Reader Email: Requesting Copy of Signed Lease

The Email: Dear Off-Campus Housing, we are having a little problem with our landlord. It has been almost three months that we have live in our apartment and the landlord has yet to give us a copy of the lease agreement we signed at the beginning of our tenancy. What can we do about it? Thank you!

Off-Campus Housing Response: The landlord is required to provide you a signed copy of the lease within 30 days of you signing it. According to "General Regulations" from the Office of the Attorney General: "It shall be unfair and deceptive practice for an owner to fail to give the tenant an executed copy of any written rental agreement within 30 days of obtaining the signature of the tenant thereon." 

Sometimes landlords are not fully aware of what their responsibilities are, so I recommend that speak to your landlord on friendly terms first to request a copy of the lease. Be sure to notify the landlord of the law and their obligation to provide you with a signed copy. If you require advice regarding this matter, you should contact the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office at 617-727-8400.

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