Rent Payments in Advance?
Real Estate Management
It is not uncommon for me to have a prospective tenant that is being transferred to the area and the company is paying the rent for the move. Sometimes the company has a policy of paying several months at one time. This kind of policy keeps their cost down. Or someone moves from overseas and offers to pay a year upfront in order to negotiate a reduction in the monthly rent payment. However, in Massachusetts this is illegal. A landlord cannot ask for or accept more than first month’s rent, last month’s rent and a one month security deposit up front. By doing so, the landlord open’s themselves up to a Chapter 93a violation. Under Chapter 93a, triple damages are often imposed. If you do the math, one year’s rent multiplied by three…not a pretty number!
After thinking about the restriction, it makes sense to me because if a tenant pays a year in advance and the apartment has mice, no heat or other problems, an unscrupulous owner might not take care of the issues because he’s already got his or her rent.
Rental Market Update
The activity over the last few months has been slower than normal. Sept/Oct numbers were down and the average time on market is 38.5 days.
Thanks for reading!
Michael & Carla Spurr