Greater Boston Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Attorneys
Our attorneys have established a reputation with landlords throughout the Greater Boston region for handling their landlord/tenant related matters efficiently and effectively. Our attorneys have many years of cumulative experience in assisting property owners with tenant issues.
Serving Boston’s North Shore communities in a wide variety of landlord/tenant services, including:
Renting property is a business. How you handle it will dictate your long term success. In simple terms, in this business the landlord must provide and maintain a habitable dwelling for the tenant. In exchange, the tenant is obligated to pay rent in a timely manner pursuant to the contract, written or unwritten, between the parties.
Tenancies often fail because they were not started correctly. For landlords, the first step should always be to properly screen prospective tenants by requiring a rental application, performing a credit check and speaking to as many previous landlords as possible. There is no perfect system to screen a prospective tenant but ultimately, by gathering as much information as possible in advance, you place yourself in the best position possible to avoid future headaches.
The next step to a successful tenancy is to properly execute the necessary documents to create a tenancy. A written agreement is the best way to document the parties expectations, responsibilities, and respective rights and to clearly define which actions or inactions constitute a breach. The written agreement could take the form of a term lease or could also be a written tenancy-at-will agreement. Although a writing is not legally required, failing to have a writing can have unanticipated consequences to the parties. For example, under Massachusetts law, if there is no writing between the parties regarding utilities the landlord may be liable to reimburse the tenant for all funds expended on those utilities.
The third important step for landlords to take with residential tenancies is to properly follow every detail of the law governing security deposits and/or last month’s rent, including providing a condition statement and proper receipts. Many landlords make the mistake of failing to comply with the statute. Unfortunately, even well-intentioned landlords who make an effort to comply with the statute are penalized due to minor non-compliance. The penalty can be as severe as having to pay the tenant three times the amount of the deposit and attorney’s fees.
The key to successfully maintaining a proper tenancy it is to have an open and responsive relationship with the tenant. The landlord should be responsive to the tenant’s requests for repairs and periodically inspect the property for any defects that may have arisen. The tenant is also obligated to promptly report issues and allow the landlord proper to address them. Finally, it is important that both the landlord and tenant maintain written records throughout the tenancy, especially in regards to money, repairs and violations of any agreements
Our real estate lawyers and landlord tenant attorneys are located in Malden, Massachusetts and serve the entire Greater Boston North Shore region including the communities of Everett, Revere, Chelsea, Somerville, Cambridge, Medford, Arlington, Winchester, Woburn, Burlington, Stoneham, Melrose, Wakefield, Saugus, Lynn, Peabody, Salem, Marblehead, and Swampscott. Our lawyers speak and provide legal services in Spanish and Italian.