Massachusetts Heating Laws and Massachusetts Heating Regulations
Posted on: Friday, October 24, 2008

Filed Under: Heating laws, Massachusetts Apartment Laws

What are the laws concerning heating your apartment rental?

Heating Laws and Heating Regulations in Massachusetts

With the cold season starting, we’ve been getting tons of questions about Massachusetts Heating Laws and Massachusetts Heating Regulations. Here’s a copy of the state code that should help to answer any questions you may have about what your landlord is obligated to provide.

Duty to Provide Habitable Premesis:

You must provide habitable apartments and common areas for the entire tenancy in accordance with the minimum standards of the State Sanitary Code which seeks to protect the health, safety, and well-being of your tenants and the general public.

Heat:

Landlords must provide a heating system for each apartment or one system that services all apartments in good working order. The landlord must pay for the fuel to provide heat and hot water and electricity unless the written rental agreement states that the tenant must pay for these. The heating season runs from September 16 through June 14th, during which every room must be heated to between 68 degrees Fahrenheit and not more than 78 degrees Fahrenheit between 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., and at least 64 degrees Fahrenheit at all other hours.

Kitchens:

In each kitchen landlords must provide a sink sufficient for washing dishes and kitchen utensils, stove and oven in good working order, unless the written rental agreement states the tenant must provide this, and electrical hook-ups for installation of a refrigerator. The landlord is not required to provide a refrigerator, but if s/he does, it must be maintained by the landlord in good working order.

Water:

If the landlord meets certain legal requirements then they may charge a new tenant for water consumption by installing a water meter for the unit. Landlords should be reminded that they are still responsible for payment of the water and sewer bills and must bill their tenants separately. Before installing separate water meters, landlords must contact the Massachusetts Department of Public Health for required forms. Landlords must still provide the facilities for heating water to a temperature between 110 degrees Fahrenheit and 130 degrees Fahrenheit and must pay for this fuel unless the written tenancy agreement states that the tenant must pay for it.

Infestation:

Landlords must maintain the common areas and apartments free from rodent, insect and other infestation if there are two or more apartments in the building.

Structural Elements:

Landlords must maintain the foundation, floors, walls, doors, windows, ceilings, roof, stairwells, porches, chimneys and all structural elements so as to exclude wind, rain, and snow; so as to be rodent-proof, weather tight, watertight, and free of chronic dampness, in good repair and fit for human habitation at all times.

Maintenance of Exits:

Each exit used or intended for use by the building’s occupants must be maintained by you and kept free of all snow, trash and other obstructions.

- weRENTboston Team

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