A Few Things You Should Know About Tenant Rights

by Scott F. Bocchio on Aug. 06, 2020

Real Estate Landlord-Tenant 

Summary: The relationship between you and your landlord can get tense when things go wrong. The good news is that you have rights as a renter in Massachusetts.

A Few Things You Should Know About Tenant Rights


Did you know that when you move into a new apartment it is important to document everything just in case you happen to have a dispute with the landlord in the future? The relationship between you and your landlord can get tense when things go wrong. The good news is that you have rights as a renter in Massachusetts, and can protect yourself against housing law violations whenever you feel that you are being treated unfairly. The following information will provide you with a few things that you should know about tenant rights. 


You Have A Right To Reside In Livable Conditions


All tenants have a right to be provided with a space considered habitable that includes working plumbing, electricity and heat. Beyond these basic details, it varies by state how a landlord is required to provide them and what tenants may do when their needs are not met. In mold cases where tenants are afraid for their health, leaving and explaining the claim of constructive eviction – where the landlord effectively forces the tenant out because the place is no longer habitable – in court will at least remove any immediate danger. Prior to doing this, however, a tenant should make sure that their state has legislation supporting the idea of constructive eviction.


You Have A Right To Fight Eviction


All states have clear-cut processes for landlords to file for eviction with the court. First is a notice to vacate. If you move out when you receive notice to vacate, you have not technically been evicted and do not carry an eviction on your record. That being stated, depending on the state you live in, this notice could be as little as three (3) days before an eviction is filed with the court. You have the option to remain in your home and fight an eviction once it has been filed with the court. Most important to successfully fighting eviction is to appear in court for every scheduled hearing. For example, if you are not present, it is far easier for the judge to rule in favor of the landlord. To plead your case in eviction court, it is best to get professional legal advice. It is never in a tenant’s best interest to go into an eviction proceeding without representation. 


The Security Deposit Must Be Returned in a Timely Manner


Landlords are typically required to return your security deposit after you have moved out within a certain period of time – typically 30 days. Within that time, you should receive a check, your original canceled check or an itemized list of deductions from your security deposit and the remaining balance. A landlord deducting for appliance replacements or renovations that weren’t required based on how you left the place isn’t looked on favorably by most courts. However, it’s reasonable for a landlord to deduct for professional cleaning services, even if you think you left the place in good condition. Avoid issues by ensuring your landlord has the proper forwarding address and contact information for you so there’s no way to claim you could not be reached.


If you feel that you are being treated unfairly by your landlord, please contact us immediately. Legal Rights Advocates, PLLC is a consumer advocate law firm that focuses on consumer rights protection services across the Unites States. We have well over twenty-five (25) years of combined experience helping consumers that are experiencing Debt Collector Harassment, Social Security Disability issues, and a whole lot more. LRA is truly your consumer rights advocate. We take great pride in the fact that our job is to protect you from deceptive and or abusive debt collection practices. 


Our goal is to assist you each and every step of the way regarding your rights for consumer protection. Please call us today for more information at 855-254-7841 or click here to visit our website. We look forward to working with you.


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