Protecting Your Rights as a Tenant

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Renting an apartment or home in Massachusetts is an economical and flexible option. While many people assume that just because they’re renting, they aren’t entitled to much more than a suitable living space and functioning safety and living equipment. However, as a tenant, your various rights need to be protected, all of which you should keep in mind when looking for your next dwelling. In addition to securing your space with an MA Renters Insurance policy, heed the following advice.

Thoroughly read the lease.

Don't just sign the agreement. Read it carefully, and you'll likely find unacceptable provisions. Discuss the terms of the lease with your landlord and suggest alternatives. If the landlord objects, explain why you think certain provisions are unacceptable and offer to be flexible. If the landlord still won't budge, you'll have to decide whether you can live with the rental terms, or if you should walk away, explains FindLaw. You aren’t forced to sign the lease, so negotiate with the landlord for what you think is fair.

Get it in writing.

Landlords often make promises to sell people on the listing. However, getting it in writing will mean they are legally obligated to follow through. Keep in mind that if a new landlord takes over, he or she is not responsible for sticking to the previous landlord’s oral promise.

Be aware of privacy clauses.

This one is especially important. Consider how much time your landlord has to give you before entering your unit and for what reasons. If it’s an emergency such as a gas leak, your approval may not be needed at all to enter. Check these to ensure you’re comfortable with them before signing the lease.

Save your deposit.

This is one of the largest disputed issues between tenants and landlords. Your lease should explain what the security deposit will be used for so there are no surprise charges. In addition, do a walk-through of the unit before moving in and note all the existing issues so that you aren’t held liable upon moving out.

About Metro Boston

As you set out to get the best renter’s insurance coverage, give yourself the gift of peace of mind. Contact us at Metro Boston Insurance Agency, 617.884.5480, and get the best coverage at a price you can afford.