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Massachusetts Leases and Rental Agreements Laws

The relationship between landlords and tenants is regulated at the state level, through lease and rental agreement laws. Typically, these laws place limits on how much of a security deposit a landlord may require and which types of discrimination are prohibited. Massachusetts lease and rental agreement laws require interest on deposits required at 5% from the first day of tenancy if the landlord has held deposit for one year. Security deposits must be returned within 30 days.  

See the following chart to learn more about Massachusetts' lease and rental agreement laws. See FindLaw's Rental and Lease Agreements section for additional articles and resources.

Code Section Ch. 151B §4; Ch. 186 §15B
Terms of Leases Payment and acceptance of rent create tenancy at will (Staples v. Collins, 73 N.E.2d 729 (1947)); certain acts/conduct may negate this presumption (Corcoran Management Co., Ins. v. Withers, 513 N.E.2d 218)
Deposits Limit 1 month rent; interest on deposit required at 5% from first day of tenancy if landlord has held deposit for one year; deposit must be returned within 30 days
Discrimination No discrimination on basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, age, ancestry, marital status, member of armed forces, handicapped in any multiple dwelling, contiguously located housing accommodations or publicly assisted dwellings
Uniform Residential Landlord & Tenant Act Adopted? No

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Massachusetts real estate attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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