Frequently Asked Questions

+Expand All Answers
Rent
I just moved to Boston and I have been offered an apartment at an incredibly high rent. Is that legal?
Once I move in, is there a limit to future rent increases?
My landlord raised my rent six months ago. Now she wants to raise it again. Can she do that?
What can I do when my tenant does not pay a rent increase?
What can a tenant do if the landlord does not accept the rent payment?
Fees
I expect my tenant to pay the rent on the first of every month. She never does. May I charge her a late fee?
I’ve lived here for three years and now the landlord says she wants me to pay a security deposit. Can she do that?
Building
Who owns my building?
Another tenant in my building puts his wet garbage in paper bags, which has attracted scavengers. What can I do?
Q: My apartment really needs to be painted. Is my landlord responsible?
My landlord is having work done on my building. How can I find out if he has a permit?
What time in the morning can workers begin working? What time in the evening do they have to stop? How about weekends?
Can my landlord shut off utilities while having work done?
My water has been shut off because my landlord didn’t pay the bill. What can I do?
My neighbor above me plays music at all hours of the night. It is very disturbing, what can I do?
My neighbor in the building next door plays music at all hours of the night and it’s depriving me of sleep. What can I do?
Students
I am a full-time college freshman. Is it legal for me to move into an apartment in Boston with my four friends, all of whom are also full-time undergrads? They have signed a lease for an apartment in Boston and I was told that it would be all right for me to move in with them, as long as my name doesn’t appear on the lease. Is that true?
Real Estate Brokers
A real estate broker charged me a fee for an apartment that doesn’t have everything she promised. Where can I file a complaint?
Lease
My lease runs out in four months but I want to move now. How can I break my lease?
A landlord says I must have someone co-sign my lease. Can s/he do that?
Which is better? Signing a lease or being a tenant-at-will?
I have to leave town for the summer. Can I sublet my apartment?
Do I have to sign a lease or can I be a tenant-at-will?
I signed a lease three months ago. My landlord has not returned a copy to me. Am I entitled to one?
My landlord has asked me to renew my lease now, but my current lease doesn’t expire for another 4 months. Can he do that?
Access
My tenant put new locks on her apartment door. Am I allowed to demand a key?
Can my landlord go into my apartment without telling me in advance to do repairs?
Parking
I’ve had a parking space for several years. All of a sudden the landlord says I can’t park there anymore. Can she do that?
Eviction
My landlord is angry with me because I recently complained to the Inspectional Services Department about the bad condition of my apartment. Now she is trying to evict me. Can she do that?
Pests
Q: I have mice in my apartment. I told my landlord but he hasn’t responded. What can I do?