This column was contributed by a association member.
Rentals-How Abundant Can a Freeholder Charge: By MASSACHUSETTS LAW
When you move in, the best your freeholder can allegation you is:
The aboriginal month’s rent,
The aftermost month’s rent,
A aegis deposit, up to the bulk of the aboriginal month’s rent, and the amount of a new lock.
Whenever you pay the freeholder any money, get a active and anachronous cancellation that says how abundant money you gave the freeholder and what it was for.
If the freeholder requires that you pay the aftermost month’s hire in beforehand or a aegis deposit, the law requires that the freeholder accord you a receipt. You accept a appropriate to a receipt. If your freeholder does not accord you a receipt, ask for one. Or, you can use the sample cancellation (see Anatomy 4). The cancellation allegation accept assertive advice in it. To acquisition out absolutely what advice a freeholder allegation accommodate in this receipt, see Providing Accounting Receipts in Chapter 3: Aegis Deposits and Aftermost Month’s Rent.
Never accord your freeholder banknote for hire or annihilation abroad afterwards accepting a accounting receipt. If a freeholder won’t accord you a cancellation for cash, don’t accord her the cash. Use a ysis or get a money adjustment and address on it what the acquittal was for. Again put the annulled ysis or for the money adjustment in a safe place.
When landlords hire apartments to new tenants, they generally try to get added money than aloof the rent. They may try to tack on added fees such as “holding deposits,” “rental fees,” “pet fees,” or “application fees.” These added accuse are illegal. The botheration is, if you debris to pay these fees, a freeholder may debris to acquiesce you to move in. Often, the best advance is to pay the actionable fees or the illegally aerial hire and again booty it out of your approaching hire payments afterwards you accept cautiously confused in. Again, accomplish abiding to get a written, signed, anachronous cancellation for any money you pay.
The alone added allegation the law allows is for a rental abettor to allegation a “finder’s fee.” A rental abettor can allegation a finder’s fee alone if she is a accountant absolute acreage abettor or salesperson. If the rental abettor is additionally the landlord, the law may prohibit her from charging a finder’s fee. To acquisition out if a rental abettor is a accountant absolute acreage broker, go to the internet at: Board of Registration of Absolute Acreage Brokers & Salespersons and bang on “Check a License.”
Pet Deposits and Pet Rental Fees
If you accept a pet, a freeholder may appeal that you pay a “pet deposit” to assure the freeholder in the accident that your pet causes accident to the unit. While such a drop is acutely actionable if the freeholder is additionally accession a aegis drop according to the aboriginal month’s rent, a freeholder may not let you move in unless you accede to pay the added deposit.
A new trend is that some landlords are additionally aggravating to allegation what they are calling “pet rental fees,” which booty the anatomy of an added account hire if you accept a pet (for example, $20 added anniversary ages if you accept a cat]. There is a catechism as to whether pet rental fees are legal.
If a freeholder demands that you pay a pet rental fee, ask the freeholder what this money is for. If the freeholder or a administration aggregation says that it is to assure the freeholder adjoin accident that a pet ability cause, try to argue the freeholder that this is what the aegis drop is for and that you feel your hire should be the aforementioned as what addition -to-be addressee afterwards a pet would be charged. You additionally could try to get a letter from your old freeholder advertence that your pet did not account accident to your antecedent apartment.
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