If a rental property in Massachusetts fails to meet legally required health and safety standards, tenants have the right to report their landlord to local public officials who may choose to follow up, inspect the property and cite the landlord for such violations.
What Are Considered Unsafe Living Conditions in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, unsafe living conditions exist when a rental property doesn’t have safe and working:
- Kitchen (sink, stove, oven).
- Bathroom (toilet, wash basin, bathtub/shower, sewage).
- Hot and cold water.
- Required light fixtures.
- Electrical service.
- Locks and weatherproofed doors/windows (including screens).
- Smoke and CO detectors.
- Owner-provided appliances.
- Garbage removal.
- Railings for stairs, balconies, etc.
- Common areas.
- Smoke alarms.
- Other features that impact health, safety, and habitability.
What Should Tenants Do Before Reporting a Violation in Massachusetts?
In most cases, before reporting a violation, a tenant in Massachusetts must notify the landlord in writing about the issue and ask him to fix it within a reasonable time, based on all the relevant circumstances (usually within 14 days).
How Can Tenants Report a Violation in Massachusetts?
Tenants in Massachusetts should report health and safety violations to the local office or officers responsible for housing code enforcement, or to the Board of Health. The exact process varies depending on location and issue.
|Public Works, Code Enforcement Police
|311 Service Request System
After receiving a complaint, an inspecting officer might contact the tenant for more information. Then the officer will usually inspect the property and cite the landlord for any code violations.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Boston?
A tenant in Boston can report a health or safety violation by calling Public Works at (617) 635-4885 or using the provided online form. Enter an email address, provide a location, describe the issue, review, and submit.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Worcester?
A tenant in Worcester can report a health or safety violation by calling Inspectional Services at (508) 799-1198 or using the provided online form. Enter a location, describe the issue, provide contact information, review, and submit.
How Can a Tenant Report a Health or Safety Violation in Springfield?
A tenant in Springfield can report a health or safety violation by calling the 311 Service Request System at (413) 736-3111 or using the provided online form. Create an account or proceed anonymously; issues fall under “Code Enforcement – Report a Code Violation.” Select a location, describe the issue, and submit.
What Could Happen to a Landlord After a Complaint Is Made in Massachusetts?
After a tenant complains about unsafe conditions in Massachusetts, an officer may inspect. The landlord must begin fixing any violations in good faith, within 24 hours (for serious issues) or seven days (for everything else). Otherwise, the landlord could be fined and the government might file to condemn the property.