This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
To file a complaint, please call:
¿Oìste? ABCD Citywide Hispanic Center About Black Boston ACEDONE Allston Brighton Community Development Coporation Asian American Civic Association Asian American Resource Workshop Asian Community Development Corporation (ACDC) Association of Haitian Women Boston Community for Youth and Family Bird St. Community Health Center Boston Asian Youth Essential Services (Boston Asian YES) Boston Bangla Center Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center Boston Fair Housing Commission Boston Housing Authority Boston Public Health Commission Boston Rental Housing Center Boston Missionary Baptist Church BPS Office of English Language Learners BPS Office of Welcome Services Boston Tenant Coalition Cape Verdean Community UNIDO Caribbean Foundation of Boston Caribbean Integration Community Development Casa El Salvador CCHER Clear Channel Outdoor College Bound Dorchester Commission on Affairs of the Elderly Consulate of Cape Verde Consulate of El Salvador Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) Dominican Development Center Don Warner Saklad Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative East Boston Ecumenical Community Council
Prepared by the
MAYOR’S 24 HOUR HOTLINE
Spanish 617-426-6633 Spanish ABCD Citywide Hispanic Ctr. 617-348-6566 About Black Boston 617-942-1301 Spanish Allston Brighton CDC 617-787-3874 Chinese Asian American Civic Association 617-426-9492 Asian American Resource 617-426-5313 Chinese Workshop Asian Community Development 617-482-2380 Chinese Corporation (ACDC) Chinese & Vietnamese 617-482-4243 Boston Asian YES Bengali Boston Bangla Center 617-265-0667 Boston Chinatown Neighborhood 617-635-5129 Chinese Center Boston Fair Housing Commission 617-635-4408 Boston Public Health 617-534-5395 Commission Boston Rental Housing Center 617-635-4200 Boston Tenants Coalition 617-423-8608 Cape Verdean Community Cape Verdean Creole 617-282-3614 UNIDO CCHER Community Health 617-265-0628 Chinese Progressive Association 617-357-4499 Chinese (CPA) Commission on Affairs of the 617-635-4366 Elderly Spanish Dominican Development Center 857-719-9055 East Boston Ecumenical Spanish & Portuguese 857-246-1133 Community Council Fair Housing Center of Greater 617-399-0491 Spanish Boston Greater Boston Legal Services 617-371-1234 InterGroup Realty Spanish & Portuguese 617-913-0883 International Institute of Boston French and Spanish 617-695-9990 Jamaica Cultural Center 617-265-4780 Jamaican Law Office of Nadine Champagne 617-475-5204 Haitian Creole Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants 617-267-2949 MAPS Portuguese Speakers 617-787-0557 Small and Local Business 617-635-2978 Enterprise Office Somali Somali Development Center 617-522-0700 South Boston en Acción 617-852-9696 St. Vincent & the Grenadines 617-298-0508 Association of Massachusetts Vietnamese Viet-Aid 617-822-3717
Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center Greater Boston Legal Services Haitian American United HomeStart, Inc. Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción (IBA) InterGroup Realty International Institute of Boston Jamaica Cultural Center Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation Jamaican Consulate Jewish Vocational Service La Alianza Hispana, Inc. Law Office of Nadine Champagne Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership Monserrat Progressive Society Neighborhood Office of Affordable Housing (NOAH) Neighbors United for a Better East Boston (NUBE) Roslindale Branch, Boston Public Library South Boston en Acción Small and Local Business Enterprise Office (S/LBE Office) Somali Development Center South Cove Community Health Center South End Community Health Center South Side Head Start Adult ESOL Program St. Vincent & the Granadines Ass. South Side Head Start Adult ESOL Program Thai Association of Boston Uphams Corner Health Center Urban Edge Viet-Aid Vietnamese American Civic Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (Boston Bar Association) Veterans’ Services Department
New Bostonians guide to Tenants’ Rights
Mayor Thomas M. Menino’s
MAYOR’S 24 HOUR HOTLINE 617-635-4500
Dear Friends, Boston is a great place to live, work and raise a family. It is also the type of place where tenants, especially immigrants, can and should feel safe in reporting substandard housing and resolve their issues without fear of retribution. Immigrants play an active role in making Boston a world class city, and they deserve a safe place to live without being subject to unlawful evictions or any violations of their rights. This brochure will provide you with a short and easy to follow Top 10 list of Things that New Bostonians should know about their rights as tenants as well as a list of valuable contact information to many public and private organizations that provide in-language services to tenants. I want to encourage all residents who have issues with heat, electricity, leaks, rodents, bugs, or other housing issues or housing questions to call the Mayor’s 24-Hour Hotline, at (617) 635-4500, so that we can ensure a quick resolution to any and all quality of life issues that you may encounter. Tenants have powerful rights, including the right to safe and decent housing, and the right to be free of housing discrimination. These rights apply to you regardless of your immigration status. We hope to continue to ensure a safe environment for every resident within the city of Boston. Sincerely,
Top Ten Things New Bostonian Tenants Should Know!
you move in, you may only be charged these fees: first month’s rent, last month’s rent, a security deposit equal to one month’s rent, a lock fee, and a portion of an inspection fee. Other fees, such as move-in fees or pet fees, are illegal.
with the landlord’s approval, their names should be on the lease too for your own protection. If you are a tenant- at- will (month-to-month), you may have a verbal or a written agreement.
Basic facilities must be provided in an apartment, including a working stove and oven, and working locks on all windows and entry/exit doors. If the landlord pays for heat, it should be kept at a minimum of 68 degrees during the day and 64 degrees at night from September 15th through June 15th. In most cases, the landlord must pay for water.
If your landlord wants to increase the rent, you are entitled to a written 30-day notice if you are a tenantat-will. If you are under a lease, your rent can’t be increased until the lease expires, unless you are in public housing or have a subsidy, in which case the housing agency or landlord must give you written notice of any change in your share of the rent.
apartment should be in good condition when you move in and repairs should be made as needed. If there are problems, such as no smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, peeling paint, leaky windows, doors that don’t lock properly, electrical problems, insufficient heat or hot water, or an infestation of rodents or bugs, you should report them to your landlord or the property manager in writing. If the problems are not corrected, call the city’s Inspectional Services Department.
Cash payments are not a good idea. For you own protection, you should have proof of any payments. If you must pay in cash, make sure that you get a receipt every time. If you pay by money order, make sure that the money order states who is receiving it and what it is for, such as rent.
You may want to share an apartment with friends or family with the landlord’s permission. Be aware that the law does not allow overcrowding. The housing code states that 150 sq ft of living space is required for the first occupant and 100 sq ft for each additional occupant.
7. 6. You may be under a lease or a
If your landlord wants to evict you, he has to take you to court. Unless your apartment or building is condemned by Inspectional Services as unsafe or a judge issues an eviction order, you do not have to move out.
3. 2. It is illegal for your landlord
to discriminate against you for a variety of reasons including - but not limited to - race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, age, handicap, having children, or because you have a housing subsidy.
Thomas M. Menino Mayor of Boston
tenant-at-will. Leases are binding legal contracts, and if you sign one, you are promising to pay the rent for the lease term, so read it carefully. If you have people move in with you
Regardless of your immigration status, these rights apply to you, and you are entitled to a safe and decent apartment that is kept in good condition.
MAYOR’S 24 HOUR HOTLINE