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What kinds of tenancies are there?


We are updating this and many other pages about tenants rights' in private housing.

You can get the updated information from PDF files while we update our web pages. See Legal Tactics: Tenants' Rights in Massachusetts, 2017.

September 2017

In Massachusetts, there are four main types of tenancies. You can be a:

  1. Tenant with Written Lease
    Tenant with a written agreement that states the agreed-upon rent and the length of the tenancy (typically 1 year, but may be shorter or longer).
  2. Tenant at Will
    Tenant with a month-to-month tenancy, which may be either written or oral. See the section called Who is a Tenant at Will later in this chapter.
  3. Tenant at Sufferance
    Tenant who stays in an apartment after her tenancy has ended without permission from the landlord.
  4. Tenant by Regulation
    A tenant in public or subsidized housing who has additional tenant protections beyond those described here. The Housing section on MassLegalHelp also has more information about your rights in public housing and finding public and subsidized housing.
Produced by Patty Whiting
Created August 2008

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