All states are required by Federal law to have certain information in their Lease Agreements, including:
- The identities and contact information of landlord and tenant,
- The address of the premises,
- Pet prohibitions and allowances,
- Health, pest, and other hazard disclosures,
- Security deposit details
States will certainly differ on some rental and leasing requirements, therefore it is important to familiarize yourself with your Massachusetts’ specific laws and nuances.
1. Massachusetts Residential Lease Agreement Sample
The sample lease agreement below describes a contract between “Landlord” Esmerelda Garcia and “Tenant” Henry Peterson. She agrees to rent an apartment in Boston for $800.00 per month for a fixed term. The tenant agrees to pay for all utilities and services for the Premises.
This is a good example of what provisions a simple lease agreement might contain, and how one should look in its final form.
2. Massachusetts Landlord and Tenant Laws
Massachusetts imposes specific and distinct requirements for landlords and tenants when executing a Lease/Rental Agreement. For example, Massachusetts statute provides for the following:
- A landlord is limited to request one (1) month’s rent from a tenant as the security deposit. (MGL c.186 § 15B(1)(b)(iii))
- A landlord is required to return the security deposit to the tenant within thirty (30) days of the end of the lease. (MGL c.186 § 15B(3)(a))
- A landlord is required to pay to the tenant five percent (5%) interest per year on a security deposit. If the security deposit is held in an interest-bearing bank account, then a lesser amount may be paid according to the interest accrued by that bank. (MGL c. 186 § 15B(2)(a))
Landlord Right of Entry:
- Although twenty-four (24) recommended, a landlord is not required to give any notice to the tenant before entering the property. (MGL c.186 § 15B(1)(a))
Additionally, the Massachusetts Consumer Affairs & Business Regulations Handbook provides:
- A landlord must provide adequate water utilities to meet ordinary needs, and must provide the means to heat the water to 110-130 degrees Fahrenheit.
- From September 16th to June 14th, from the hours of 7 am to 11 pm, all rooms are required to be heated to at minimum sixty-eight (68) degrees Fahrenheit, and at least sixty-four (64) degrees at all other hours.
- A landlord must keep the property free of cockroaches, insect infestations, and rodents when there are two or more apartments in a building.
- A landlord is required to provide the tenant with a kitchen, including; a sink large enough to wash dishes, a working oven and stove, and sufficient space for the installation of a refrigerator.
- Keep in mind that a landlord is not required to provide a refrigerator, however, if they do provide one, they must keep it in working order.