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Water Law

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed 29 March, 2006

When Can a Tenant Be Billed Directly for Water under the Water Law?

water faucet image

On March 16, 2005, a water submeter law went into effect in Massachusetts. This law allows landlords to bill tenants for water if the tenant moved into an apartment on or after March 16, 2005 and the property meets the law’s requirements.

Under the water law, landlords may bill tenants separately for water if all of the following requirements are met

  • Landlord has installed submeters that measure actual water used in your apartment;
  • Landlord has installed low-flow fixtures;
  • Your tenancy started on or after March 16, 2005
  • Previous tenant was not forced out;
  • There is a written rental agreement that spells out water bill arrangements; and
  • Landlord has filed proper certification.

If the landlord has failed to follow any one of the above requirements, he or she cannot bill you directly for water. To find out more about the new water law download the booklet and the one-page flyer.

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