Massachusetts Renter’s Rights: What You Need to Know

If you are renting an apartment or house in Massachusetts, it is important to know your rights. Massachusetts Renters Rights, TJ Woods Insurance Agency, Worcester, MAThere are plenty of landlords that are just out for themselves, so arming yourself with this knowledge will help protect you should problems arise. Here are just a few renter’s rights to consider.

Do I Have to Pay a Finder’s Fee?

Many people gearing up to sign the lease for their new apartment will be shocked at the upfront costs—first month, last month, security, and broker fees are often all included. Finder’s fees may seem ridiculous, especially if you were the one doing the work to find the apartment. According to “Only a licensed real estate broker or salesperson can charge you a fee for the purpose of finding the apartment.” There is no law that determines the amount of that fee, however. Along with the finder’s fee, the landlord is allowed to require you to pay any of the following: first month’s rent, last month’s rent, security deposit, and the cost of installing a lock and key.

Do I Have to Pay My Rent Early if My Landlord Requests It?

It is unlawful for the landlord to require you to pre-pay your rent. Date your checks for the first of the month to ensure that the landlord doesn’t happen to cash them earlier than expected.

Can My Landlord Raise My Rent at Will?

Your landlord has the ability to adjust the rental rate to any amount he or she sees fit. However, this is only allowed once the lease is expired, or with a 30 day notice for at will tenants.

When is My Landlord Allowed to Enter My Apartment?

Your landlord does not need your permission to enter your apartment to do repairs, inspect the apartment, show the apartment to a prospective tenant or purchaser, in accordance with a court order, or if it appears abandoned. If your landlord enters you apartment without any of the above reasoning, then you may take out a restraining order.

What Amenities Must My Landlord Provide?

You are entitled to a reasonable amount of water with the proper pressure, a heating system that works ( says, “from September 16 to June 14, every room must be heated to at least 68° F between 7:00 AM and 11 PM, and at least 64° at all other hours.”), and a kitchen that includes a stove and oven in working condition as well as a hookup for a refrigerator. The landlord must also keep your apartment pest-free if there are at least two more apartments in the building. The structure itself must be in good working condition.

Will My Landlord’s Insurance Cover My Valuables?

A landlord’s insurance only insures the physical structure. Anything inside the apartment is your responsibility, which is why it is important to have renters insurance. That way if there is a fire, flood, burglary, or other harmful event, you can be reimbursed.

If you are interested in learning more about renters insurance, please contact TJ Woods Insurance Agency. We would be happy to speak with you. Oftentimes, especially when bundled with other insurance types, renters insurance can be a very low cost.