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Leasing a Home. Landlord and Tenant Lawyer Snook Law Office in Massachusetts.


Landlord Tenant Lawyer in Massachusetts


A Massachusetts lease agreement must adhere to all state laws and local ordinances. If you do not know your rights and duties, you could end up losing your rental unit and owing substantial expenses. Landlords can be fined significant sums for violating a tenant’s rights.

Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, it is extremely important to hire a landlord tenant lawyer to help you understand your rights according to your rental agreement, and the law. 

Snook Law Office Will Protect Your Rights 


Many of our clients are renters or own residential properties with tenants. Both tenants and landlords have certain rights but also owe obligations toward each other. 


Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, here at Snook Law Office, we have the knowledge and experience you need to ensure your rights are protected and that all laws and ordinances are being followed. Snook Law Office can also draft a custom, compliant landlord/tenant agreement that is tailored to your particular property.

Tenant Rights

A landlord can only offer you a residence that fits minimum standards for occupancy. This includes lighting, electricity, and hot water, and is in a hazard-free condition.


Anti-discrimination law bar landlords from refusing to rent to you because of:

  • Color

  • Race

  • Religion

  • National origin

  • Age

  • Sexual preference

  • Military background

  • Marital status

  • Disability

  • Possession of a guide dog

  • You receive public rental assistance

  • Only under some circumstances can a landlord refuse to rent to you because you have children

As a tenant, you do have obligations, including:

  • Keeping the premises in a sanitary manner and not damaging them or creating hazards

  • Not engaging in unlawful conduct such as dealing drugs or other illicit activities

  • Not disturbing the property or enjoyment of other tenants

  • Returning the premises in essentially the same condition as when you signed the lease

  • If there are material repairs to be done or violations that affect your health or safety, you may refuse to pay the rent if:

  • You notified your landlord of the necessary repairs and were ignored

  • A Board of Health inspection found violations and notified your landlord

  • You are up to date with the rent, and the code violations or unsanitary conditions are not your fault

  • You can make the repairs and deduct what rent you owe under certain conditions that we can discuss with you.

Landlord Rights and Obligations

General Housing Standards & Safety

As a landlord, you must provide a residence that is safe and meets certain minimum standards. Massachusetts law mandates that landlords remove snow and ice from the premises following a storm within a certain period of time. Local ordinances may require snow and ice removal from a public sidewalk that abuts the leased property.

Entering a Leased Unit

Your right to enter a leased unit is limited. You may do so only after arranging with your tenant to inspect the unit, undertake repairs, or show the premises to prospective tenants, potential buyers, or health or property inspectors. You can also enter the unit within the last 30-days of the tenancy to determine damages and costs to repair but give notice before doing so.

Check-in Lists & Damage

You are required to provide your tenants within 10-days of occupancy a check-in list of the unit’s current condition to minimize any dispute over whether damage to the unit existed before or during the tenancy.


Evictions are sometimes necessary and can be emotional if not expensive for all parties. A landlord can terminate a lease if the tenant neglects to pay the rent, causes significant damage, engages in illicit or illegal conduct, or otherwise materially violates a lease provision.

Various notices can be given depending on the nature of the lease violation. If the landlord issues the wrong type of notice, it will only delay the procedure. Massachusetts law prohibits retaliatory evictions such as the landlord changing locks or shutting off utilities or any other practice not authorized by court order or public policy.

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