A Massachusetts lease agreement is a document that describes the terms and conditions between a landlord and their tenant. The most important provisions contained in a lease document are the amount and due date of monthly rent payments and the term of the lease.
The agreement also covers the responsibilities and rights of the tenant(s), as well as provisions that outline termination options, subleasing, and security deposits. All parties mentioned in the agreement must sign in order for the document to be legally binding.
Rental application – A rental application is used to provide a landlord with a tenant’s employment, personal, and credit history to allow them to ascertain whether or not they are a suitable candidate for tenancy.
Commercial Lease Agreement – A commercial lease agreement is used for renting out non-residential property to business owners.
Rent-to-Own Agreement (Lease Option) – A lease-to-own agreement allows the tenant the opportunity to purchase the property before the term ends.
Month-to-Month Lease Agreement – Also referred to as an at-will lease, this agreement has no termination date but renews each month with the payment of rent.
Roommate Agreement – A roommate agreement will break down the division of rent between cohabitants as well as their individual responsibilities while on the lease.
Standard (1-year) Lease Agreement – The most common lease agreement, the residential one-year lease enables a tenant to rent property for a twelve-month period usually with the option to renew at the end of the term.
Sublease Agreement – A sublease agreement allows a tenant to sublet their space, in part or in whole, to a sublessor with permission from the landlord.
Within fifteen (15) days of the request, the landlord must provide the tenant with certain information regarding fire insurance and the company providing said insurance.
Federal law requires that all landlords provide tenants a lead-based paint disclosure form before the tenancy commences if the rental property was built before 1978.
After providing a security deposit, the tenant must receive a receipt from the landlord detailing where the money will be deposited and how it will be used.
If a landlord demands a security deposit from the tenant, it is mandatory that they provide a statement that lists the condition of the apartment prior to the move-in date. The landlord may also wish to use a Move-in/Move-out Checklist to further detail any issues with the rental unit.
- Chapter 186 – Estates for Years and At-Will / Landlord and Tenant Law
- Attorney General’s Guide to Landlord / Tenant Rights
General Access (MGL c.186 § 15B(1)(a)) – No law dictates the amount of notice required before the landlord can enter the property. However, twenty-four (24) hours is usually customary.
Emergency Access – No statute.
Grace Period (MGL c.186 § 15B(1)(c)) – A landlord may not charge a fee or interest on unpaid rent until thirty (30) days after the due date.
Maximum Fees ($) – No statute.
Rent Increase Notice – The landlord may increase the rent only at the end of the lease. For at-will tenancies, they must give thirty (30) days’ notice.
Maximum Amount ($) (MGL c.186 § 15B(1)(b)(iii)) – A landlord may only charge up to one (1) month’s rent as a security deposit.
Returning to Tenant (MGL c.186 § 15B(4)) – A landlord is required to return to the tenant the security deposit within thirty (30) days of the lease termination date.
Interest Required? (MGL c.186 § 15B(3)(b)) – A lessor who holds a security deposit for one (1) year or longer will be required to pay out interest at 5% per year to the tenant, or whatever lesser percentage has been accrued from the bank account in which the funds were deposited.
Separate Bank Account? (MGL c.186 § 15B(3)(a)) – The security deposit held by the landlord must be kept in a separate bank account that is free from creditors.