Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Rights

If you’re considering renting out a property or renting your next home, check out our Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Rights cheat sheet for information you need to know.

Landlord Responsibilities

Landlords have certain responsibilities under Massachusetts law. These include the duty to address, maintain or provide the following:

  • Dwelling structures
  • Walls, floors, and ceilings
  • Water
  • Heating
  • Plumbing and sanitation
  • Electrical wiring and outlets
  • Gas lines and fixtures
  • Garbage removal
  • Staircases and railings
  • Fire escapes
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Appliances if provided
  • Bed bugs

Landlords have 14 days to address issues with the above; if they fail to do so, tenants can withhold rent for up to four months.

Tenant Responsibilities

Tenants also have responsibilities to their landlords. These include:

  • Pay rent in a timely manner
  • Keep the unit in a clean and habitable condition
  • Maintain fixtures in a clean and sanitary condition
  • Perform small repairs and maintenance
  • Not disturb other tenants or neighbors

Security Deposit

Landlords may request one month’s rent as a security deposit. They have 30 days to return the security deposit minus deductions to the tenant or may be held liable for up to 3 times the original amount.

Rent and Fees

Massachusetts landlords can charge any amount they choose for rent. They must give a 30-day notice before increasing the rent.

Evictions

Landlords can evict tenants on the following grounds:

  • Nonpayment of rent
  • Lease violation
  • No lease or the lease has ended
  • Illegal acts

Tenants can legally end their lease early in the following circumstances:

  • Early termination clause in the lease
  • Active military duty
  • Landlord harassment
  • Domestic violence

Tenants who end a lease early will be held liable for the remainder of the tenancy.

Lease Termination Notice

If the grounds for eviction is nonpayment of rent, the landlord is required to issue a 14-day notice. If eviction is based on a lease violation, the landlord must give a 7-day notice. If the lease has ended and the tenant has failed to leave the unit, the landlord must issue a 30-day notice. At-will daily or weekly tenants must be given a 7-day notice if illegal acts occur on the premises.

Tenants must also give notice before terminating their tenancy. Month-to-month tenants should give a 30-day notice and year-to-year tenants are required to give the same amount of notice as their rental payment interval.

Relevant State Agencies

Massachusetts Department of Housing and Urban Development

City-Specific Links

Boston:

Water

Electric

Gas


Worcester:

Water

Electric

Gas

Springfield:

Water

Electric

Gas

Official Rules and Regulations

Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Laws