Landlord Tenant law in Massachusetts provides tenants with significant protections. Although it is possible to have an enforceable rental agreement that is not in writing, it is not recommended. It is in the best interest of landlords and tenants to have a written agreement that carefully spells out the rights, duties and obligations of each party.
Landlords and tenants may form their own agreements, but according to state law, there are certain rights and responsibilities that apply to each whether or not the term is included in the agreement. Sometimes provisions or entire agreements are deemed invalid under Massachusetts Landlord Tenant law.
Basic Landlord Obligations
- Providing a clean and safe unit with working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
- Maintain heating, electrical and plumbing systems and keep them in good working order.
- Maintain common areas in a rental complex including keeping them free from debris, rodents and insects.
- Provide adequate lighting for parking areas, walkways and hallways.
- Keep entrances and exits of rental complexes free from trash, snow and all obstacles.
- Only enter the rental unit if there is an emergency or after 24-hour written notice to enter for other acceptable reasons.
- Pay the rent on time. There is usually a three to five day grace period after the established due date before the landlord is allowed to charge a late fee.
- Maintain the home or apartment in as good condition as it was found accounting for normal wear and tear.
- Promptly report any problems that may result in damage to the premises in order to prevent the damage from worsening.
- Giving advance notice of the plan to vacate the premises.
- Leave the premises in the same condition in which it was found when the tenant moved in.
- Return all keys on the date the premises are returned to the landlord.
This is just an overview of the basic obligations of landlord and tenant. There may be other clauses that each party wants to add to the rental agreement. There are some terms that will not be enforced even if agreed to if they are deemed to be against public policy.
Contact Attorney Sean M. Murphy
Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, at the Law Offices of Sean M Murphy, P.C., we know how to handle your issues. We devote more than one-third of our time working to resolve landlord/tenant disputes and have experience representing both landlords and tenants in resolving their issues as expeditiously and efficiently as possible.
Call our Brockton, Massachusetts office today at (774) 257-5732.