The Massachusetts Rental Application Form is a legal document used to screen prospective tenants before a lease is signed. Unlike many states, it is illegal in the state of Massachusetts to charge a tenant an “application fee”. Again, Massachusetts is very tenant friendly which means in this case, the landlord has to bite the cost of the application.
Do not get an application fee mixed up with a broker’s or leasing agent’s fee. If a tenant gets the help of a leasing agent find an apartment, they will either want a commission from the tenant (usually equal to 1 months rent) or from the landlord.
Under The Fair Housing Act, landlords can not inquire about about a tenant’s race, religion, sexual orientation, age (except if it’s a minor), marital status, or if the tenant is handicapped or in the armed forces. If a landlord asks a tenant any questions pertaining to these subjects on the application or orally during a meeting, they are in direct violation with the law and legal action can be taken against them.