My landlord is trying to raise my rent. Can they do this?
If you have a lease, the rent cannot be raised during this term unless there is a clause in the lease saying it is allowable. If you are a tenant-at-will, the landlord must give you at least 30 days notice before raising the rent.
How much notice do I have to give before moving out?
If you are a tenant-at-will, you must give at least 30 days notice. If you have a lease, you are bound to stay for the length of the lease unless you and your landlord can come to a mutual agreement.
What can my landlord use my security deposit for?
The only things your landlord can use your security deposit for is any unpaid rent at the end of your lease or the cost of damages beyond normal wear and tear. Normal wear and tear includes the need for repainting, broom cleaning and replacing worn flooring. In addition, you should not be charged for the costs of repairs for normal wear and tear in common areas either. Your landlord should give you a receipt of every repair paid for by your security deposit within 30 days of the end of your lease.
How long after moving out should I expect my security deposit back?
Upon moving out, your landlord should do an inspection of your unit. If there are any damages beyond normal wear and tear, he/she will get an estimate of the cost of repair. Within 30 days of the date you moved out or the last day of your lease, whichever is later, the landlord must send you a check for the full security deposit plus interest minus the cost of repairs, along with a receipt for any repairs. If they do not do so, you may sue them in Small Claims Court for up to three times the original security deposit. The Small Claims Advisory Service can also help you file your claim if you choose to do so. Visit them online or call or call them at (617) 497-5690. Contact the Housing Division at (617) 625-6600 x2588 for more information.
How can I ensure I get my full security deposit back?
When you move in, walk through the unit with the landlord and make a note of any damages already in the unit. This document is called a "Statement of Condition". When you are preparing to move out, do another walk-through, comparing lists. If there are any damages, you can repair these yourself before moving out, or the landlord will be able to deduct the cost of repair from your security deposit. Clean the unit thoroughly; all rooms should be swept and vacuumed, trash taken out and all items removed.
My landlord wants access to my apartment. Is this allowed?
Yes, the landlord is allowed "reasonable access" to your apartment, which usually means that they must give you 24 hours notice to determine a convenient time for both parties. You must comply if they have a reason such as inspections, repairs, or showing the unit to prospective tenants or buyers. In addition, if there is an emergency, the landlord is allowed access.