Massachusetts Landlord-Tenant Law

Massachusetts landlord-tenant law is landlord-friendly. There are an estimated 6.8 million residents in Massachusetts. Massachusetts is home to one of the United States’ biggest cities, Boston, with an estimated population of 637,184.

This guide will discuss the laws landlords and tenant should know about in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Law

Security Deposit Laws in Massachusetts

Is a security deposit required under Massachusetts law?

The landlord is not required to collect a security deposit. If the landlord decides to charge a security deposit, he or she must comply with certain requirements.

Is the landlord allowed to charge an application fee?

The landlord may not charge an application fee.

Is there a limit to the security deposit amount?

The deposit amount cannot exceed one month’s rent.  

Storage Requirements for Security Deposits in Massachusetts

Landlords are required to comply with strict requirements in the storage of security deposits. The tenant’s security deposit must be held in a separate, interest-bearing account in a bank located within Massachusetts. A receipt must be given to the tenant within 30 days after the deposit is received. The receipt must indicate the name and location of the bank in which it has been deposited and the amount and account number of said deposit.

The same notice must also be given within 30 days of moving the deposit from one financial institution to another, at the time of each annual interest payment, and within 30 days of the transfer of ownership of the property.

Can security deposits be commingled with other assets in Massachusetts?

Landlords are prohibited from commingling the tenant’s security deposit with any of the landlord’s personal assets.

Do landlords have to pay interest on security deposits in Massachusetts?

The tenant is entitled to any interest accumulated on their security deposit.

For year-to-year leases, the tenant is entitled to the amount of interest actually paid by the bank on the deposit. If, however, the landlord fails to deposit the security deposit in a bank, the tenant is entitled to interest at an annual rate of 5%.

Interest is payable to the tenant each year on the date the tenancy was entered into. The landlord must send the tenant a statement of the interest owed and must either include the interest or allow the tenant to deduct the amount from the next rental payment.

If the tenancy is terminated before the anniversary date (the date the tenancy was entered into), the tenant shall receive all accrued interest within 30 days of such termination.

When must a landlord return the deposit by in Massachusetts?

The landlord is required to return either part or all of the security deposit, plus the tenant’s portion of the interest or accumulated earnings to the tenant 30 days after termination of the lease.

The tenant may be entitled to three times the amount of the security deposit or the remaining balance after any lawful deductions have been made, with interest, plus court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees if the landlord:

  • Fails to deposit the security deposit into a separate, interest-bearing account in a Massachusetts bank.
  • Fails to return the security deposit (or balance after lawful deductions) with interest within 30 days after termination of the lease.
  • Fails to transfer the security deposit or last month’s rent to the new landlord after the sale of the rental property.

Which situations allow a landlord to withhold a security deposit in Massachusetts?

Typically, the landlord is required to return the tenant’s security deposit at the end of the lease term. However, the landlord may withhold all or a portion of the tenant’s security deposit from the tenant for:

  • Damage in excess of normal wear and tear
  • Unpaid rent
  • Unpaid utility bills
  • Breach of lease
  • Any unpaid real estate taxes (if the tenant is bound to pay pursuant to a valid tax escalator clause in the lease)

Within 30 days after the tenant has vacated the premises, the landlord must notify the tenant of the deductions and balance after deductions. The landlord must include an itemized list of damages, detailing the nature of the damage and of the repairs necessary to correct such damage, and written evidence, such as estimates, bills, invoices or receipts, indicating the actual or estimated cost.

Required Move-in Statement of Condition with Security Deposit

Massachusetts also requires a move-in statement of condition if the landlord collects a security deposit. In this situation, the landlord must give the tenant a signed, separate statement of the present condition of the apartment, including a comprehensive list of any existing damage. The landlord may also require the tenant to pay the security deposit prior to move in.

The landlord must provide this move-in statement to the tenant upon receipt of the security deposit or within 10 days after the tenancy begins, whichever is later.

The written statement must contain the following language:

“This is a statement of the condition of the premises you have leased or rented. You should read it carefully in order to see if it is correct. If it is correct you must sign it. This will show that you agree that the list is correct and complete. If it is not correct, you must attach a separate signed list of any damage which you believe exists on the premises. This statement must be returned to the lessor or his agent within fifteen days after you receive this list or within fifteen days after you move in, whichever is later. If you do not return this list, within the specified time period, a court may later view your failure to return the list as your agreement that the list is complete and correct in any suit which you may bring to recover the security deposit.”

If the tenant disagrees with the contents of the statement, the tenant is required to return a corrected copy to the landlord within fifteen days after receiving the list, or fifteen days after move in, whichever is later. If the tenant fails to return the list and later sues to recover the balance of the security deposit, the court will likely assume that the tenant agreed with the initial contents of the statement.

If the tenant submits a separate list of damages, the landlord must return it within 15 days of receipt with a clear written response of agreement or disagreement. The signed statement and the original condition statement are the basis upon which future deductions for damage will be made (at the end of the lease).

Rental Agreement Laws in Massachusetts

Are rental agreements required in Massachusetts?

Rental agreements are required for tenancies of 12+ months or longer in Massachusetts. Even if the tenancy is less than 12 months, we strongly encourage our landlords to create a written rental agreement with their tenants. It’s easy to create and sign a lease online. At Rentalutions, we offer an online Massachusetts-specific rental lease.

What are the general lease provisions in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, certain provisions must be included in the lease agreement. Most notably, both the landlord and tenant are required to include their names on the rental agreement.

The landlord should also list the:

  • Conditions of occupancy
  • An adequate description of the leased premises
  • The term of the lease
  • The amount of rent
  • The date rent is due

The following provisions are optional, but strongly recommended:

  • Who is liable for utility expenses
  • Penalties for late rent payments
  • Landlord’s responsibilities
  • Tenant’s responsibilities
  • Whether pets are allowed
  • Security deposit
  • Cleaning fees

What are the rental agreement notice requirements in Massachusetts?

Landlords are typically required to provide tenants notice if they are changing anything in the lease. In Massachusetts, the amount of notice depends on what kind of rental agreement the landlord and tenant have.

Please note that landlords cannot change the rent price during a fixed term lease. They can adjust the rent price at the time of renewal.

The notice requirements for lease terms are as follows:

Lease Term Required Notice



Are there lease renewal provisions in Massachusetts?

Before the lease ends, the landlord can decide whether he or she wants to offer a lease renewal. If the landlord chooses to offer a renewal, the offer must be in writing and given to the tenant no less than {x} days before the lease ends.

You can use our template for a lease renewal offer letter.

Rental Payment Laws in Massachusetts

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What are the rules regarding rent payments in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, the landlord is free to charge any rent price agreed upon by the parties because there is no rent control or limit required by the state. Rent is due on the date indicated in the lease agreement. While there are no legal requirements for how rent is to be paid, the landlord may request the tenant pay first month’s rent prior to moving in.

If the landlord wants to increase the price of rent, the landlord may only do so when the lease term expires. For at-will tenants (month-to-month, week-to-week, etc.), the landlord may increase the rent price by providing 30 days’ notice.

Are tenants allowed to withhold rent under the laws of Massachusetts? If so, for what purposes?

In Massachusetts, tenants are allowed to withhold rent payments. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that when a landlord fails to maintain a dwelling in habitable condition, a tenant may properly withhold a portion of the rent from the date the landlord has notice of this breach of warranty of habitability.

At least one of the following must be true before the tenant can legally withhold rent:

  1. The tenant has notified the landlord in writing to make the necessary repairs.
  2. The local Board of Health has inspected the tenant’s apartment and found health code violations and notified the landlord.
  3. The tenant is current in rent up until the time the landlord learns of the problem, the tenant is not the cause of the problem, and the unsanitary conditions do not require the apartment to be vacated to make repairs.

If the tenant withholds rent, he or she must deposit the withheld rent with the Clerk of the Court. The tenant must follow these instructions.

Does the landlord have to provide rent receipts?

The landlord is required to provide the tenant with a receipt within 30 days of rent being received. There is no requirement for what the receipt should contain but we recommend basic information (name, address, payment, unit number, etc).

If you collect rent online with Rentalutions, we automatically send rent receipts to your tenants.

Massachusetts law also allows the tenant to pay the landlord the first month’s rent amount prior to move-in. The landlord must provide a receipt.

Is there rent control in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts does not have any laws addressing rent control or rent regulation.

Late Fees and Grace Period Laws in Massachusetts

Is there a legal requirement for late fees in Massachusetts?

There is no legal requirement for late fees, yet, most landlords decide to charge late fees. The lease may permit a late charge when the rent is not paid by a certain date, but any fees that the landlord intends to charge should be clearly stated in the terms of the lease. Because there are no other laws in the Massachusetts addressing late fees, we recommend charging a reasonable late fee.

Is there a legal grace period in Massachusetts?

There are laws addressing grace periods in Massachusetts. The landlord must wait 14 days after rent has become due to give the tenant a pay or quit notice. This means the tenancy is terminated 14 days after the tenant receives the notice.

Once the tenant’s rent becomes due, the tenant has not paid, and the pay and quit notice has been received, the landlord can start eviction proceedings immediately.

Massachusetts Laws on Repairs

Massachusetts tenants are legally entitled to a rental unit that meets basic structural, health, and safety standards. Residential leases carry an implied warranty of habitability. This means that the landlord has a duty to maintain the rental unit and keep it fit for residential purposes throughout the entire term of the lease and that the landlord must repair damage to vital facilities. This warranty is implied in every written and oral lease.

Under the implied warranty of habitability law, the tenant’s obligation to pay rent and the landlord’s obligation to maintain habitable (safe, sanitary and fit) premises depend upon each other. If the landlord breaks his obligation to keep the premises in a reasonable condition, the tenant may be relieved from his obligation to pay part or all of his rent until the landlord makes necessary repairs.

Repair and Deduct Law

Tenants in Massachusetts are allowed to repair and deduct rent. First, the tenant must give the landlord 14 days written notice to repair the defect. If the landlord fails to repair the problem, the tenant may fix the problem and deduct the amount of the repair from rent.

The tenant must keep a receipt for all repairs.

A tenant may deduct up to four months of rent from rent due if three conditions are met:

  1. The local board of health or other code enforcement agency has certified that the present conditions endanger tenant’s health or safety.
  2. The landlord receives written notice of the existing violations from the inspecting agency.
  3. The landlord is given five days from the date of notice to begin repairs or to contact for outsider services and 14 days to substantially complete all necessary repairs.

If the landlord fails to make the necessary repairs under these conditions, then the tenant has the right to move out. However, upon moving out, the tenant must pay the fair rental value for the period the tenant occupied the apartment and must vacate within a reasonable amount of time.

Massachusetts Laws on Landlord Responsibilities

The landlord has certain responsibilities, provided in Massachusetts Consumer Guide to Tenant’s Rights and Responsibilities handbook:

  • Water: The landlord must provide enough water for ordinary usage. The landlord also must provide the means to heat the water to 110º F-130º F degrees. The tenant may be responsible for the cost of water and fuel to heat it.
  • Heat: From September 16 to June 14, every room must be heated to at least 68º F between 7:00 AM and 11 PM, and at least 64º F at all other hours. The tenant may be responsible for the fuel or electricity to heat the unit.
  • Kitchen: The landlord must provide the following in the kitchen: a sink of sufficient size and capacity for washing dishes and kitchen utensils, a stove and oven in good repair (unless the written lease requires otherwise), and space and proper facilities for the installation of a refrigerator. The landlord does not have to provide a refrigerator. If a refrigerator is provided, however, the landlord must keep it in working order.
  • Cockroaches and Rodents: If there are two or more apartments in the building, the landlord must maintain the unit free from rodents, cockroaches, and insect infestation.

Also, the landlord may not prohibit or restrict the occupancy of children.

Massachusetts Laws on Eviction

What are the Massachusetts laws on eviction?

There are three primary reasons why a landlord in Massachusetts can evict a tenant:

  1. Not paying rent
  2. Violation of the lease
  3. Illegal activity on the property

When providing the notice to pay or quit, the landlord must give the tenant enough time to remedy the violation. The landlord must provide 14 days for the tenant to either pay unpaid rent or remedy lease violations before proceeding with the next step. If, however, the tenant is engaging in an illegal activity or criminal behavior on the premises, the landlord can commence eviction proceedings immediately. Illegal activity includes, but is not limited to prostitution, illegal gambling, the illegal keeping or sale of alcoholic beverages, or the possession, sale, or manufacturing of illegal drugs. If the tenant is being evicted for failing to pay rent, the tenant may avoid the eviction process by paying rent within 10 days of receiving such notice.

For all other fixed lease terminations, the landlord must provide seven days notice, and for weekly and monthly tenants, the tenant must receive 30 days’ notice or notice equal to one full rent period, whichever is longer.

Eviction Process

  1. Summary Process and Complaint: Once the tenancy has terminated, the landlord can have a summons and complaint served on the tenant. Between seven and 30 days after the tenant has been served with the summons and complaint, the landlord can file the complaint in a court of law. Must be filed on a Monday.
  2. Answer: After the complaint has been entered, the tenant may answer with reasons why they should not be evicted. The tenant may also raise any counterclaims against the landlord (health violations, retaliation, harassment, improper eviction procedure).
  3. Judgment and Appeal: Once the judgment is rendered (the judge has made a decision on the eviction), both the tenant and landlord have the opportunity to appeal the decision. Either party may file a notice to appeal within 10 days after the date judgment has been entered.
  4. Execution: This is the judge’s eviction order. The landlord cannot evict the tenant without this order. If a physical eviction is allowed, the court will provide the landlord the execution 10 days after the judgment is entered. The tenant must receive the notice of the date and time the eviction will take place at least 48 hours in advance. The landlord may use the execution order anytime within a three-month period.
  5. Stay of Execution: The tenant may be able to convince a judge that they cannot, in good faith, find a place to live. If this is the case, the judge may grant the tenant a stay of execution, allowing the tenant to stay on the premises for up to six months. Elderly or disabled tenants are permitted to stay for up to a year.
  6. Eviction: The tenant must move out when the execution order arrives. If the tenant does not move out, a sheriff may remove the tenant’s belongings and place them in storage.

Eviction Defenses

  1. The landlord evicts the tenant with a “self-help” eviction: It is unlawful for a landlord to attempt to evict a tenant in any other way besides a proper court order.
  2. The Landlord does not follow proper eviction procedures: The landlord must evict the tenant pursuant to the proper procedures.
  3. Tenant is evicted for failing to pay rent: The tenant can stop the eviction process by paying the balance of rent due before the eviction action is filed. Moreover, if the landlord tries to evict the tenant for not paying rent, the tenant can provide proof that the tenant requested necessary repairs to the rental unit and the landlord did not make necessary repairs to the rental unit.
  4. Landlord evicts the tenant based on discrimination: The Federal Fair Housing Act and Massachusetts Antidiscrimination law both prohibit landlords from discriminating against a tenant based on creed, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, ancestry, marital status, veteran or armed forces status, blindness, hearing loss, or any other disability.   

Massachusetts Laws on Retaliation

Landlords are prohibited from harassing or retaliating against tenants who exercise their rights. In Massachusetts, the landlord cannot terminate a lease, refuse to renew a lease, or raise the rent on a tenant who has:

  • Exercised a legal right
  • Filed an official complaint with a Government Authority
  • Been involved in a tenant’s organization
  • Withheld rent for poor condition

Retaliation will be assumed if landlord responds negatively within six months of tenants action.

Massachusetts Laws on Domestic Violence, Sexual Misconduct, and Sexual Assault

In Massachusetts, the law affords special protections to victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, and stalking. Victims of these crimes cannot be discriminated against and they can terminate the lease or request lock changes within three months of the offense.

Landlord Discrimination

The landlord cannot discriminate against a tenant or prospective tenant because he or she has been a victim of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, or stalking.

Specifically, the landlord cannot:

  • Refuse to rent to a prospective tenant who is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault.
  • Refuse to renew the tenant’s rental agreement.
  • Retaliate against the tenant.
  • Refuse to enter into a rental agreement based on tenant’s having previously terminated a lease or previously requested a lock change due to domestic violence.

The landlord is entitled to verify the tenant’s claim of domestic violence status.

What can a tenant request when he or she has been a victim of domestic violence?

The tenant is allowed to terminate a lease with proof of domestic violence status. However, the request to terminate must happen within three months from the date of the domestic violence incident.

The tenant can also request the landlord to change the locks, or allow the tenant to change the locks at the tenant’s expense.

Massachusetts Laws on Changing the Locks and Security Devices

Landlords are not required to change the locks before a new tenant moves in, but we recommend doing so. Landlords are not required to install any specific security devices.

Massachusetts Pet Laws

Massachusetts does not have any specific pet laws. Landlords are allowed to create their own requirements for pets, most notably, they can decide if pets are allowed, what size is allowed, etc. Read our guide to allowing pets in your rental.

Under Massachusetts law and the Federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), people with disabilities may bring their service animals to all public accommodations, such as government buildings, hotels, restaurants, stadiums, and stores. These laws also require those who operate transportation services to allow service animals.

Do Massachusetts Landlords Need a Rental License?

Landlord rental licenses are not required by Massachusetts law.

Notice of Entry Laws in Massachusetts

Do landlords in Massachusetts have to provide notice of entry?

There is no notice of entry law in Massachusetts. The landlord does not need to provide any notice if they wish to enter the premises for the following reasons:

  • Non-emergency maintenance and repairs.
  • Emergencies.
  • Pesticide use.
  • Showing the unit to prospective tenants.
  • In accordance with a court order.
  • If premises appear to be abandoned.
  • To inspect the premises within the last 30 days of tenancy in order to determine the amount of damage to be deducted from the security deposit.

While there is no notice required, 24 hours is recommended. We surveyed our Massachusetts landlords on how much notice they provide their tenants before entering the rental unit:

Notice of Entry in Massachusetts



Sublease and Assignment Provisions in Massachusetts

Under a sublease agreement, the original tenant leases the premises (apartment or house) to another individual. This individual must legally abide by the terms of the lease, as he or she has essentially taken over the lease term for a specified period of time.

Unless the lease prohibits subleasing, a landlord may not unreasonably withhold permission to sublet. In Massachusetts, subleasing is only allowed if the landlord consents.

A typical sublease provision in the State of Massachusetts reads as follows:

“Tenant may not do any of the following without the Landlord’s written consent: (1) assign this Lease; (2) sublet all or any part of the Premises; (3) permit any person to use the Premises other than those specified in this Lease. Unless Tenant has obtained Landlord’s written consent, any assignment or subletting may be disregarded by Landlord as if it had not occurred, and Tenant shall continue to remain responsible for the performance of all terms and conditions of this Lease.”

Abandonment of Property Provisions in Massachusetts

Note: When Massachusetts law mentions abandoned property it is in reference to the tenant’s belongings. In the section below, the word property refers to the tenant’s belongings and the word premises will describe the actual rental property.  

In Massachusetts, there are specific procedures on how to handle abandoned property.

Generally, the landlord may dispose of any personal property left on the premises by a tenant after 1) giving the required notice, and 2) if the landlord reasonably believes under all the circumstances that the tenant has left the property upon the premises with no intention of retrieving it.

The landlord must first give written notice to the tenant by certified mail informing the tenant that the property is considered abandoned and must be removed from the premises:

  • For all property other than manufactured or mobile homes, the tenant must respond within 30 days after delivery of the notice, or not less than 33 days after the date of mailing, whichever comes first.
  • For manufactured or mobile homes, the tenant must respond not less than 75 days after the delivery of the notice, or not less than 78 days after the date of mailing, whichever comes first. If the tenant fails to respond within these prescribed time frames, the property will be sold or otherwise disposed of.

After notifying the tenant, the landlord must store all goods and other personal property of the tenants’ in a place of safekeeping.

The landlord must also exercise reasonable care for the property. However, the landlord is not required to exercise reasonable care if they dispose of perishable food and may allow an animal control agency or humane society to remove any abandoned pets or livestock.

If the abandoned property is not removed, the landlord has several options:

  • The landlord may sell the property at a public or private sale.
  • The landlord may destroy or otherwise dispose of the property if the landlord reasonably determines that the value of the property is so low that the cost of storage and conducting a public sale would probably exceed the amount that would be realized from the sale.
  • The landlord may sell items of value and destroy or otherwise dispose of the remaining property.

Property is considered abandoned if:

  • If the tenant responds in writing or orally to the landlord that they intend to remove the property, on or before the day specified in the required notice, but he or she does not remove it within the time specified in the notice (or within 15 days after the written response, whichever is later).
  • No response is received from the tenant within the time period provided.

Required Massachusetts Rental Agreement Disclosures

Lead Paint Disclosure: Federal law requires landlords to disclose known information on lead-based paint and lead-based paint hazards before the lease takes effect. Additionally, under state law, landlords must provide this EPA-approved information pamphlet and fill out the following form.

Name and Addresses: The landlord must disclose the name and address of the property owner, anyone authorized to manage the property, the amount of the security deposit, and the tenant’s security deposit rights.

Disclosure of Insurance: If the tenant so requests, the landlord has 15 days to supply the name of the property’s insurance company and verification of the amount of coverage against loss or damage by fire. The landlord must also disclose the name of any person who would receive payment for such a loss as covered by the insurance.

Resources on Massachusetts Landlord-Tenant Law

Attorney General’s Guide to Landlord-Tenant Rights

Massachusetts Consumer Guide To Tenant’s Rights and Responsibilities

Minimum Standards of Fitness for Human Habitation

Evictions–Tenant’s Rights in Massachusetts

Mobile Homes–Tenant’s Rights in Massachusetts

Landlord-Tenant (Attorney General)

Oft-Cited Massachusetts Landlord-Tenant Law

Landlord-Tenant law is governed by Massachusetts General Law. You can find references to the statute below.

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Estates for Years and At-Will, Landlord-Tenant Law (Part II, Title I, c.186)

MGL c. 186, 11A: Termination of lease for non-payment of rent.

  • If the tenant does not pay rent under the terms of the lease, the landlord may terminate the lease. The landlord may terminate the lease by either terminating the lease in accordance with the termination provisions set out in the lease or provide the tenant with at least a 14-day notice to quit.

MGL c. 186: Section 15B. Entrance of premises prior to termination of lease; payments; receipts; interest; records; security deposits.

  • The landlord may enter the premises for the following reasons:
    • In accordance with a court order.
    • If the premises appear to be abandoned.
    • To inspect the premises within the last 30 days of the tenancy.
    • To inspect the premises after either party has given notice to the other of intention to terminate the tenancy, for the purpose of determining the amount of damages.
  • The landlord cannot require the tenant to pay a security deposit in excess of one month’s rent.
  • The landlord cannot charge a late fee until 30 days after rent is due.
  • The landlord cannot commingle the security deposit with any of the landlord’s personal assets.
  • If the tenant pays the landlord rent before first month’s rent becomes due, the landlord must pay the tenant interest on the security deposit at a rate of 5% each year of the lease term. If the landlord fails to pay interest, the tenant may recover court costs and reasonable attorney fees.
  • The landlord is required to provide the tenant a security deposit receipt.
  • Either 10 days after the tenancy begins or upon receiving the tenant’s security deposit, the landlord must provide the tenant with a written statement of the present condition of the premises.
    • The written statement must contain a comprehensive list of any damage in the premises, including any violations of the state sanitary or state building codes.
  • If the landlord holds a security deposit for more than a year, the landlord must pay the tenant five percent interest per year.

MGL c. 186: Section 15D: Oral agreement to execute lease.

  • After the landlord and tenant have orally agreed to enter into a lease agreement, the landlord should provide the tenant with a copy of the lease agreement.

MGL c.186: Section 16: Leases or rental agreements restricting occupancy of children.

  • As a matter of public policy, the landlord cannot include language in the lease agreement that restricts or prohibits the occupancy of children.

MGL c. 186: Section 18: Reprisal for reporting violations of law or for tenant’s union activity; damages and costs; notice of termination, presumption; waiver in leases or other rental agreements prohibited.

  • The landlord may not take any retaliatory action against the tenant because the tenant has engaged in some lawfully protected activity. Lawfully protected activity includes, but is not limited to:
    • The tenant exercising a legal right
    • The tenant filing an official complaint with a government authority
    • The tenant joining an organization
    • The tenant withholding rent

MGL c. 186: Section 24: Termination of rental agreement or tenancy by victim of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, or stalking.

  • The tenant may terminate a rental agreement or tenancy upon written notification to the landlord that a member of the household is a victim of domestic abuse, rape, sexual assault, or stalking.
  • The tenant must notify the landlord of the domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking within three months of the most recent act of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault, or stalking.
  • The landlord has the right to request proof of the status as a victim of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking, including the name of the perpetrator.
  • Proof of status as a victim of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking may be satisfied by one of the following documents:
    • Copy of a valid protection order.
    • A record from a federal, state or local court or law enforcement of an act of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking and the name of the perpetrator if known.
    • A written verification from any qualified third-party to whom the tenant, co-tenant, or member of the tenant or co-tenant’s household reported the domestic violence, rape, sexual assault or stalking.

Boston Landlord-Tenant Law   

Boston Landlord Tenant Law

Boston landlord-tenant law is essentially the same as Massachusetts state law. However, Boston does have its own municipal code that contains some differences. See the City of Boston Municipal Code here. Below are some oft-cited provisions of the Boston Municipal Code.

Chapter X, 10-2.2. Rent Equity Board.

  • The City of Boston Rent Equity Board is responsible for promulgating such policies, rules, rulings, and regulations, and shall issue such orders, as will further the provisions of this ordinance. The Board is also responsible for establishing and adjusting the maximum rent for housing accommodations, adjusting the rent for decontrolled housing accommodations, granting or denying certificates of eviction, and granting, denying or modify removal permits.
  • The board is required to have every landlord of rent controlled or vacancy decontrolled housing accommodations pay an annual charge for services provided by the Board.

Chapter X, 10-2.5. Adjustment of Maximum Rent.

  • The Board is required to adjust the annual maximum rent for all controlled housing accommodation.

Chapter X, 10-2.9 (A). Rights of Elderly and Handicapped Tenants to Have Pets.

  • The landlord must allow any elderly or handicapped tenant to own household pets or have pets live in the unit.
  • The landlord of a controlled housing accommodation (subject to rent control) must not restrict or discriminate against any elderly or handicapped tenant in connection the tenant’s ownership of common household pets or the presence of household pets in that tenant’s unit.

Disclaimer

This article is designed to convey information, and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should not consider any information in this article to be legal advice. Readers should consider obtaining specific legal advice from an attorney in relation to any decision or course of action contemplated.

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