As a tenant at will in Massachusetts, it is important to understand your rights and responsibilities. Being a tenant at will means that you do not have a lease agreement and instead have a month-to-month tenancy. In this article, we will explore the rights and protections afforded to tenants at will in Massachusetts.
Rights and Protections
Notice to Terminate Tenancy: As a tenant at will, you have the right to receive a written notice from your landlord if they wish to terminate your tenancy. The notice period depends on the length of your occupancy. If you have lived in the unit for less than a year, the notice period is 30 days. If you have lived in the unit for more than a year, the notice period is 60 days.
Rent Increases: Landlords are allowed to increase the rent for tenants at will, but they must provide a written notice at least 30 days before the increase takes effect. The notice should clearly state the new rent amount and the date it will be effective.
Security Deposits: If your landlord requires a security deposit, they must provide you with a written receipt stating the amount of the deposit, the name of the bank where it is held, and the account number. Within 30 days of receiving the deposit, the landlord must also provide you with a statement of the condition of the rental unit. At the end of your tenancy, the landlord must return the deposit, with any deductions for unpaid rent or damages, within 30 days.
Repairs and Maintenance: Your landlord is responsible for maintaining the rental unit in a habitable condition. This includes ensuring that the unit has working heat, hot water, and electricity. If repairs are needed, you should notify your landlord in writing and give them a reasonable amount of time to address the issue. If the repairs are not made, you may have the right to withhold rent or terminate the tenancy.
Retaliation: It is illegal for a landlord to retaliate against you for exercising your rights as a tenant. This means that your landlord cannot raise the rent, terminate your tenancy, or take any other adverse action in response to your legitimate complaints or actions.
As a tenant at will in Massachusetts, you have certain rights and protections. These include receiving proper notice to terminate your tenancy, protection against unjust rent increases, the right to a return of your security deposit, and the expectation that your landlord will maintain the rental unit in a habitable condition. It is important to familiarize yourself with these rights and assert them when necessary.
– mass.gov: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-law-about-landlord-and-tenant
– MassLegalHelp: https://www.masslegalhelp.org/housing/lt1-chapter-2-tenants-rights