The Massachusetts rental agreements are legal contracts created when a tenant wishes to use a real property that is being overseen by a landlord or property owner. These documents define the terms of the property, including the amount of the rent. All agreements are subject to Massachusetts landlord-tenant laws.
The Massachusetts residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is a binding document used to formalize an agreement between a landlord and tenant to rent real property in exchange for a fee. This contract is governed by the Massachusetts landlord-tenant law and includes terms and conditions outlining the responsibilities of each party. Create an…
The Massachusetts month-to-month rental agreement allows a landlord and a tenant to create a “tenancy at will” in which either party may change or void the agreement with at least thirty (30) days notice. The contract has no end date and renews monthly with each rent payment. The month-to-month lease allows for…
The Massachusetts rental application form is a document that landlords can utilize to help them choose the best tenant to rent to. It is part of the application process and gives the landlord access to background information, such as credit and criminal history. A well-designed, detailed form is a valuable tool that…
The Massachusetts sublease agreement allows a tenant to rent (“sublease”) all or part of a rental property to a new tenant (“sublessee”). This contract states that the sublessee must make regular payments that may or may not be equivalent to the rental obligation of the initial tenant’s lease. With a sublease agreement,…
The Massachusetts roommate agreement (“room rental agreement”) is a contract shared by multiple tenants in a shared living situation. This document outlines each tenants’ financial responsibilities, as well as detailed terms and conditions associated with the shared space. Each co-tenant must sign the contract. Sometimes, rent becomes such a burden that a…
The Massachusetts commercial lease agreement allows a tenant, or business, to rent office space, retail stores, and other commercial buildings. This contract establishes the relationship between the landlord and tenant and outlines the terms, conditions, and responsibilities of renting and maintaining the commercial space. In the state of Massachusetts, a business owner…
Massachusetts Required Lease Disclosures
- Landlord’s Name & Address (required for all) – Every Massachusetts lease agreement must include a disclosure that outlines the contact information of any agents or landlords authorized to act on behalf of the property for the purpose of serving legal documentation (if required).
- Security Deposit Holdings (required for some) – Any Massachusetts lease that charges a security deposit must include disclosure of the bank and account number where the deposit is to be held so the tenant can verify the funds are being handled correctly.
- Move-In Checklist (required for some) – Massachusetts landlords are required to provide a move-in checklist within 10 days of the move-in date that outlines any damages that are existing before the tenancy begins in addition to a 12-point, bold faced notice that is provided in the statue so that the appropriate damages can be deducted from the security deposit (if applicable).
- Lead Based Paint Disclosure (required for some) – All Massachusetts lease agreements for homes built before 1978 are required to include a lead based paint safety disclosure form along with an EPA-approved pamphlet regarding the dangers of lead paint in addition to any known hazards that exist in the dwelling unit or the building it resides in.
To learn more about required disclosures in Massachusetts, click here.
Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Laws
- Warranty of Habitability – Massachusetts requires all rental units to include lockable doors and windows, running water, in-unit heating, adequate plumbing, and more. When one of these systems becomes faulty, a landlord must repair it within 14 days. If they fail to do so, an effected tenant may choose to perform the repair and deduct the costs from their rent payment.
- Evictions – Massachusetts requires landlords to issue a 14-day notice when they intent to evict a tenant for failing to pay rent. However, the state does not maintain a notice standard for either lease violation or illegal act evictions. So, an eviction here could take well over 2 weeks to complete.
- Security Deposits – Massachusetts landlords may only charge security deposits that are equal to the value of a tenant’s periodic rent. In all situations, these deposits must be returned within 30 days of a tenant’s last day under lease.
- Lease Termination – A month-to-month renter in Massachusetts may be able to terminate their lease early by providing 30 days of advanced notice of the same. However, a fixed-term renter may only be able to break their lease early if they can supply proof of their active military duty, landlord harassment, statutory uninhabitability, or domestic violence.
- Rent Increases & Fees – Massachusetts’ landlords are not required to limit the amount of frequency of rent increases. However, they are required to issue notice of any impending increase 30 days before it goes into effect. The state also not limit the value of many operational fees, except for bounced check fees ($30).
- Landlord Entry – Landlords in Massachusetts are not statutorily limited when it comes to entry rights. Instead, they are only required to abide by entry policies established in a lease agreement. Emergency entry is always allowed, even in the absence of a lease.
- Settling Legal Disputes – To settle a landlord-tenant dispute, people in Massachusetts may utilize the state’s small claims court. These courts accept claims valued at up to $7,000, but not those pertaining to an impending eviction.
To learn more about landlord tenant laws in Massachusetts, click here.