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A Landlord's Responsibilities

By Adam Pavidis

As a landlord you have some clear responsibilities to your tenants. In the State of Massachusetts a landlord has the obligation to de-lead the property whenever a child of six or younger resides there. You also need to provide a "livable property," meaning that the unit should be weather resistant, and have working plumbing, working heating, an electrical system, and a smoke detector. A landlord is also supposed to protect the tenant from crime, so your stairways and common areas need to be well lit. Doors, gates and windows need to have locks, and the intercom should be working.

If a tenant contacts you for repairs and you don't respond, and the tenant is then injured when attempting them himself, you are usually liable to some degree and will likely lose a legal battle. Therefore it is best that you respond promptly to any concerns your tenant may have and make sure yourself or a professional tackles repair work. Make sure you keep copies of all your documentation too, as well as notes on relevant contact between you and your tenant in the unlikely event of legal action being taken.

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