Massachusetts Landlord Rights
If you currently own property that you lease out to renters on a contractual basis, then it is imperative that you know your rights as a Massachusetts landlord.
Contrary to what you may have been led to believe (or as you may already know), it is not only your tenants’ rights in MA that are offered protections under the law. Your rights as a landlord are protected too.
While the laws that regulate the landlord-tenant relationship may be slightly different in each state, there are general rights and responsibilities that you are expected to enjoy and uphold respectively.
Knowing your rights as a Massachusetts landlord will help you be better able to detect when a tenant is in violation of the law and when to begin contacting attorneys for housing in Massachusetts to come settle the dispute.
Below, we will briefly cover the rights and obligations of a Massachusetts landlord, alongside what to do in when you have a legal dispute.
What are your rights as a Massachusetts Landlord?
Below is an overview of landlord rights in Massachusetts:
- You have the right to receive the sum stipulated on the lease contract at the time it is due for payment.
- You have the right to carry out non-intrusive property inspections.
- You have the right to enforce laws to keep the property from damage.
- You have the right to increase the rent amount stipulated on the lease provided that your tenants have been duly notified within a legally ample period of time.
Under MA landlord-tenant law, what are your obligations as a landlord?
While you enjoy the above-mentioned privileges as a Massachusetts landlord, under MA landlord-tenant law, you are expected to:
- Carry out necessary building maintenance.
- Bear the cost of external repairs.
- Provide stable and habitable living conditions for your tenants, regardless of the situation.
- Make all disclosures about the property that you are obligated to.
- Notify (in writing) your tenants if there are forthcoming changes that will impact them such as an ownership transfer.
- Maintain order, safety, and security on your property’s premises.
Landlord Harassment MA: What are the steps to take?
If your rights as a landlord are being violated and you wish to take legal action against the tenant or ask them to vacate the premises, there are certain steps you are expected to take under MA landlord-tenant law, they are:
Serve a Notice to Quit
As the name implies, a Notice to Quit is a legal document that states your intent (as the landlord) to reclaim possession of your property within a given period of time that is usually stated on the notice.
As a Massachusetts landlord, you have a right to give this to tenants who have violated your landlord rights in Massachusetts or their tenant responsibilities.
Keep the following in mind when drafting up a notice to quit:
- It must be clearly written in a language both landlord and tenant understand.
- It must make use of succinct language.
- It must state the intent of the notice (in this case, the termination of a tenancy agreement).
- It must state the reason(s) behind the notice’s intent.
- It must clearly define the time period within which the tenant is expected to vacate the premises.
- It should carry a date and an official signature.
- It must be “served” to the tenant in order to be considered valid.
File a Summons and Complaint
If the tenant ignores your Notice to Quit, then you can move on to the next step. The next step is what is known as filing a Summons and Complaint.
A Summons and Complaint can be filed 14 to 30 days following a tenant’s failure to honor the quit notice they have been served.
It is important, as a Massachusetts landlord, to note that you can no longer file a Summons and Complaint after 30 days have passed, but you cannot file it before 7 days have gone by either, or it must always be filed with the appropriate court on a Monday.
A Massachusetts landlord filing a Summons and Complaint will need:
- A copy of the Summons and Complaint they have prepared to file.
- A copy of the original Notice to Quit that was served to the tenant.
- Evidence (such as a return receipt) indicating that despite failing to take action, the tenant received your Notice to Quit
Housing Lawyers in MA: How can we help?
As a Massachusetts landlord, you may not always be fully poised or experienced enough to prevent the potential disputes and legal concerns that may arise from renting out your property.
If you are a landlord who is serious about ensuring their legal rights are protected, then hiring the services of the best housing lawyers in MA can really come in handy.
From negotiating lease terms and conditions to evicting a tenant, or facing a serious violation charge, having the services of your Massachusetts landlord-tenant lawyer will be an invaluable asset at every step of the process.
Give us a call today at 877-700-5790 to get started.