic landlord rights in the state of Massachusetts:
Here are the basic responsibilities of Massachusetts landlords:
The following is an overview of some of the regulations you’ll need to abide by in accordance with the state’s landlord-tenant laws:
Under Massachusetts law, landlords are required to get permission from tenants before they can enter the dwelling unit. Reasonable advance notice of at least 24 hours must be provided to the tenants. Landlords may enter the property for the following reasons:
Landlords are responsible for providing a habitable property to tenants. A property is considered habitable if it:
The Fair Housing Act prohibits landlords from discriminating against tenants on the basis of race, national origin, color, religion, sex, familial status, or disability. In Massachusetts, added protections are provided for tenants on the basis of income source, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, marital status, and military status.
Massachusetts landlords may charge tenants a security deposit with a maximum limit that’s equivalent to one month’s rent. Landlords must return the deposit, or what remains after allowable deductions, within 30 days after the tenants move out. The allowable deductions include unpaid rent, unpaid taxes, and damages that exceed normal wear and tear.
Massachusetts landlords are required to include the following disclosures in the lease agreement:
Now that you know the basics of Massachusetts landlord-tenant law, you should be able to operate your rental property properly and prevent legal issues. When in doubt, it’s best to hire a professional property management company that is well-versed when it comes to local and state laws. For more information, contact J. Butler Property Management.
Disclaimer: This blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Laws change, and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading. Please contact us for any questions you have in regard to this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.