If you are a novice real estate investor, Massachusetts is a terrible place to do business. In fact, it might be one of the worst places in the country for investors operating without enough capital to take some serious lumps.
If you want to enjoy the incredible ROI Massachusetts landlords enjoy, you must act responsibly and BEYOND reasonable at all times. “Reasonable" behavior keeps me in business. Behave in a manner consistent with that of a host/hostess at the Ritz-Carlton, and you should avoid unnecessary conflict.
Landlord-tenant disputes can be extremely costly in measures of time and real dollars. Massachusetts landlords are held to a higher standard of care and conduct by our civil justice system. Many tenant friendly laws provide for generous (and sometimes non-sensical) damages of attorneys fees and costs.
I’ve summarized the main problem areas into four categories with corresponding tips that if you follow, you will (hopefully) stay out of trouble!
The Condition of the Rental Unit
Potential damages for the tenant for breaches of the implied warranty of habitability and/or breaching the covenant of quiet enjoyment are equal to 3x months rent plus attorneys fees and costs.
Potential damages in the tenants favor are at the mercy of the judge and/or jury!
This is complicated law. The wrong communication may cost you thousands of dollars!
Potential damages for the tenant are equal 1x-3x months rent plus attorneys fees and costs.
Security Deposit Violations/Bad Accounting Practices
Potential damages for the tenant are equal 3x the security deposit plus attorneys fees and costs.
Credit Landlord or tenant Renting a house or apartment Security deposits for renting Lease agreements for renting Landlord responsibilities Tenant rights Real estate Employment Discrimination in the workplace Protections against employer retaliation Discrimination