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Boston Lease Lawyer – Understanding Your Lease

A lease is a contractual agreement between a landlord and tenant. It is a legally binding document that governs the relationship between the renter and the owner of the rental property. Far too often tenants sign a lease without actually reading it or understanding the contract terms. Failure to understand the document’s terms can create tremendous problems down the road if the tenant takes action that violates the lease terms.

For instance, a tenant may sign a one-year lease thinking that he will be able to terminate the lease earlier if needed. When the tenant attempts to move out before the end of the one year term, he soon discovers that the lease does not permit him to do so. If the tenant moves out early without the landlord’s consent, the tenant will be breaking the lease. However, the tenant will still be responsible for paying rent through the end of the lease term. The landlord must take reasonable steps during this time period to find a new tenant to lease the apartment.

If you are in the process of looking for a rental property it is important to make sure that you understand the all of the terms of your lease before you sign it. Leases can be filled with confusing legal terms and jargon and its terms are often written in favor of the landlord. Even if you have rented property before, you still need to make sure that you fully understand the terms of your lease because every lease is different. An experienced Boston landlord-tenant lawyer can review your lease and answer any questions you may have about your rights and duties.  

Statement of Condition of the Property

Under Massachusetts law, when a tenant signs a lease and provides a security deposit to the landlord, the landlord must provide a signed “statement of condition of the property” to the tenant that sets forth the condition of the property, including any known damages. When you receive the statement of condition of the property it is important to read the document carefully before you sign it. If you observe any damages or conditions that are not listed on the statement, you must attach a separate list describing these damages.

The statement of condition of the property is meant to serve both tenants and landlords. The document can protect tenants from being falsely accused of damaging the property. It can also allow the landlord to establish that the property was in proper condition without any damages before the tenant began occupying the space.

Discuss Your Situation with an Experienced Landlord-Tenant Attorney

The Law Offices of Shaun A. Hannafin represents both tenants and landlords in lease violation cases. We are a Boston area law firm with experience in handling both sides of landlord/tenant disputes. If you have questions about your rights and duties under a lease, or are involved in a lease dispute, we can help. Contact our office today to schedule your free, initial consultation by calling (617)-848-4572.


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