Massachusetts
Rent Increases & Fees

QUICK FACTS
  • Rent Control / Increase Limitations. Massachusetts state landlords can raise rent only after the lease has ended.
  • Notice Required to Raise Rent. For month-to-month tenancies, Massachusetts landlords must provide 30 days notice from next rent due date.
  • Bounced Check Fees. Massachusetts state landlords may charge up to $30 for bounced checks.

When Can a Landlord Increase Rent?

A Massachusetts landlord may not increase rent during the term of a lease. He/she may increase rent at the end of the lease, or if renting to an “at-will” tenant, the landlord may increase rent at any time so long as the appropriate notice is provided.

When is it illegal to raise rent?

Massachusetts legislation indicates that a landlord may not increase rent in retaliation for a tenant exercising his/her tenant rights (Massachusetts Retaliation Law)

It is also illegal for a landlord to raise rent based on the age, race, religion, nation or origin, familial status, or disability status of a tenant Fair Housing Act.

Is there a rent increase limit?

Massachusetts does not legislate rent control.

How Much Notice is Needed for Raising Rent?

A Massachusetts landlord may increase rent on an “at-will” tenant as he/she sees fit so long as a 30-Day Notice is provided.

How Often Can Rent Be Increased?

Massachusetts doesn’t legislate the frequency with which rent can be increased.

Laws Regarding Late Fees

Massachusetts does not legislate the amount a landlord may impose for late payment of rent. However, the landlord must wait until the rent is 30 days past due before imposing a late fee.

Laws Regarding Bounced Check fees

A landlord may impose a fee of up to $30 when rental payment is returned for insufficient funds.

Cities in the State With Rent Control

Massachusetts law indicates that no city or town may enact, enforce, or maintain rent control unless:

  • The rent control becomes entirely voluntary after six months with those choosing not to comply with the rent control being completely unaffected by any aspect of the rent control regulations or any subsequent rent control regulations
  • The regulation does not include the regulation of occupancy, services, evictions, condominium conversion, or the removal of properties from such regulation or apply such regulation to units owned by landlords with less than 10 rental units or units that have fair market rent over $400
  • Any municipality adopting these regulations compensates owners of rent controlled units for each unit for the difference between the unit’s fair market price and the rent controlled price of the unit from the municipalities general funds ouch that the cost of rent control is born by all taxpayers of the controlling municipality (Massachusetts law preempting rent control).