Massachusetts rental/lease agreements

 A Massachusetts rental and lease agreement template is a document used to create a contract between a rent-paying tenant and a landlord for the use of a residential or commercial property. The landlord will usually carry out income and employment authentication using a rental application form and also ascertain background information before signing a lease. Rental Application – Used by a landlord for obtaining the potential tenant’s personal, financial and work-related details. 

Massachusetts rental/lease agreement templates

Massachusetts rental/lease agreements

Applicable regulations

6 basic types of Massachusetts lease agreement

Commercial Rental Lease Agreement– This is a lease agreement that’s created for premises that are to be used for business activities. These activities can range from industrial warehouse space to office space.

Rent-to-Own Rental Agreement – A typical residential agreement with an added clause or section that gives the tenant the ability to buy the property in the future. It’s also known as a purchase option agreement.

Monthly Rental lease Agreement – A leasing arrangement with no designated date for termination of tenancy but can be canceled by either landlord or tenant and requires the provision of prior notice of a minimum of thirty days according to Chapter 186, Section 12.

Roommate Lease Agreement – A contract for members of a shared housing arrangement. A maximum of four roommates are allowed in a single dwelling by law in the City of Boston.

Standard Residential Rental Contract – To be used for residential tenancies with a fixed tenancy.

Sublease Contract – The act of a tenant with an active residential contract with a landlord to re-rent their space to a new tenant (subtenant) to bear the responsibility on the premises for the rest of the term.  It also comes in two options; a commercial sublease and a residential sublease.

Four disclosure requirements

Insurance (Chapter 186, Section 21) – The lessor is required to provide the terms of fire insurance on the dwelling within fifteen days of the start of the tenancy.

Inventory Checklist (Chapter 186, Section 15B(2)(b)) – The landlord is required to provide a checklist document for the new occupant to record preexisting damages on the property and any repairs required within ten days of collecting the security deposit or the date of start of the tenancy. The lessee has fifteen days to send back a completed form to the property owner.

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure – Per law, all landlords are required to inform their tenants, for properties built before the year 1978, of the presence of this hazardous paint material in the walls of the dwelling. 

Security Deposit Receipt (Chapter 186, Section 15B(2)(c)) – When a lessor accepts a security deposit from a lessee, a receipt is required to be issued to the tenant  that must include the following:

  • Amount of the deposit;

  • Name of the recipient; 

  • Date of reception;

  • Description of the rented property;

  • Signature of the person collecting the deposit.

Follow-up Deposit Statement (Chapter 186, Section 15B(3)(a)) – The property owner is required to issue within thirty days of collecting the security deposit containing the following:

  • Name of the financial institution and location;

  • Deposited amount; and

  • The bank account details

Provision of deposit for security

A lessor in Massachusetts can be penalized for a maximum of 3 times the deposit along with a five percent sanction, including payment of the lessee’s lawyer’s fees if the lessor fails to abide by the security deposit formula at the commencement of the rental.


The deposit has to be lodged within thirty days in an interest-yielding bank account according to the following:

  • Situated in Massachusetts;

  • Is required to earn interest

  • Must be lodged lessee's name including their social security number with the lessor as a signatory; and

  • Is required to be a financial institution

If the occupant resides in the dwelling for more than one year, the lessor is required to provide the lessee with the following:

  • Earned interest on the security deposit. Funds can be paid in a check, cash, or removed from the rent.

  • A yearly statement (Chapter 186, Section 15B(2)(a))

    • Name and location of the financial institution

    • Deposited amount

    • Bank account details

    • Accrued interest.

Having access

The property owner must, as required by the Sanitary Code (410.810), provide reasonable notice to the occupant before accessing the premises for reasons of repairs only. Any other cause for entry does not require prior notice although it is recommended.

Money deposited as security

Maximum (Chapter 186, Section 15B) – Only one month’s rent may be required by the lessor.

Returning (Chapter 186, Section 15B) – A lessor is required to send back funds associated with the security deposit within thirty days after the occupant has vacated the premises. The deposit must include earned interest at a minimum of five percent of the bank's rate in the State of Massachusetts.

Download our free Massachusetts rental/lease agreements in an instant to create a legally binding document.

Download our free Massachusetts rental/lease agreements in an instant to create a legally binding document.

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