Boston apartment renter's
Legal Guide. 10 Things to Know

Tenant's Rights to ill help you resolve issues with Boston rental landlords. It is published by Mayor Menino and the Office of New Bostonians. We're one of the 70 supporting partner organizations dispensing this information throughout the city to help tenants fight back. The guide is available in seven languages.

    The Top Ten Things Boston tenants should know are:

  1. 10) When you move in, you may only be charged these fees: first month's rent, last month's rent, a security deposit equal to one month's rent, a lock fee and a portion of an inspection fee. Other fees such as move-in fees or pet fees are illegal.


  2. 9) Basic Facilities must be provided in an apartment, including a working stove and oven, and working locks on all windows and entry/exit doors. view more


  3. 8) The apartment should be in good condition when you move in and repairs should be made as needed. view more


  4. 7) You may want to share an apartment with friends or family with the landlord's permission but there are overcrowding policy restrictions.view more


  5. 6) You may be under a lease or a tenant-at-will. view more


  6. 5) If your landlord wants to increase the rent, you are entitled to a written 30-day notice if you are a tenant at-will. view more


  7. 4) Cash payments are not a good idea.view more


  8. 3) If your landlord wants to evict you, he has to take you to court. Unless your apartment or building is condemmed by Inspectional Services as unsafe or a judge issues an eviction order, you do not have to move out.


  9. 2) It is illegal for your landlord to discriminate against you because of your race, religon, national origin, sexual orientation, having children, or because you have a housing subsidy, or to threaten or intimidate you because of your immigration status.


  10. 1) Regardless of your immigration status, these rights apply to you, and you are entitled to a safe and decent apartment tht is kept in good condition.




apartments in a building on Huntington AVenue
studios and multi-bedrooms



houses have rentals
houses have rentals

Sources for Help
Mayor's Hotline 24 Hour hotline 617-635-4500

To file a complaint, please call the Mayor's 24 hour hotline.
Here are support organizations who speak your language.

OISTE? | Spanish 617-426-6633
ABCD,Inc. | Spanish 617-426-6633
Allston Brighton CDC | Spanish 617-787-3874
Asian American Civic Association | Chinese 617-426-9492
Asian Ameican Resource Workshop | Chinese 617-426-5313
Asian Community Development Center (ACDC) | Chinese 617-482-2380

Go To AboutBlackBoston.com | English | 617-942-1301

> Boston Asian YES | Chinese & Vietnamese 617-482-4243
Boston Bangla Center | Bengali 617-265-0667

Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center
Chinese 617-635-5129

Cape Verdean Community
UNIDO | Cape Verdean Creole | 617-282-3614

Law Office of Nadine Champagne | Haitian Creole 617-475-5204
Somali Development Center | Somali 617-522-0700
Viet-Aid | Vietnamese 617-822-3717

and many other supporting organizations

list of organizations supporting New Bostonians Guide to Tenants Rights

Tenant Rights logo

See what's around town.