Chapter 15: Rooming Houses

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David Brown and Geoff Ketcham

If you live in a rooming house, you have rights—despite what your landlord or others may tell you. For example, if you have lived in a rooming house for one day, one week, or one month, an owner cannot lock you out of your room without permission from a judge.

What rights you have depend on how long you have lived in your rooming house. In some cases, they will be the same as those of other tenants. In other cases, they will be different.

This chapter will tell you what your rights are and what steps you can take to protect yourself if you live in a rooming house. In addition, you may need to learn about laws that protect tenants in general and to read other chapters in this book.

As you read, keep in mind that the rights of rooming house residents are not cast in stone and continue to change.1

Go to the table of contents, or download this chapter as a PDF below.

Chapter 15: Rooming Houses (May 2017).

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1 . For current definition of lodging house see G.L. c 140, §22. For discussion of the definition of “lodging house” by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, see City of Worcester v. College Hill Properties, 465 Mass. 134 (Mass. 2013).


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