What can my landlord charge me for past due rent?
Mar 2011 09

There are law books filled with landlord-tenant cases. I’m no lawyer but I encounter difficult situations involving renters daily in my job.

Depending on who you ask, you’ll hear that landlord-tenant law favors the landlord or favors the tenant in Massachusetts. Actually, most of the time, people say that it favors the tenant. Good for us. There are lots of protection written into law, here in Massachusetts. You might not think so, but talk to some friends in other cities and you’ll find out you’ve got it pretty good.

Having said that, you have to know what you’re doing when renting an apartment to make sure you don’t end up getting taken advantage of. Your real estate agent can help but, and it’s a big but, you should know your agent is actually working on behalf of the landlord, not you.

There are some really good books on landlord-tenant law. Visit your local Borders book st… I mean, Barnes & Noble, to find out more.

You might want to start your research at MA Law About Landlord and Tenant website.

There are some common questions that come up. Mostly: Can my landlord charge me for …. this or that.

I found a good article today about this.

8 questionable rental fees to avoid – MSN Real Estate

This is written for a national audience so local laws may be slightly different. Buyer beware.

Here are the 8 questionable rental fees. Click through to the article to read details.

1. Excessive late-rent fee
2. Overnight guest fee
3. Unnecessary application fee
4. Repair fees
5. Redecorating or cleaning fee
6. Administrative or processing fee
7. Any fee called a “non-refundable” deposit
8. Finder’s fee or holding fee

The last one is important. You don’t see it much any more, but once in awhile you’ll find a landlord who wants to charge you a broker’s fee to move into his/her own apartment. It seems ludicrous but it happens. They figure, why not get a fee like a real estate agent does? There’s one good reason they can’t – it’s illegal. Only licensed real estate agents can collect a fee for finding you an apartment.

If you’re in the market for a Boston apartment rental, please contact me to find the largest selection.

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