Before you rent, or even if you already are renting, become familiar with your rights and the resources available to assist you.
City of Boston launches RentSmart!
RentSmart compiles data from ISD and 311 to give renters access to property violations, maintenance requests that provides prospective renters and homeowners with data about Boston’s properties. RentSmart Boston compiles data from BOS:311 and the City’s Inspectional Services Division to give prospective tenants a more complete picture of the apartments they are considering renting. The tool prompts users for an address and generates a report to assist prospective tenants in understanding any previous issues with the property, including:
- – Housing violations
- – Building violations
- – Enforcement violations
- – Housing complaints
- – Sanitation requests and/or
- – Civic maintenance requests
- City of Boston website
- Need to report a non-emergency? Use BOS:311! Dial 3-1-1 or download the BOS:311 app
- City of Boston – Guide to Renting
- #BOSTON101 Students Guide to Living in Boston
- Mass.gov – Renting in Massachusetts
- Greater Boston Real Estate Board, 617-423-8700
- MA Commission Against Discrimination,617-727-3990
- Department of Public Health Services, 617-624-6000
- Better Business Bureau, 508-652-4800
- Inspectional Services Department
Protects and improves the quality of life for all Boston residents by enforcing building, housing, health, sanitation and safety regulations mandated by the City.
- Consumer Affairs – College Student Tenant Guide
- Office of Housing Stability
Provides advice, information and assistance to Boston landlords and tenants who have problems or questions about rental housing. “The Good Neighbors Handbook”, designed to help landlords and tenants understand and comply with the complex landlord/tenant laws can be found here.
Call for urgent matters 617-635-4200 or send non-urgent inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Inspectional Services Department
- MA Legal Help – Provides information about tenants’ rights in Massachusetts. You will find self-help forms, sample letters, booklets, handbooks, and frequently asked questions.
- Small Claims Court: –
617-788-8485 Learn more about how to file, what to do if you receive a summons, and how to prepare for your court date.
- Small Claims Advisory Service (SCAS)- Information about Massachusetts small claims court, relevant laws for case resolution, and contact information to receive further help from SCAS staff.
- Attorney General – View the AGO’s Guide for Student Renter’s
- Greater Boston Legal Services
- Lawyers for Affordable Justice
Lawyers for Affordable Justice is collaborative legal incubator providing Boston residents with affordable legal assistance.We specialize in immigration, small businesss, employment, and landlord tenant issues
- Volunteer Lawyers Project
Monday-Friday, 9am-12pm, 617-603-1700 www.masslrf.org
- MA Bar Association Lawyer Referral Program
- (617) 654-0400;
- Dial-a-Lawyer Program: (617) 338-0610 or toll-free (877) 686-0711
Since March of 1991, the MBA has sponsored a monthly Dial-A-Lawyer program that encourages members of the public to call with their legal problems and questions. This program was created in order to assist the people of Massachusetts that have fallen through the cracks of the legal and criminal justice system. On the first Wednesday of each month, volunteer attorneys give free, basic legal information by phone from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
- MA Legal Answers Online
Mass Legal Answers Online is a website where low income Massachusetts residents can post their civil (non criminal) legal question. Volunteer attorneys will answer the question through the same website.
- Boston Bar Lawyer Referral Service
- Boston Bar Lawyer Referral Service is a convenient resource that gives you 24/7 access to panels of qualified lawyers, where you can compare attorney profiles, filter by geographic region, topic of legal need, and get matched with an appropriate lawyer.
- (617)-742-0625, Monday-Friday: 9am-5pm
- Email: email@example.com
Inspectional and Public Health Resources831 Massachusetts Ave., 1st Floor, Cambridge, MA 02139Phone: 617-349-6100Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen Rose, Director
85 George Hassett Drive, Medford, MA 02155
525 Canton Avenue, Milton, MA 02186