There are many statutes and regulations that affect the rights and obligations of both landlords and tenants. Before anyone decides to become a landlord, he/she should sit down and read the following;

* MGL Ch. 186 s.1-21 (general)

* MGL Ch. 239 s. 1-13 (general)

* MGL Ch. 127 L (repair and deduct)

* MGL Ch. 111 s. 197 and 105 CMR 460 (lead paint)

* MGL Ch. 239 s. 5 (appeals)

* MGL Ch. 93A (consumer Protection Act-possible triple damages and attorney’s fees)

* Attorney General’s Regulations 940 CMR 3.16/3.17

* Department of Public Health State Sanitaary Code 105 CMR 410

There are many traps and pitfalls contained in the above laws. Many laws have severe penalties including several months rent, triple damages and tenant attorney’s fees, all payable to tenants, and there are even circumstances where a tenant can breach his/her lease yet recover monies plus permission of the judge to stay on the premises and not be evicted. If you have any questions, please call me at 508-243-4877. I was a District Court Trial Judge for 17 years, having sat on hundreds of these trials. Doug Stoddart.