Skip to main content

MA Landlord and Tenant Law Questions and Answers

Welcome to our Massachusetts Landlord and Tenant Law Forum. Feel free to post questions, answers, or comments about rental agreements, evictions, living conditions, and other MA tenant and landlord issues. 

Have a question?  Enter one or two key words in our search feature, below, to find your answer.  For example, if you have a question about when your security deposit should be returned, enter: security deposit return.  If you need professional legal advice, please try our Attorney Directory to find a landlord and tenant lawyer in MA.

Login or Register to post a new question
TopicRepliesCreatedLast replysort icon
1st and security
I have been renting an apartment for almost a year an the house has recently been sold. We now have a new landlord who has already increased the rent ...
0 2 days 10 hours ago
by TT-Barthelmy1
Unheated Apartment Areas
My three-floor apartment has a finished, but unheated three-room basement. It contains a laundry, office, and open area. Except for the laundry room, ...
0 4 days 4 hours ago
by pamela66
Evicition of non-resident tenant for illegal sublet
What do I need to do to prevent a tenant who has vacated the premises and illegally sublet the apartment from moving back in. He has a history of drug...
1 5 days 8 hours ago
by elliesdog
4 days 12 hours ago
by Robert Nislick
Owner did not give subtler right to increase rent
I recently found out, while talking to the owner of the apartment I rent a room in, that we are being over charged. He said he did not give permission...
0 6 days 56 min ago
by givenaway
security deposit and last months rent
I had a "tenant at will"that had utilities included in monthly rent. The signed tenant agreement included a provision that if the tenant exceeded nor...
0 1 week 1 day ago
by Landlord101
water shut off
i rent an apartment from my ex sister in law that i have known since i was 2yrs old. i have been living here for the past 3-4yrs. within the last ye...
0 1 week 4 days ago
by luvlmillion
Landlord required to sign lease in MA?
Is the landlord required to sign the lease in MA? There are spot for a signature but we never got a copy signed.
0 1 week 6 days ago
by heartshapes
forced tenant displacement for apartment renovations
My father, sister, and niece were told (with a few verbal days) that they would be displaced from their apatment for a month while the landlord remode...
0 2 weeks 10 hours ago
by aadels
Complicated security deposit situation- do I have any leverage?
Bear with me, I have a complicated situation and I'm not sure how it plays out legally. My boyfriend and I signed a year-long lease for a house last O...
1 2 weeks 2 days ago
by leed24
2 weeks 1 day ago
by Phippslaw
Room to negotiate over renovations in building?
Legal standing to negotiate with the landlord about a renovation schedule? My lease is up August 1, which turns out to not work well for either me ...
0 2 weeks 2 days ago
by me1234
Tenant at will Multiple issues with landlord
My 23 year old son has been renting a room in Hyde Park for almost a year now. There is no written agreement & he pays the rent once a month. This lan...
0 2 weeks 2 days ago
by Judith Curtis
renting a room in your own home
Is it legal to rent a room in an owner occupied home?
0 2 weeks 3 days ago
by j48scatton
Major change to Lease agreement regarding Utilities
This past March, my wife and I signed a new 12 month lease agreement and moved into our apartment. The lease states all utilities are paid by the land...
0 2 weeks 4 days ago
by tsbtown
Can I get a no tresspass or restraining order ?
I live in a 6 family apartment house and one of the tenants , keeps allowing someone on the property who has broken into my apartment in the past, has...
0 2 weeks 5 days ago
by AmiRoi
Prorating rent because no stove
I moved into my apartment May 1st but had paid the deposit a month prior and the landlord has told me since then that the stove has been on back order...
0 2 weeks 5 days ago
by Lady00rose
Rent Termination
Hello, I have been living in my apartment in Cambridge since September 2010. My current lease this year ends in September 30. This is a high ris...
0 3 weeks 6 hours ago
by abatista
Over-Lapping Leases?
Hello, I'm currently living in an apartment where there are four roommates in our second year-long lease (which terminates on 8/31). One of us ...
0 3 weeks 4 days ago
by Megaptera
how to respond to tenant questioning why re: notice to quit
It's my understanding that I'm not required to give a reason when I give my tenant Notice to Quit. When I see the tenant (or her family members) shoul...
0 4 weeks 52 min ago
by puzzledlandlord
Prepaid last month rent, landlord wants difference from rent increase after moveout
At our previous residence, we pre-paid last month's rent at 1450. The rent increased to 1850 over the 8 years we lived there. We moved out last month,...
0 4 weeks 18 hours ago
by pxdash
Owner sold house
Hello all, This is kind of a long story, but I'll try to make it short. My family and I have been living in the same first floor apartment of ...
0 4 weeks 23 hours ago
by Eli05gt1
Repairs being made, need to relocate during. Who's responsible for cost?
In the winter, the landlord neglected to shovel or have the roof shoveled resulting in Ice Damming and then leading to leaks in my batrhoom ceiling. N...
0 4 weeks 1 day ago
by squibz
Maximum number of unrelated people - Waltham, MA
I own a 7 bedroom house and wanted to see what the maximum number of unrelated people I could legally rent to. I have 7 individuals who would like to...
0 4 weeks 2 days ago
by landlord306
Advice Regarding Illegal Rental
We moved into an apartment which we knowingly was illegal, we never received any information regarding where the deposit was held. There us no written...
0 4 weeks 5 days ago
by dbroughton79
Break lease due to unsafe relationship
I signed a lease with an ex boyfriend in June and by July we had already broken up and I was forced by police to leave because he told them to remove ...
0 4 weeks 5 days ago
by Katelyn1988
Does my new landlord have a right to impose new sublet fees?
I am a tenant in one apartment of a two family home. Halfway through our lease, our building was sold to a new real estate company. One of my roommate...
1 1 year 2 weeks ago
by lacie2014
5 weeks 21 hours ago
by abc123
mold in MA apartment
Hello, its currently April. Back in November my landlord agreed in housing curt to fix the mold problem in my bathroom. I requested they do so because...
0 5 weeks 6 days ago
by zachnorton72
Tenant with children. Owner selling
We are tenants at will and have a 1 year old. Our landlord told us she is putting the house up for sale. I had asked the possibility of us continuing ...
0 6 weeks 3 hours ago
by Jm81
Landlord won't let me sublet unless I find a tenant to sign a new lease for a year
Hi, I am moving, and have 3 months left on my lease. My lease says that the landlord must approve a sublease. I contacted my landlord to see ab...
0 6 weeks 2 days ago
by nobusforyou
Rules on amount of people in 6 bedroom?
Hey there. I had a meeting last year with a prospective landlord who had a 5 people maximum requirement for her 6 bedroom duplex. She told me it's ill...
0 6 weeks 2 days ago
by raekulik
Renting, Couples split, now conflict!
My Ex and I renewed our lease for another year in October 2014, two weeks later we broke up, he moved out and I now live there with our 4yr old daugh...
1 6 weeks 3 days ago
by TheLaw19
6 weeks 3 days ago
by Boston Probate ...
settlement agreement
plantiffs in two seperate cases amounts to $27,000 as part of agreement plantiff agrees to pay $15,000 if defendants default they are to pay $27,000 w...
1 8 weeks 9 hours ago
by patriots781
6 weeks 3 days ago
by patriots781
Last Monthe prepaid rent
We are currently tenants at will in MA. Upon moving in we paid first and last months rent. We have given our landlords 30 days notice and our inten...
1 7 weeks 1 day ago
by Marenter1
6 weeks 3 days ago
by ivanasking
I am a tenant at will for almost 2 years . The house was recently bought by a new person. The new property owner is now telling me that I can no longe...
0 6 weeks 4 days ago
by mflopez
Inform landlord of breakup?
Myself, my fiancé and our 2 children live in a 2bedroom apartment. Myself and my fiancé broke up about 3 weeks back and I am still coming by to help...
0 6 weeks 6 days ago
by Tenant2015
Lease Renewal End Dates and Giving Notice
Moved in to current apartment with a roommate on May 1, 2013. Original lease clearly states term of one year ending on April 30, 2014. In May 2014, or...
0 7 weeks 8 hours ago
by Cstguy
Res Judicata Question - Boston Housing Court dismissal
Hello - i am the defendant tenant in an eviction case that is about to be dismissed before trial (the LL's only claim was for possession with no claim...
0 7 weeks 10 hours ago
by Bob1234
i signed a one year lease a couple years ago with a roommate and after that year lease was up i moved out but my roommate stayed an renewed am i still...
0 7 weeks 1 day ago
by krisgrim
Can I decline an application with 8 people live in a single family house?
I am the owner of a single family house(1.5 bath, 2 bedrooms plus a den) and my house is for rent now. Someone has submitted the application with 2 ad...
1 7 weeks 3 days ago
by mifish
7 weeks 2 days ago
by Phippslaw
Water Sub metering in MA
I live in a new apartment complex with over 150 units. The water is sub metered for each unit. When I get my water bill each month it appears that I'm...
0 7 weeks 3 days ago
by sleepy
Landlord Rights
I just purchased a multi family home and a tenant has cameras on the exterior of the building. Can I ask him to remove them immediately or is there a ...
0 7 weeks 3 days ago
by Klawg15
Landlord responsibility for Utility Overcharge
Hi, I've been a tenant at the same location for more than 10 years with no problems and have a current lease that requires me to pay Gas & Electric...
0 8 weeks 10 hours ago
by Wirro
Renting to a foreign person with a us citizen co-signer
I have a US citizen that wants to rent an apartment for a foreign person that he is related to. the US citizen will co-sign and pay the rent. I hav...
0 8 weeks 1 day ago
by MrLand
rent payment during repairs
Due to ice dams we had water damage in our apartment's kitchen. The landlords are planning on repairs and will take 3 weeks working 6 days a week. The...
0 8 weeks 1 day ago
by watts2272
private renters right
can i evict a person that rents a room in my house immediately if i know and have evidence that they are bringing illegal street drugs into my house?
0 8 weeks 1 day ago
by ms auto
Can I get evicted if people are not on my lease?
I have a friend that just got a 14 day notice that people that are not on the lease has to be out an I want to know if the landlord can do that an she...
1 8 weeks 3 days ago
by Mzalewa
8 weeks 2 days ago
by Phippslaw
Security deposit interest
For the past 6 years, I have had a $1100 security deposit of a former tenant and I need to return it to her. She moved out three months ago. The s...
2 9 weeks 6 hours ago
by profgardner
8 weeks 6 days ago
by Phippslaw
Can I take my plants when I move?
If I plant flowers for a flower garden can I take them with me when I move since I paid for them and took care of them?
0 9 weeks 1 day ago
by badams466
Can my landlord evict me?
My name is Jennifer Stevenson and my boyfriend and I have just stared renting an apartment from a landlord in Whitman. We live in a building with 9 un...
0 9 weeks 6 days ago
by Jennyfer21
rental agreement
I rented a condo with a 1 yr lease from A and the lease expired as the new owner B bought the unit...the new owner B never signed a lease or a tenant ...
0 9 weeks 6 days ago
by poole579
rental increase
my landlord tried to charge me a $50 late fee even though I paid on the 1st just not at 7am when she picked up rent out of the rent depository. I refu...
0 10 weeks 22 hours ago
by cyra21
Landlord/Tenant Discrimination
Ive had a vacant room in my apartment, my landlord has been really getting on me to fill it. (Also i'm paying all the rent so i really needed someone...
0 10 weeks 1 day ago
Roommate Situation Lease Break
I currently live in a roommate situation with three other people. In December I asked the landlord if I could find a replacement for my room if I got ...
0 10 weeks 2 days ago
by AlexM3
Tennants harrassment
I have been living in my apartment for two years now with my four roommates and this year new tenants moved downstairs. Our apartment is entirely carp...
0 10 weeks 2 days ago
by masssarah
Constructive Eviction: No Heat and Gas
In January, about 50 tenants had to move out of 3 buildings due to no heat. The City of Cambridge concluded that the buildings were uninhabitable and ...
0 10 weeks 3 days ago
by ZeeEsme
Overnight guests in Massachusetts
My boyfriend and I live 60 miles apart (in the same state). He has been living in his apartment for 6 years. We have been dating for 5 years. All o...
0 10 weeks 6 days ago
Snow covering a ground floor apartment window
Recently, the Condo Association shoveled snow off the roof of the building where I own a ground floor apartment. The snow completely covered the win...
0 11 weeks 1 day ago
by Tfeeney02056
Tenants-at-will and general conditions listed in the original signed lease.
Our tenants (tenants-at-will) will be moving out soon. The last signed lease which expired several months ago had some very specific addendums such ...
1 11 weeks 2 days ago
by MAKoala
11 weeks 2 days ago
by Attorney Larnard
I have a tenant at will because I chose not to renew his lease.the pipes froze in the house and there is no waterhe is staying at a hotel paid by his ...
1 11 weeks 4 days ago
by ctnails2
11 weeks 3 days ago
by Phippslaw
Motion of Execution Dealing with other occupants besides tenant
I have gone through the eviction process and have a motion of execution signed for by a judge. I am evicting my tenant but his girl friend moved in a...
1 12 weeks 2 days ago
by Tech657
11 weeks 5 days ago
by Robert Nislick
parking spot rental
I have been renting a parking spot near my place of work for many years with a provision in the lease that landlord is responsible for snow removal. ...
0 13 weeks 57 min ago
by allieberg
Tenant Parking Rights
Hi, I am renting an apartment and the lease indicates that I am allowed 1 car in the building's parking lot. I do not need to drive often and have...
0 13 weeks 4 hours ago
by srhwvd
Parking at complexes
Hi I'm looking for some information regarding Parking at complexes. When my boyfriend and I moved into this particular complex we were actually told t...
0 13 weeks 1 day ago
by Nterry403
tenant overtaking too much space
I have a tenant that has started using areas not included in her lease in an obscene waY, including areas that were explicitly prohibited when she mov...
0 13 weeks 2 days ago
by amazewtdwtf
Late rent
I am currently living in an apartment where our landlord recently hired a management company to collect rent.I am late on my rent, I have been paying ...
0 13 weeks 4 days ago
by Kristenlee33
landlord retaliation regarding snow removal
We are 30 day tenant at will without a lease in a two family home in Ma. This question is in regards to snow removal and subsequent landlord retaliat...
0 13 weeks 4 days ago
by poohsta3
Landlord Inspecting the Outside of the building without notice?
We had a bizarre issue happen last night. We have rented a single family home for the past 3 years. We pay our rent early every month, and keep the ho...
0 13 weeks 5 days ago
by HELP123
Landlord Tenant
Tenant rents an apartment unit that has a coin operated dryer. Management used to service the dryer and tenant had to buy "laundry tokens" from manage...
0 13 weeks 6 days ago
by Karina D.
My landlord is going to be remodeling the whole building and is giving all tenants 4 months to find a new place and move out. My question is can he le...
1 14 weeks 3 days ago
by Bstangs1
14 weeks 2 days ago
by Phippslaw
Cleanup after rat infestation
Some months ago I noticed a rat in our basement as it ran from the garbage area and into our storage unit which is directly opposite the garbage room....
0 14 weeks 3 days ago
by DrRisotto
No Rent for 4 Months - Abandoned?
Hello - I own a small house that I have rented (12 month lease) to a neighbor's son. The lease started in July 2014 and ends June 2015. The renter...
0 14 weeks 3 days ago
by klamarre
Landlord's father sexually harassing
My sister is renting an apartment from my good friend; the friend's parents also live in the building on the first floor. The problem is the father h...
0 14 weeks 6 days ago
by denisekandis
Last months rent
My apartment since I moved in had the smell of third hand smoke. My landlord was no able to remedy the problem. When I paid January rent, which was ...
0 14 weeks 6 days ago
by LisaKelley
Please help! Liability of tenant at will after lessee dies?
My question is: Am I liable for the property of a deceased lessee? Short story: I moved into an apartment 6 months ago, renting the...
0 15 weeks 4 hours ago
by WorriedSick
Concord MA Requires a 4 month lease min during winter?
When I agreed to rent a place on a month to month bases I was told that due to Concord Ma legal requirements that the lease had to be a minimum of 4 m...
0 15 weeks 1 day ago
by Lucas
Tenants want me to pay part of their high electric bill
Hello, My tenants electric bill (they pay for electricity) got higher within 2 months, from $250 to $600 and $800 for November, December and Janua...
0 15 weeks 2 days ago
by oblakovshtanax
Landlord won't provide access to trash and recycling bins after snow storm
The owners of our building changed our lease a year ago, making tenants responsible for putting their own trash and recycling barrels on the curb for ...
0 15 weeks 3 days ago
by Brandenburg52
How long does eviction take in Massachusetts?
I am the landlord. After inspection of the property, it was discovered that the occupants had made many alterations (without obtaining permission) whi...
5 2 years 10 weeks ago
by ck
15 weeks 4 days ago
by lawyer
Landlord changing lease after all signed, threatening At Will status and termination
I live in Massachusetts. I found a house with attached garage. My roommate and I signed a 1 year lease and the landlord repeatedly said we should move...
0 15 weeks 5 days ago
by LadyNewEngland
eviction then retaliation
We are going to court for the second time in 2 years for non payment of rent. We are withholding rent again (yes its in a bank account) because nothin...
0 15 weeks 5 days ago
by lovingmom25
Name on lease but not living in the unit
We resigned our lease last year with a girl we found on Craig's list. She electronically signed a lease with us for the unit we had been living in for...
0 16 weeks 7 hours ago
by S.reiman55
family witholding rent to get door fixed first
I am a social worker with early intervention working with a family. On Thanksgiving the father who was no longer living with the mother and two sons, ...
0 16 weeks 2 days ago
by manderson asc
Downstairs Neighbor Issue
My partner and I are currently renting a condo unit on the 3rd floor of a 3 story building. We have been in the unit for about a year and a half now....
0 16 weeks 2 days ago
by masstenant65
Neighbors riding four wheelers (townhouse)
I live in a small cluster of townhomes. One of our neighbors has two four wheelers, and they ride them at all hours of the day. The vehicles are ext...
0 16 weeks 3 days ago
by asdfx0rz
Different move out date on addendum
Unfortunately, I just realized that there is a different move out date on an addendum to the lease that I signed. On a standard form apartment lease, ...
1 16 weeks 4 days ago
by sshank314
16 weeks 3 days ago
by Phippslaw
Utilities during evacuation
Thanks for this incredibly helpful website and these great forums! We were displaced in December for several days due to a neighbor's fire above our a...
1 16 weeks 5 days ago
by sue23
16 weeks 4 days ago
by Phippslaw
Landlord discrimination based on age.
I read that landlords cannot discriminate based on age, race, sex, sexuality etc. However I was shocked on my rental agreement that they specificall...
0 17 weeks 22 hours ago
by Plasko
Demand of lease renewal
Hello, I have the traditional Sept 1st, 1-year lease in Boston. It is late January, and I have already received two letters about notifying the la...
0 17 weeks 1 day ago
by Prswan08
Listing Fee deducted from Security Deposit
I had rented out my apartment to a older gentleman who signed a one year lease. After 4 months he is moving out. He has paid for the four months and...
0 17 weeks 1 day ago
by kb333
Can I rent a room with no stove
Dear MALAWFORUM, I have a single family house that is not my main home but more a "vacation" place. There is a main house and a detached unit. The ...
0 17 weeks 3 days ago
by nanvigne
Landlord Harassment
We are at our wits end and don't know how to handle this issue. My boyfriend is being harassed by the landlord, but he just isn't the landlord he was ...
0 17 weeks 4 days ago
by RedHerring
Pipes froze, then burst... No running water for almost a week now
I live in a run down apartment unit in allston with a very terrible landlord. I rent the basement room.Our pipes froze and then burst during the arcti...
1 18 weeks 4 days ago
by Shawn_girouard
18 weeks 4 days ago
by Phippslaw
Getting my name removed from lease
I recently moved out of an apartment that I was sharing with my gf. My name is still on the lease and I want it removed, my ex gf is dragging her feet...
1 19 weeks 1 day ago
by Themovement
18 weeks 6 days ago
by Mass_LL
New Property Complex Owner & Mgmt Company-Validity of Lease
Here is my situation: My complex was owned and managed by Princeton Properties. It was recently sold to a new owner and that new owner chose Corcoran ...
0 19 weeks 2 days ago
by gerizzo
Two landlords. One is making a very stressful living situation.
Hello... My boyfriend and I rent a single Family home. We are responsible for the whole house as well as the front and back yard. We pay all utilities...
0 19 weeks 3 days ago
by Apicard
Which day is the rent due, if the lease does not specify?
If a lease does not specify which day the rent is due, what is the default in Massachusetts? Reasonable answers I can think of are: - the first da...
0 19 weeks 4 days ago
by myusername
Tenant pay for oil
I own a duplex which I live in. My tenant is breaking his lease that he signed 3 moths ago because he wants to buy a house. He will be moving out in l...
0 19 weeks 5 days ago
by Ums00114996
Renting to ex wife
I am going through a divorce. My wife's only source of income is likely to be SSDI. She is unable to work. One thought I've had is to buy a two fam...
0 19 weeks 6 days ago
by deaconblues
Charging for appliances?
My landlord lives in the apartment with me and has created a very complicated lease that includes clauses that say the tenant will have to pay for usi...
0 20 weeks 1 day ago
by Kathy12345
Deceptive Practice or Breach of Habitability
I recently relocated to MA from NYC and moved into a single family house. Shortly after moving into the house, a host of issues came to surface. Th...
0 20 weeks 2 days ago
by underwater
shelter tent
I live in a rental for 5 years. I have never missed a rent payment late 2-3 times if that. Well i had taken a lawn mower and trailer out.Theres no sto...
0 20 weeks 2 days ago
by ErikV383

For additional information about this area of Massachusetts law

try our Quick Information Library or search The Forum for MA Law (top, right corner of page).

Talk to a Landlord and Tenant Lawyer Today
Most offer FREE Consultations
Connect with The Forum
facebook google twitter linkedin
Syndicate content