Massachusetts Rental Lease Agreements are for leasing commercial and residential property. In order for a lease to be legally binding in MA, it must contain the name, address, and phone number of the owner, the individual responsible for maintenance, and the individual who is in charge of accepting notices, complaints, and court papers.
Any lease agreement drafted in Massachusetts must follow the laws and regulations that governs the rights of landlords and tenants. Note that Massachusetts is one of the most tenant friendly states in the U.S. therefore Landlords should be very aware of their laws and rights when renting property. Our lease and rental agreements fully comply with all the laws and are updated on a consistent basis.
Form Description Types
Massachusetts Leasing Laws & Disclosures
It’s important for both landlord and tenant to clearly state and understand the terms of the lease including who is financially responsible for utilities. The landlord must disclose issues like lead based paint and if all inspections are up to date. Before a tenant rents the property, they should do a walk through and check to make sure all toilets, faucets, doors, and lights are working.
- Download the Massachusetts Move-In Checklist
landlords may charge a tenant last month’s rent and a security deposit equal to one months rent. If the landlord raises the rent after the lease expires, they can require the tenant to increase the amount of last’s month’s rent to equal the new rent. Security deposits should be kept in a separate interest barring account in Massachusetts. Within 30 days of the landlord receiving a tenant’s security deposit, the landlord should notify the tenant of the bank’s name and address, the amount of deposit, and the account number.
The landlord is legally responsible for giving the tenant a receipt for both the last month’s rent and the security deposit (for each pre-payment). Since the landlord is legally required to hold a tenant’s money in an interest baring account, the tenant is responsible for providing the landlord with a forwarding address at the end of the lease where the landlord can send the money.
With respect to the security deposit, a tenant is entitled to a maximum 5% interest or whatever lesser amount is received from the bank the deposit is held. Last month’s rent is also entitled to a maximum 5% interest rate or the rate from which the bank offers. If the landlord decides not to keep the last month’s rent in an interest barring account, the landlord must pay 5% interest out of their own pocket.
The utilities must be agreed before hand in the lease agreement on whether who pays for the utilities. It’s common among many landlords to pay the heat and hot water while the tenant pays for electricity, cable, and internet. If a dispute arises between you and the utility company and your service has not already been shut off, it cannot be shut off while a dispute is pending. Call the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) at 1-800-392-6066 or 617-305-3531 if a utility company does not resolve your issue.
A tenant legally can not force you out of your dwelling without a court order (judgment). If a tenant violates (failure to pay rent, excessive damage, etc.) the terms of the lease, the landlords first action is to send the tenant a “Notice to Quit”.
Not required by law, however it’s important for a tenant to schedule an appointment with their landlord in order to inspect property. This will limit any disputes later when trying to recoup the security deposit. Tenants should take pictures of the condition on the property and leave the landlord a forwarding address for them to send the security deposit money.