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The Rights of a Massachusetts Tenant

By Ben Levy

As a tenant in Massachusetts, there are certain rights that you must be aware of to ensure that your landlord does not take advantage of you. However, it is also important to carefully read your rental agreement to make sure that the landlord is not trying to take advantage of you in some other way.

It is customary for landlords to charge the first month's rent, last month's rent, and a security deposit at the beginning of the rental. In Massachusetts, the security deposit is never allowed to exceed one month's worth of rent and cannot be increased during the term of the rental. The tenant also has the right to see a status report of the property, noting any existing damage. Only damage that was not on this list can be charged to your security deposit. The landlord is also required to pay the tenant the interest accrued on the security deposit at the end of each year.

All rentable property in Massachusetts is required to have heat, electricity, and hot water with the bathrooms and kitchen requiring running water. The property must also have locks on all windows and doors. If any of these requirements are not met, the landlord is required to pay for them to be installed.

As long as the tenant is up to date on rent payments, the landlord must give at least 30 days notice before ending the rental. In the case of an eviction, a notice must be given to the tenant before the tenant gets evicted. If the eviction is because the tenant did not pay the rent, then the landlord must give 14 days notice of eviction, where the tenant is allowed to pay any unpaid rent in the first 10 days of the notice. If a tenant feels that they are being wrongfully evicted, they have the right to go to court to determine the issue.

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3/2/2017

Gary Wardwell

Both landlords and tenants should be able to deal with many legal questions and problems without a lawyer. For this purpose, they need to understand the basics of general tenant-landlord rights as

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