When you move into an apartment, a landlord can charge you the first month’s rent, last month’s rent, a security deposit, a lock fee and a portion of a re-inspection fee. A landlord may not charge you a broker’s fee unless s/he is a licensed realtor.
Be considerate of your neighbors. Having loud parties at night or cranking up the music may lead to complaints, and eventually, to eviction.
3. Security Deposit & Last Month's Rent
Your landlord can legally require you to pay a security deposit and the last month’s rent in amounts equivalent to one month’s rent for each. If your landlord collects them, he/she must, among other things, give proper receipts, pay interest on an annual basis and in the case of the security deposit, put the money in a bank located in Massachusetts.
4. Condition of Apartment
Before entering into a rental agreement check out the condition of the apartment. If you can’t, have a friend do it for you. You do not want to be charged for damages that existed when you moved in!
5. Code Violations
You are entitled to an apartment that is in compliance with local and state sanitary and building codes. Violations should be reported to your landlord in writing. If he/she doesn’t make the necessary repairs, call the City’s Inspectional Services Department at 617.635.5300.
6. Re-Inspection of Rental Units
In most cases, a landlord is required to arrange to have your apartment inspected for compliance with the State Sanitary Code soon after you move in. To check that this is being done, you can ask your landlord or call the City’s Inspectional Services Department
7. Renter's Insurance
You have probably invested more in personal property than you realize. Computers, iPods, TVs, clothing, jewelry, cell phones and furniture would be expensive to replace in case of fire or theft. Renter’s insurance is a good idea and can be surprisingly affordable.
8. Leases & Tenancies-At-Will
Your landlord may offer you a lease, which typically runs for one year, or a verbal or written tenancy-at-will agreement, which runs from month to month. A tenancy-at-will agreement gives you the opportunity to move out after giving the landlord a proper 30-day written notice, but it also allows the landlord to ask you to leave or give a rent increase with a proper 30-day written notice. A lease offers you more security. Read the agreement completely before signing it and keep a copy for your records.
If you have a lease, you will probably be responsible for paying the entire rent if a roommate moves out.
If your landlord wants to evict you, he/she must terminate your tenancy with the proper written notice and then file a summary process action in court. Ultimately, only a judge can evict you. Make sure you respond to any court documents you receive. If you do not show up to defend yourself in court, you will lose by default.