Many Massachusetts landlords are unaware that before charging tenants for hot water and sewer service, they must comply with the numerous requirements of the Massachusetts Water Sewer Sub-Metering Law. These requirements include having separate water meters for each unit, installation of low flow faucets and toilets by a licensed plumber, and certification with the local health board, among other requirements outlined below. Non-compliance with this law may result in a three month rent penalty to the landlord plus payment of the tenant's attorneys fees.
If you already have some experience as a Massachusetts rental property ownerunder your belt, you should support the argument that finding good renters is a crucial aspect of protecting your business. Great tenants will abide by your policies, pay rent on time, and treat your property with care.
Does a Massachusetts landlord have to approve a Section 8 applicant? No, so long as the reason for the rejection is not the Section 8 voucher. Landlords are required by state law to participate in the Section 8 program, if a Section 8 voucher holder is the most qualified applicant. That does not mean you have to approve the rental application for anyone just because they have a Section 8 voucher. You can reject their application for the same reasons you would reject other applicants, so long as the reason is genuinely unrelated to their receipt of public assistance.
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.
Massachusetts landlords must help the tenant maintain 64 to 68 °F from September 15 to June 15 under the Massachusetts heat laws. Massachusetts apartment heating laws are specified in the State Sanitary Code, officially 105 CMR 410 The Minimum Standards of Fitness for Human Habitation. This regulation has the force of law and governs all things apartment, including winter heating requirements.
It is common, especially with contentious Massachusetts landlord/tenant relationships, for allegations to surface regarding the failure of one party to properly maintain the property.