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Massachusetts Rental Lease Agreements | Residential & Commercial

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Massachusetts lease agreements, in accordance with Chapter 186 (Estates for years and at will), are written contracts for the renting of real estate between a landlord and tenant. The contract is legally binding after it is signed with the role of the lessee to occupy and make payment to the lessor every month. The landlord will typically require a credit check to verify that the tenant is able to afford payment and check with any references provided.

Rental Application – Verification form to be used by a lessor when screening any potential lessee for the premises.

Table of Contents


Association of Realtors Residential Lease Agreement – For all rental arrangements with a fixed beginning and end date.

Commercial Lease Agreement – For businesses located in an office, retail or industrial space.

Greater Boston Residential Lease Agreement – Specifically for any type of unit located in the Greater Boston area.

Lease with Option to Purchase (Lease to Own) Agreement – Standard contract with the option to buy the premises.

Month to Month Rental Agreement – A residential contract with no end date and may be terminated at any time within thirty (30) days’ notice per Chapter 186, Section 12.

Room Rental (Roommate) Agreement – For the shared living situation of roommates within a single unit. The City of Boston allows for a maximum of four (4) individuals to occupy a single housing unit.

Standard Residential Lease Agreement – Fixed term rental arrangement. For any residential housing such as an apartment, condominium, house, or any other type.

Sublease Agreement – For a tenant to seek another individual to occupy the space they have under lease for a portion or the remainder of the term.

Termination Lease Letter (Chapter 186, Section 12) – To end a month to month arrangement either the landlord or tenant must give the other thirty (30) days’ notice.

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Fire Insurance (Chapter 186, Section 21) – Landlord must disclose the terms and conditions of the fire insurance on the property within fifteen (15) days of commencement.

Inventory Checklist (Chapter 186, Section 15B) – Within fifteen (15) days of either receiving the security deposit or the date of commencement, whichever is later, the landlord must issue a checklist that allows the tenant to write down any and all repairs needed or defects on the premises.

This statement is required on the inventory checklist:

This is a statement of the condition of the premises you have leased or rented. You should read it carefully in order to see if it is correct. If it is correct you must sign it. This will show that you agree that the list is correct and complete. If it is not correct, you must attach a separate signed list of any damage which you believe exists in the premises. This statement must be returned to the lessor or his agent within fifteen days after you receive this list or within fifteen days after you move in, whichever is later. If you do not return this list, within the specified time period, a court may later view your failure to return the list as your agreement that the list is complete and correct in any suit which you may bring to recover the security deposit.

Lead-Based Paint – A federal law that requires all landlords to disclose to their tenants, only if the residence was constructed prior to 1978, that the existence of lead paint may be in the property.

Security Deposit Disclosure (Chapter 186, Section 15B) – When accepting the funds the individual must write their name, amount of deposit, bank location, and the account number within thirty (30) days.


The landlord is only required, under the Sanitary Code (410.810), to grant reasonable notice before entering the property for any repair reason. Any other reason for entering the premises is not required, although recommended, to give notice to the tenant.

Security Deposits

Maximum (Chapter 186, Section 15B) – The landlord may only ask for one (1) month’s rent.

Returning (Chapter 186, Section 15B) – The landlord must give back the deposit within thirty (30) days after the tenant has vacated the property. The deposit must include accrued interest at a minimum of five percent (5%) or at the rate the bank gives in the State of Massachusetts.


(Video) What are the Massachusetts Rental Laws?