Massachusetts Rental Application Form
Rental Application Fee
A non-refundable rental application fee usually accompanies a rental application form, but this isn’t the case in Massachusetts. It is illegal for landlords to collect a rental application fee, which typically covers background checks.
Landlords in Massachusetts must, therefore, shoulder the amount out of pocket.
Landlords in Massachusetts can only charge a maximum security deposit equal to one month’s rent. The tenant technically owns the security deposit, which is why the landlord should deposit the amount in an interest-bearing bank account. The landlord also needs to provide a receipt for the security deposit and inform the tenant where the deposit is being kept and the account number that references it.
Since the security deposit will earn interest, the landlord should give the tenant a 5% interest every year.
The landlord has 30 days to return the security deposit when the tenant moves out of the property. However, the landlord can deduct from the deposit any damages to the apartment or property that is beyond regular wear and tear.
If the tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord can also deduct it from the security deposit (Massachusetts General Laws, Part II, Title I, Chapter 186, Section 15B).