Rights Against Unlawful Entry: Your
landlord, or an agent for your landlord, may only enter your apartment for the following
- to inspect the premises;
- to make repairs;
- to show the apartment to a prospective
tenant, purchaser, mortgagee or its agents;
- in accordance with a court order;
- if the premises appear to be abandoned, or
- to inspect the premises within the last 30
days of tenancy in order to determine the amount of damage to be deducted from the
The landlord should be reasonable and
attempt to arrange a mutually convenient time to visit the apartment. If the landlord
insists on entering your apartment in an unreasonable fashion, you may file for a
temporary restraining order at your local district court.
Rights Against Retaliation: Although the
landlord of a tenant at will can terminate the tenancy or raise the rent without reason,
s/he cannot do so in response to your exercising your legal rights. If the landlord tries
to raise the rent, terminate or otherwise change your tenancy within six months of when
you contact the Board of Health, join a tenants organization, or exercise other
legal rights, the landlords action will be considered retaliation against you,
unless the landlord can prove otherwise. The landlord will have the burden to prove that
your tenancy was changed for reasons other than your having exercised your rights.
Habitability Rights: You are entitled to
a safe and habitable living environment. The State Sanitary Code protects the health,
safety and well-being of tenants and the general public. The local Boards of Health
enforce the code. (Note: In Boston, it is the Housing Inspection Department.) Copies of
the Code may be purchased from the State House Bookstore, State House, Room 116, Boston,
MA 02133 (617)727-2834.
Go to the Massachusetts
Sanitary Code and Habitability Rights for an example
of what a Massachusetts has to provide the tenant and for
information on Rent Withholding and Repair and Deduct.