Massachusetts Illegal Lease Clauses
- A clause that allows the landlord to use your security deposit for anything other than damage caused by the tenant or unpaid rent.
- A clause that attempts to make the tenant responsible for all repairs. Under MA law, the tenant is only responsible for the cost of repairs when she breaks something.
- A clause that requires the tenant to pay for utilities when those utilities are not separately metered.
- A clause through which the landlord attempts a "waiver of liability" (eliminating the landlord's liability for negligence that results in an injury to a tenant or guest).
- A clause in which the tenant waives her right to a jury trial (MA law give the tenant a right to a jury trial in eviction cases).
- Also, if the landlord tries to evict you based on your violation of an illegal clause, you can raise that as a defense to the eviction. (940 C.M.R. § 3.17(3)(a)(1)).