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Terms of tenancy at will after lease expires under MA law

I heard by paying rent, a tenant becomes tenant at will automatically regardless if a landlord gives a mo by mo lease or not. Is this true? If a tenant becomes tenant at will after original lease expired, and no new lease is signed, does the responsibilities stated in the original lease still bond? I'm a new landlord. A realtor friend told me that you'd better give my tenant a mo by mo lease, which is what she asked for, otherwise she can stay in it without any responsibility. So i provided a mo by mo lease. But she holds both copies and did not sign it and not return one to me. another friend told me no difference she signs or not, she is tenant at will.
So does she has any responsibilities, such as obey condo's rules, like in the original lease? I searched and found the "automatic tenant at will" part was answered before in similar questions. but no mention about the terms and conditions of the lease. Does it mean a tenant automatically assumes the responsibilities in the original lease as well? I appreciate your clarification. Thx.

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First of all, if you are a new landlord, do yourself a HUGE favor and read one of the many books available in MA that talk about your rights and responsibilities.  Landlords can get into a great a deal of legal trouble in MA if they do not follow the rules around such issues as security deposits. 

I'm not sure I understand your question, but generally speaking when a lease expires the tenant becomes a tenant at will, on a month to month basis, and both parties are still bound by the terms of the original lease.  However, a landlord can avoid this by refusing to accept rent or only accepting the money for "use and occupancy."  At that point, the tenant becomes a tenant at sufferance and is more easily removed from the unit.

I think it is a better practice to have a written agreement with all the terms and rules spelled out, even if it is for a tenancy-at-will.  You should not let the tenant move into the until she has signed the agreement.  Good luck.

Dear Editor, Thx for the timely reply. You cleared my 1st Q. That's important. We both are still bound by the original lease. Her one yr lease was expired. SO she is already in the unit. I did gave her a mo by mo lease, very similar to the original one in terms of rules and responsibilities, which she did not sign. I guess it doesn't make much difference.

after reading your reply, i realized "use and occupancy" is what I need as my tenant has unpaid fines and condo ask them to leave. But they want to stay and keep paying rent. In the case I have to go through eviction process, what can I recover? i'll lost rents for months for sure. Can I recover the fines incurred by them and other damages in the unit? Also, could you pls refer a book to me because there are so many? Thx a lot. Truly appreciate it.

No, use and occupancy refers to money paid by the tenant to stay in the unit.  There are several books in our Books about MA Law section that you can look at.  That is what you need to do.  I cannot explain the entire eviction process to you.  If the tenant has not paid rent, serve her with a 14 day notice to quit.  You can try to collect rent that is due as well as any money the tenant was obligated to pay under the rental agreement.  Good luck.

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