Massachusetts Late Rent Laws

Eviction laws in Massachusetts vary from county to county, but always follow the same general eviction process: Yes. Owners must wait 30 days before charging late fees. (MGL c.186 § 15B (1)(c)) Under current law, late fees cannot be charged for 30 days. This amounts to making them illegal. A responsible landlord would have his tenant in court until then. Massachusetts law is not consistent with other states` best practices. There are strict regulations for shutting down your utilities. In cases where an owner`s account is closed due to non-payment, the utility must notify you 30 days prior to the scheduled termination. You may also be asked to pay a portion of the outstanding bill to the utility and deduct this payment from your rent. Massachusetts prohibits landlords from charging late fees for rent unless the lease specifically mentions the amount and timing the tenant will be charged.1 State law does not limit the amount a landlord can charge for late payments.

You are entitled to a safe and habitable living environment for the duration of your rental. The State Health Ordinance protects the health, safety and well-being of tenants and the public. Your local health department in the city or municipality where you rent applies the code. If you have a written lease, check to see if it contains such a default clause. If you don`t have a written rental agreement or there is no default clause, you won`t have to pay late fees, even if your rental is late. 15. To be effective, you must be informed of a retention of title before or at the time of acceptance of your cheque. If a landlord writes a retention of title on the back of your rental cheque, but you could not know until after the cheque was cashed and the cancelled cheque was returned to you by the bank, the booking may not be valid. Compare, for example, Whitehouse Rest., Inc., 320 Mass., p.

186 (where a landlord only approves rent cheques “received not for rent but for use and occupancy, the reservation was invalid because it could not be communicated “seasonally” in the banking context) with Ullian et al. v. Les Tuileries, Inc., 361 Mass. 863 (1972) (landlord`s acceptance of rent did not serve as a waiver, since landlord informed in good time that he did not intend to waive their rights); see also Mastrullo v. Ryan, 328 Mass. 621, 624 (1952) (notwithstanding the written reservation of rent release rights, a landlord`s ambiguous conduct regarding payment and reservation of rights raised a discernible question as to whether there was a waiver). Even if your written agreement contains a default clause, a landlord can`t charge a late fee until you are 30 days late in paying the rental.11 If the default clause states that the landlord can charge a late fee before the 30-day expiry, the clause is illegal and you shouldn`t pay a late payment fee. 12 If the lease is subsidized, you may have different rights and obligations than those summarized in this section. Contact the organization that awarded the grant. Massachusetts has a number of laws that deal with the logistics of paying rent, including a statewide 30-day grace period. Landlords are allowed to charge last month`s rent in advance, but are prohibited from increasing rent in retaliation against a tenant who has filed a complaint against them.

The state also does not allow rent control. Massachusetts landlords are allowed to collect last month`s rent in advance if a tenant signs a new lease.6 However, they are required to pay the tenant all interest on that money at the end of each year, either at a 5% interest rate or whatever the usual interest rate is with the bank where they deposited the rent. Landlords do not need to store rent in a separate bank account. If the landlord collects the last month`s rent in advance, they must provide the tenant with a receipt that includes:7 For your own Massachusetts lease, visit DoorLoop`s forms page to download a template as well as many other forms. Even if you or a member of your household has a disability, you may be entitled to an appropriate facility to avoid eviction. For example, if you don`t receive your SSI disability income until the 3rd of the month, you should ask the landlord and the judge if a later due date for your rent is reasonable. If you have a disability that interferes with your ability to make rent payments on time, you can ask for reasonable accommodations, such as arranging for a representative recipient to process your rent payment. The Massachusetts Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination in homes based on race, religion, national origin, age, ancestry, military history or service, gender, sexual preference, marital status, disability, or the need for a guide dog, except for owner-occupied two-family homes.

Nor can a landlord refuse to rent an apartment because you receive a rent subsidy, because the apartment contains lead or, with a few exceptions, because you have children. If your landlord continues to dispute the amount of rent you owe after accepting and cashing your cheque with this statement on the back, you must put the disputed amount in a separate bank account from your other money. By setting aside the disputed money, you will be more credible in the eyes of the judge when your landlord sues you. Your landlord can`t charge you interest or fees for late rent payments unless your lease or written lease expressly gives them the right to charge late fees in a “late payment clause.” 10 If the tenant does not pay the rent and disputes this claim, it is important that you show the judge the following: the lease must be respected by both the tenant and the landlord for the duration of their stay. Agreements may vary from tenant to tenant. If a landlord attempts to increase the rent within six months of one of the above actions by a tenant, the law automatically assumes that it is retaliation. If the tenant sues, the landlord has the burden of proving in court that they did not retaliate against the tenant. If more than six months have passed, a tenant can still claim retaliation – but they have the burden of proof instead of the landlord. If a landlord is found guilty of reprisal, a tenant is entitled to damages.

The decision on the amount to be withheld depends on each situation. You only have to pay fair rent for your unit as it is in poor condition. Once the landlord has corrected all the defects, the tenant must pay the full amount withheld. In most cases, if your landlord cashes the check with this statement on the back without objection, they have accepted your offer of full payment and have agreed to drop (waive) any disagreement about the amount of rent owing.14 No. If a landlord evicts a tenant using self-help methods, the tenant can choose to repossess or terminate the lease. Tenants can claim the greater of the three months` rent or three times the damages caused by court costs and reasonable attorneys` fees. (MGL c.186 § 15F) If rent is payable for periods longer than 3 months, a notice period of 3 months is required. If the rent is payable in periods of less than three months, the required notice period is the greater of the payment term or 30 days.