Landlord Rights

Boston Rental Housing Center: Guide for Tenants and Landlords

Boston Downtown

Along with the responsibilities of being a landlord come certain rights, as well. Following is a small list of some of the rights a landlord is entitled to:

  • The right to prompt payment. The landlord should be paid on the first day of each month, unless otherwise agreed upon. There is no grace period in Massachusetts, so if the tenant doesn’t pay on time, a landlord may begin the eviction process. But a landlord cannot charge a late penalty unless it is 30 days past the due date.
  • A landlord has the right to have the tenant follow the terms of the tenancy agreement. If the agreement is broken in any way, the landlord has the right to terminate the tenancy.
  • The landlord has the right to increase the rent, but must follow certain guidelines in doing so. For a tenancy at will, you must end the tenancy and notify the tenant at least a full rental period in advance. For a tenant under a lease, you may only increase the rent after the lease expires, unless the lease states otherwise.
  • The landlord has the right to make tenants pay for their own utilities (electricity and gas), and this should be stated in the tenancy agreement.
  • A landlord has the right to enter the tenant’s apartment at specific times, with proper notice. A landlord may enter for the following reasons: to show the apartment to prospective tenants, purchasers, lenders or their agents; to make necessary repairs; to inspect within 30 days of the end to the tenancy to assess damages that should be deducted from the security deposit; the apartment appears abandoned; or there is a court order to enter.


For more detailed information, visit the Rental Housing Services online.