Apartment Guide – Know Your Renter’s Rights

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Apartment Guide – Know Your Renter’s Rights offers practical advice on the Renter/Landlord relationship.

You found the PERFECT apartment and you’re eager to sign before it’s gone…but STOP! Knowing your rights and following a guide can save a headache later!

No time to find a place? A broker can find and apartment but be prepared to pay a finder’s fee- usually a half month’s rent to a full month’s rent.

How much will you pay up front? Typically you will be required to pay for first and last month’s rent and one month’s security deposit. You may also be asked to pay a charge for installation of a lock and key.

Can a landlord decide not to rent to me?
The State of Massachusetts “prohibits landlords from discriminating on the basis of race, religion, sex, nationality etc.” The exception is owner-occupied two family homes.

Do a walk through.  Take a look around the apartment and check to see if anything is in need of repair. If it’s not in good condition, tell your landlord and make sure you get repair agreements in writing.

What  should be included the rental agreement? According to BostonInno, “state consumer protection regulations mandate landlords have the following in writing: the names and contact information of others responsible for taking care, maintaining and repairing the property; the names and contact information of the person authorized to receive notices of law violations and the amount of a security deposit and the rights under the Security Deposit Law.”  Also, a good idea is to have a list of your own questions ready such as under what circumstances can a landlord enter the apartment, what amenities are included in the rent and how many parking spaces is allotted.

Bottom line.  Make sure you understand ALL the terms of your lease and if not, ASK questions. Finally, make sure everything is in writing!

Read the entire article on Renter’s Rights and check out the State’s consumer guide to tenant rights and responsibilities.  

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