The answer is NO! A Massachusetts landlord may not charge an application fee,with one exception. Massachusetts General Laws states that at or prior to the commencement of any tenancy, no lessor may require a tenant or prospective tenant to pay any amount in excess of the following:
(i) rent for the first full month of occupancy; and,
(ii) rent for the last full month of occupancy calculated at the same rate as the first month; and,
(iii) a security deposit equal to the first month's rent provided that such security deposit is deposited and that the tenant is given the statement of condition as and,
(iv) the purchase and installation cost for a key and lock.
Fees paid by a Massachusetts tenant or a prospective tenant to a licensed real estate broker employed by a landlord are excluded from this limitation.
It is also an unfair or deceptive practice under the Massachusetts Consumer Protection Law for an owner to require a tenant or prospective tenant, at or prior to the commencement of any tenancy, to pay any amount inexcess of . . ." the above-listed four items listed above.
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