Massachusetts Tenant Laws
Whether a tenant lives in Boston, Lawrence, and Newton or any other city or town in Massachusetts, it is very important that they are aware of the various Massachusetts tenant laws that have been put into place. Massachusetts tenant laws were created in an effort to protect tenants from tricky or illegal legal contracts that might otherwise be abused by unethical landlords. The passage below will quickly sum up some of the most important Massachusetts tenant laws that are in place today.
Pre payments to a rental contract – Massachusetts tenant laws – Massachusetts tenant laws state that the landlord may only collect a security deposit, a charge to cover change of locks and keys and the first month’s rent from the tenant. Any attempt to collect charges other than the ones just mentioned will result in a violation of Massachusetts tenant laws.
Rights against discrimination – Massachusetts tenant laws – Massachusetts, like some other states in the U.S is home to a vibrant immigrant population. Unfortunately, the presence of different cultures often brings up isolated cases of racism and discrimination. This extends into landlord-tenant relationships as well. However, Massachusetts tenant laws protect tenants against any form of discrimination by the landlords. It would be illegal and against Massachusetts tenant laws if a landlord discriminates against a tenant based on their sex, color, country of origin, handicaps etc. Massachusetts tenant laws will also protect blind people against discrimination even if they have a dog as a guide. Some landlords reject tenants because they have a pet although tenant laws will protect blind people from occupying a rental property with a guide dog, even if the landlord does not prefer tenants with pets.
Security deposit – Massachusetts tenant laws – Massachusetts laws state that the landlord must hold the security deposit provided by the tenant in an interest bearing account. The landlord will have to share the details of the account with the tenant although they are not obligated to give the tenant access to this account. The landlord will also be required to pay an annual interest of 5% or less on this security amount deposit. The interest will be payable in 1 year intervals, assuming that the tenant is staying for longer than a year.
Rent payments – Massachusetts tenant laws – Massachusetts laws prevent a landlord from offering a discount on rent in lieu of collecting early rent payments. It is a tactic used by some landlords who try to offer the tenant a discount to receive cash flow in an early manner. Also, Massachusetts tenant laws state that a tenant does not have to pay any late fees until 30 days have passed after the routine pay by date.
Privacy rights – Massachusetts tenant laws – Massachusetts tenant laws will require that a landlord only enter an apartment for valid reasons such as inspections, repairs or to show the property to future prospective clients. Even for these valid reasons, Massachusetts tenant laws will require that the landlord give proper notice to the tenant and also only enter at a time that is reasonable and civil. Any violations of these rights will allow the tenant to file for a restraining order against the landlord, according to Massachusetts tenant laws.