UMass Boston

Tenants’ Rights and Protections

Additional Resources

Tenants Rights Issues & Filing Complaints

The MA State Attorney General’s Office can help with a range of tenants’ rights issues. You can also file complaints here.

Eviction & Resources for Renters, Homeowners, and Landlords

Resources for Renters, Homeowners, and Landlords
Facing eviction? The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has resources available for individuals and families struggling to make rent or mortgage payments or facing eviction. Financial assistance, legal help, and mediation may be available to help you stay in your home. Resources are also available for low-income owner-occupants.

You can call 2-1-1 at anytime. Get the answers you need. It's free, confidential, and multilingual.

If you feel like you are being discriminated against please call this civil rights hotline at 617-963-2917.

Can I break my lease?

If you have a lease you may have some options to break your lease, or other rental agreements. Visit this MassLegalHelp link to learn more about your Responsibilities When Leaving. There are also options if you do not have a lease.

What should I do if my landlord is harassing me, and/or I feel unsafe?

According to Masslegalhelp you may be able to file an emergency prevention or restraining order. These are orders that come from the court that could put restrictions on whether the person that is harassing you can come near you, or your home, or your property. See: Asking the court for a restraining order or harassment prevention order during COVID-19

If you feel as though you are in immediate danger call 911 or go to the closest police department, or emergency room.

Need help and don’t know where to turn?

Mass 211 or call 2-1-1

Need help and don’t know where to turn? Mass 211 is an easy to remember telephone number that connects callers to information about critical health and human services available in their community. It serves as a resource for finding government benefits and services, nonprofit organizations, support groups, volunteer opportunities, donation programs, and other local resources. Always a confidential call, Mass 211 maintains the integrity of the 9-1-1 system saving that vital community resource for life and death emergencies.

Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, Mass 211 is an easy way to find or give help in your community.

Mass 211 responds immediately during times of crisis, to field calls regarding the crisis and to direct callers to services most appropriate for their needs. If you are unable to reach 2-1-1 due to your telephone or cell phone carrier, a toll-free number is available 1-877-211-MASS (6277).

Legal information and resources

Massachusetts legal aid programs put together this website to help you find practical information about your legal rights in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Legal Resource Finder
Answer a few questions and they will provide you with contact information for legal aid offices, government agencies, and court programs that may be able to help you for free or at low cost. They will also give you links to free legal information and self-help materials.

Justice Bridge
To speak with someone directly at Justice Bridge, call: 617-860-3414.

UMass School of Law has created a law incubator serving individuals and small businesses that do not qualify for free legal services but cannot afford traditional market rates in civil law matters. Its program empowers recent law graduates to build strong practices representing clients with limited budgets, using the latest innovative techniques and advice from retired judges and other experienced mentors.

Housing assistance

The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)

The Department of Housing and Community Development oversees funding and resources to help people in Massachusetts live affordably and safely. DHCD, through its community and business partners, provides affordable housing options, financial assistance, and other support to Massachusetts communities. They oversee different types of assistance and funding for consumers, businesses, and nonprofit partners.

You have the right to a free Interpreter

Mass Legal Help Language Rights

You have the right to a free interpreter. Programs that get money from the federal government must give everyone access to services. If you do not speak English well, you still have this right. Those programs cannot discriminate against you because of your national origin or your language.