What Disclosures do Landlords in Massachusetts Need to Give Tenants?

Learn about the disclosures that landlords in Massachusetts must provide tenants, usually in the lease or rental agreement.

Massachusetts requires landlords to make the following disclosures to tenants, usually in writing and at the start of the tenancy:

Move-in checklist required?

Yes, a move-in checklist is required, if landlord collects a security deposit. (186 Mass. Gen. Laws § 15B(2)(c))

Insurance:

Upon tenant’s request and w/in 15 days, landlord must furnish the name of the company insuring the property against loss or damage by fire and the amount of insurance provided by each such company and the name of any person who would receive payment for a loss covered by such insurance. (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. 186 § 21)

Tax Escalation: If real estate taxes increase, landlord may pass on a proportionate share of the increase to the tenant only if the lease discloses that in the event of an increase, the tenant will be required to pay only the proportion of the increase as the tenant’s leased unit bears to the property being taxed (that proportion must be disclosed in the lease). In addition, the lease must state that if the landlord receives a tax abatement, landlord will refund a proportionate share of the abatement, minus reasonable attorneys’ fees. (186 Mass. Gen. Laws § 15C)

Utilities:

Landlord may not charge for water unless the lease specifies the charge and the details of the water sub-metering and billing arrangement. (186 Mass. Gen. Laws § 22(f))

See the Laws and Legal Research section of Nolo for advice on finding and reading statutes and court decisions.

Also, check your local ordinance for any city or county disclosure requirements. To find yours, check your city or county website (many are listed on State and Local Government on the Net), or contact the office of your mayor, city manager, or county administrator.

Finally, see the Required Landlord Disclosures article for details on federally-required landlord disclosures and other information on disclosures about the rental property.

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