My landlord is increasing my rent. What can I do?

In Massachusetts, landlords of private, unsubsidized housing can ask for as much rent as they want. They do not have to adjust the rent to an amount you can afford. 

Your landlord can only raise the rent if they give you proper notice. A new landlord must accept your old rent until the new landlord gives you proper notice. Proper notice says your current tenancy is ending and offers you a new tenancy at a higher rent. The notice can be 1 document or 2 separate documents. 

  • If you have a lease, your landlord must give you notice that ends your tenancy before the lease renews or extends. This is a “notice to quit.” If your lease has no special instructions about notices, your landlord does not have to give you a separate notice to quit. Your lease tells you when your tenancy ends. 
  • If you not do have a lease, a landlord must give you at least 30 days’ advance written notice to end your tenancy. 

Your landlord must not raise your rent if: 

  • You do not agree to the rent increase. 
  • You have a written rental agreement that has not ended. Usually, rent cannot be raised during the lease period. 
  • You have a Section 8 voucher, and the housing agency has not approved the increase, or you did not agree to accept an approved rent increase. 
  • The increase is to get back at you for doing something like reporting bad conditions or joining a tenant organization. This is called “retaliation.”
  •  You did not get proper advance notice 

Read more here.

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1. How do get my landlord to make repairs?
2. How do I document bad conditions in my home and request repairs from my landlord?
3. My landlord is increasing my rent. What can I do?
4. I'm behind on rent and facing eviction. How can I get help?