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President Obama Slept in Somerville: Did He Fulfill Tenant's Duties?

Most people know that President Obama attended Harvard Law School (just like former Gov. Mitt Romney). However, what is not so well-known is that the president didn't stay in pricey Cambridge when he studied there, but instead looked to the more affordable (at the time) Somerville, according to the Boston Globe.

While rents have risen everywhere, you can still save hundreds a month by choosing to live in Somerville. Then-law student Barack Obama did so, but reporters and students have wondered: Did he pay his rent on time?

His former landlord says that he did. But along with paying rent, what other duties do tenants have?

We talk a lot about what duties a landlord has to a tenant, but there are duties that tenants owe right back to the landlord.

The No. 1 duty that tenants owe is to pay rent. Without paying rent, a tenant will be evicted as quickly as the law allows. In Massachusetts, it will take at least a month to evict a tenant, because there must be a 14-day "Notice to Quit" that is then followed by a hearing. If a judge rules for the landlord at the hearing, the tenant has 11 days to move out.

Other tenant duties tend to fall under the scope of acting reasonably. This means that you should not abandon the property, make drastic changes to the property, or otherwise act like you had true ownership of the place.

However, besides these duties, your lease will lay out exactly what you are obligated to do and not do to the property. For example, there may be a clause that says you are responsible for mowing the lawn or paying for trash disposal.

So remember when you're out there pursuing your dreams that what you do as a tenant might come back to haunt you if you don't live up to your duties.

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