Application fees are one of those areas where inexperienced Massachusetts landlords follow common sense instead of the law, and pay penalties as a result. The law for property owners and managers is clear. It states that prior to the beginning of a tenancy, no lessor may require payment for anything except first, last, security, and locks.
Application fees, pet fees, cleaning fees, amenity fees, and all other charges are forbidden. But wait. Largely because the realtors have a better lobby they can charge application fees.
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