In the state of Massachusetts, thousands of people rent apartments, homes, and commercial space. Renting is often a good option for those who have either no desire to commit to buying their own home or space, or don’t have the circumstances to do so. That being said, even though renters do not own the building that their space is in, they are still paying for the space, and thus have certain rights that landlords must respect.
In order to protect both parties involved, it is always best to get everything in writing when dealing with rental properties. Even if tenants are paying on a month-to-month basis rather than a lease it is wise to have a written renters agreement outlying in writing the terms and rights that the tenants have.
As a landlord, it must also be understood that just because you own the property, it does not mean that you can automatically do whatever you so please on the property or enter as you please. In fact, the state of Massachusetts has laws on how much notice must be given to the tenant before entering the premises etc.
Keep a paper trail. Even if you discuss something in person or over the phone, send a follow up email to the other party outlining what was discussed. This protects both parties from a “he-said/she-said” situation later on.
Remember that there is such a thing as Retaliation Protection for tenants. It is against the law for a landlord to retaliate against the tenant for reporting an issue with the apartment to either the landlord or government agency.
Whether you are the landlord or the tenant, knowing what is within your rights can sometimes be a difficult issue to navigate. Consulting with an experienced real estate lawyer can help you make wise legal decisions. At Wynn and Wynn, our attorneys have experience with the many different Massachusetts real estate laws. Contact us at 1-800-855-5211 or request a free consultation.