Landlords Checklist #102
A.Documents needed for any Housing Court appearances in Massachusetts:
*Statement of Conditions
*blue Lead Form
All Forms are available to Members at our website MassRealEstate.net in Member Links, Library, Landlording.
It wouldn’t hurt to have a copy (on your cell phone*) of their government ID (Drivers License) & a video of the Rental premises with the new happy Tenant walking through with you!
B.Each year we’ve had a visit from the head of the Massachusetts Housing Court which usually begins with:
1.What is with you Landlords ending up in our Housing Court when you’re owed 7, 8 or 9 months Rent?
What were you thinking about when it was 1, 2 or three months behind?
You’re probably not going to get it, so why have you waited???
2.Most of the time when we meet Landlords in our Court we find the Tenant, usually being Evicted for Non-payment, has a previous History. So why are’t you using our searchable database to find that negative History upfront and avoid the aggravation of non-payment and Eviction?
3. Finally, why would you ever take a Security Deposit? Although the rules are fairly simple and straightforward: Must be deposited only in a Massachusetts Escrow account. Interested paid. & Must be returned with a listing of any monetary charges or deductions within 30 days of a Tenancy Termination. However this is THE most common complaint in our Courts! Why not take Last Month’s rent which can be used from when it’s received and does nnot have to calculate or pay interest!
*Grand Slam Investigations:
for when you realize that you’re lending 24/7, an asset, Rental Property, worth 100+/- times the meager Rent someone is paying you. Then you may want to thoroughly Check them out! The best service we’ve found is Grand Slam Investigations! You can either set up your own office to run Reports or use ours, [email protected]
I’m sure you know there are 7 protected classes of people that the Federal Government says you CANNOT discriminate against when you provide Housing.
- Familial Status (i.e., having children under 18 in a household, including pregnant women)
- National Origin.
The Basics of the Fair Housing Act – The Balance Small Business
but did you know that Massachusetts has added 7 more classes of people that you also CANNOT discriminate against…
Under Massachusetts law it is illegal to discriminate in housing based on:
- Section 8 or Public Assistance.
- Sexual Orientation.
- Gender Identity and Expression.
- Marital Status.
- Military or Veteran Status.
When advertising Rentals or speaking to potential Tenants your best efforts to avoid ANY discrimination should be to describe the space to be rented, objectively. i.e. Total Rooms, Bedrooms & Baths. Number of Occupants allowed under the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code and the Income required to Qualify. Stay away from descriptive adjectives such as “Safe” “Nice” or “Friendly to …X” because you cannot guarantee those adjectives!