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7 Key Provisions in a Lease

Boston has a notoriously tough rental market. Landlords often seek as many concessions as possible and may include unreasonable terms in the lease.

As a result, you will need to read every provision in your lease very carefully prior to signing.

Here are seven key provisions in your lease that you will need to pay attention to:

  1. Rent amount. The lease must include the amount of rent. Without including this provision, the lease isn't valid. You also will want to make sure that the stated rent is the same as what was advertised or what the landlord verbally told you.
  2. Dates of tenancy. The lease must specify the date when the lease ends. It can be as short as several days, last month to month, be an annual lease, or any other stated amount.
  3. Security deposit. The lease must discuss the amount of your security deposit and your rights regarding your security deposit. For example, you will want to know when the security deposit will be repaid and what expenses can be deducted from the deposit.
  4. Repairs. The lease should not say that you bear the burden of all repairs. The landlord should be responsible for general repairs to the building, while you may be responsible for minor things in your own unit which you cause.
  5. Landlord entry. A clause that says a landlord can enter the premises for any reason is not valid. A landlord can only enter to make repairs, show the apartment to prospective tenants or purchasers, or to inspect the apartment.
  6. Early termination. For a variety of reasons, you may need to end your lease early. What are the penalties if you do so, if any?
  7. Eviction. Evictions are covered by state law and the landlord cannot list random reasons allowing him to evict you.

If you have a question about a lease, you may want to contact a Boston landlord-tenant attorney.

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