By Dennis P. Powers March 25, 2021

Picture of a person handing over a set of keys for blog on Landlords and Tenants

The relationship between landlords and tenants can be a complicated one, both legally and socially. At Powers Law Group, we have more than 40 years of experience representing landlords in Massachusetts Housing Court and we know how one small detail can drastically change eviction proceedings. That’s why, in this blog, we are outlining the rights and responsibilities of both parties and detailing how we can help.


Types of Tenancy

The rights and responsibilities for tenants and landlords depend entirely on whether the lease is an at-will agreement or for a term.

In an at-will tenancy, the tenant pays an agreed-upon rent each month for as long as both parties want the relationship to continue, and either party can end the agreement at any time by giving the other party notice. For a landlord, the notice requirements are much stricter than for a tenant. Rent price can also fluctuate under this agreement.


Rights and Responsibilities Under Term Based Agreements

While there are finer details that must be adhered to by both parties, these are the basic rules of the landlord/tenant relationship under a lease agreement.

The tenant must:

  • pay agreed-upon rent
  • follow agreed-upon rules
  • accept responsibility for any damage beyond “wear and tear”

The landlord must:

  • provide an apartment that complies with the Massachusetts Sanitary Code
  • must adhere to any promises in the agreement
  • not enter the apartment without notice or unless there is an imminent emergency that affects the building or the specific unit or if the tenant has abandoned the living space


The Eviction Process

If the parties cannot co-exist, Massachusetts laws determine how and when a landlord may terminate a tenancy. If the tenant breaks the terms of the lease, the landlord usually has to go through court to take possession of the property, obtain permission to physically remove the tenant and/or change the locks. In Massachusetts, the landlord must also give either 14 days or 30 days notice depending on the reason for eviction. But a tenant can defend against the eviction, claiming:

  • failure to properly terminate the agreement
  • discrimination
  • retaliation
  • failure of the landlord to correct known conditions

 How Can Powers Law Group Help? 

Attorney Dennis Powers has extensive experience in representing residential and commercial landlords on landlord/tenant legal issues for nearly three decades. He has seen how the failure to abide by one law can change court proceedings for a landlord. If you think Dennis or any of our attorneys can help, contact us to represent you today.