Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Notice

Background Checking Fees

Produced by Paul Schack
Created May 2017

In Massachusetts, while the law clearly states that a landlord can charge a tenant first month's rent, last month's rent, a security deposit, and the cost of a new lock and key, the law does not state that a landlord can charge a fee to get your CORI report or another background check.34 A private landlord may refuse to rent an apartment if you do not pay an extra fee, even it if is illegal. If you decide to pay a fee because you are afraid you will lose an apartment, make sure you get a written, signed, and dated receipt for the money you paid. Ask that the receipt say exactly what the money was for. This receipt is very important. If you later decide to challenge this extra fee or deduct it from your future rent, the receipt will be proof of what the money was used for.

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