Common Landlord Tenant Problems in Massachusetts

There are many great benefits to being a landlord. It is a great way to make money if you are smart about it. Getting the rent every month can go towards paying off the property and eventually providing an income although being a landlord is not without some problems. Landlords and tenants can undergo many types of disagreements. Some of these are covered under the law and can be handled with an attorney, while others should be handled with proper communication.

Repairs
One of the most common landlord and tenant issues is who is going to handle the repairs. This could be anything from a broken garage door to a dishwasher that is leaking. Usually, the leasing contract will specify who is responsible for repairs, although some may not. When a contract is devoid of these details, it can be a mess trying to go back and forth regarding who should take care of it. This is why it is so important to spell out each parties responsibilities right from the start.

According to the law, tenants are responsible for keeping the home habitable. If repairs need to be made to the home and the landlord refuses to handle it, the tenant is able to hold rent until the repairs are made. The tenant even has the right to sue the landlord in the event the landlord refuses to handle it properly.

Lease Breaking
Another common issue between landlords and tenants is lease breaking. At times, tenants must break their lease. This could be due to a job change, lack of money, or other issues. Tenants are responsible for fulfilling their contract by staying in the rental for the entire term.

As a landlord, they are able to take action against a tenant to ensure the lease is fulfilled. The landlord has several options to ensure it happens. They can withhold the security deposit, ask that the rent be paid in full, or even have the tenant help find a replacement. If the landlord fails to keep the home habitable, the tenant does have a right to move out.

Cleanliness
It is important that the home remain clean. This means the tenant is responsible for taking care of the premises and not damaging anything. They are also responsible for cleaning the home including sweeping, vacuuming, washing dishes, and emptying the trash. Failure to do this could result in a loss of the security deposit, an additional fee on top of the rent owed, or eviction. If the home is not kept up properly, the landlord could lose money on the home. A landlord relies on curb appeal to keep the value of the home intact. When a tenant refuses to keep a nice looking home, this can devalue the home.

If you find yourself in the middle of a dispute with your landlord or tenant, it is important to know how the law perceives it. You also want to have the contract readily available so you have the proof that is needed to guide your course of action. If nothing else works, it may be time to hire a lawyer to help.