For Immediate Release - April 24, 2007

Consumer Affairs Urges College Students to Know Their Tenant Rights

Consumer Affairs Urges College Students to Know Their Tenant Rights

The Office of Consumer Affairs today launched an advertising campaign aimed at informing area college students about their rental rights. "Tenant Rights Car Cards" - which detail important information about deposits and rent, health and safety and unlawful entry - will be displayed on the T through the end of May and will be posted in college housing offices and apartment rental offices across Greater Boston.

"Massachusetts is home to world-class colleges and universities and countless numbers of students live off-campus in neighborhoods throughout our communities," said Director of Consumer Affairs Daniel C. Crane. "As students explore their rental options for the summer or look to make housing arrangements for the fall, they should know about the protections and rights they're entitled to and that the Office of Consumer Affairs is here to help if they encounter problems."

In addition to the "Tenant Rights Car Cards," the Office of Consumer Affairs also posts a comprehensive list of Tenant Rights and Responsibilities on its website, www.mass.gov/consumer.

Before signing a lease, students should know the following key pieces of information:

Deposits & Rent

  • The landlord must pay interest on both the security deposit and last month's rent
  • You have a right to know which bank is holding your deposit

Health & Safety

Landlords must provide:

  • Water, Heat, Building/Structural Maintenance, and Snow Removal at exits

Unlawful Entry

  • Your landlord may only enter your apartment for certain reasons

Rent Withholding

  • You may withhold rent if your landlord fails to make necessary repairs to your apartment

Splitting the Bill

  • If your roommate moves out early, you are still responsible for the full rent

For more information, please visit www.mass.gov/consumeror call the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation at (617) 973-8787.

###