Massachusetts law about submetering water for tenants

The submetering law allows landlords to separately bill tenants for water in certain circumstances. This is a compilation of laws, regulations, and web sources on water submetering law by the Trial Court Law Libraries.

If you are unable to find the information you are looking for, or if you have a specific question, please contact our law librarians for assistance.

Table of Contents

Massachusetts law

MGL c.186, § 22 Water submetering in residential tenancies

Massachusetts regulations

105 CMR 410.354 Metering of electricity and water
Allows landlords to separately bill tenants for electricity and water in certain circumstances.

Web sources

How submetering works, Mass Legal Help.
Resource outlining how water enters residential properties, how submetering works, and what measures landlords have to take to bill for water.

Water submetering: Costs, benefits and legal compliance, MassLandlords.
Resource for landlords discussing how to implement submetering of water in residential tenancies, and how to stay compliant with the law. The Mass Landlords page also has relevant checklists and resources to help landlords get started.

When can a tenant be billed directly for water under the water law?, Mass Legal Help.

  • 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

Mass Legal Help has also released a booklet including more information such as:

  • What tenants can and cannot be charged for
  • What information the bill from the landlord must include
  • What happens when bills are not paid
  • What happens if a tenant has plumbing issues
  • A directory of resources for individuals looking to navigate a variety of landlord-tenant issues

Additional Resources

Print sources

Lease drafting in Massachusetts, 4th ed. MCLE loose-leaf, section 13.4.7.

Residential and commercial landlord-tenant practice in Massachusetts, 3rd ed. MCLE loose-leaf, section 1.2.8.


Last updated: March 10, 2023

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