Self-Extending Lease

The self-extending lease is the workhorse of Massachusetts rental agreements. Unlike a fixed-term lease, this self-extending lease automatically renews. You may wish to consider one of our optional clauses, like the automatic rent increase, to minimize your effort.

Notes About This Downloadable Lease

You can compare this lease to the "tenancy at will" and the "fixed term lease".  We kept the paragraph numbers the same.

How to Edit This Lease

The lease is a Word file with full access. If you modify the agreement, please add a comment that you have modified it. If you use the agreement as written, please leave the footer in your signed copies. We want you to contact us if your agreement ends up in court (good, bad or indifferent).

Latest Version: 7


  • v7
    • Removed reference to "15. Resident will not m. House or harbor fugitives or other illegal individuals."
  • v6
    • For satellite dish prohibition, incorporated statement of safety hazard to better comply with FCC regulation.
    • Added prohibition on clothes lines without landlord's permission.
  • v5 - skipped
  • v4 – Best Practices from the Rental Housing Association of Greater Springfield and Western Housing Court
    • Font changed from Arial 8 to Calibri 10, which allows for more readable text in less space.
    • Eliminated table layout to increase ease of editing and eliminate whitespace.
    • Separated cosigner agreement into separate, extended form.
    • Eliminated clauses designed to cover special cases. Made default agreement applicable to even more Massachusetts landlords. Added complete list of over 20 “optional clauses” to cover regional and business differences.
    • Eliminated legalese in phrases (for instance, “jointly and severally” replaced with explained Section 7e).
    • Added a utilities table to conform to subsidy best practice and increase readability.
    • Added emergency contact section.
    • Changed “Tenant” to “Resident” to emphasize customer service.
    • Clarified and combined Resident responsibilities with “Resident Will” and “Resident Will Not” sections.
    • Eliminated legal concern of “lease with mutable terms” by providing a process for Residents to object to subsequent house rules.
    • Eliminated paraphrasing of the law. For information on how to comply with specific laws or terms, visit or contact an attorney.
    • Added prohibitions on the growing of marijuana using unsafe practices. (Optional clause prohibits growing of marijuana altogether.)
    • Added text reflecting new requirements for ten-year batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
    • Eliminated restrictions on the cable company. (It’s hopeless. We advise landlords to run cables into each room in each unit; the cable company will then restrict themselves to the basement.) Sustained prohibition on satellite dishes.
    • Made many, many minor additions and improvements.
    • Increased page count from five (including Addendum) to six (no Addendum required). Increased Flesch readability score from 37.0 to 39.8 (MS Word). Simplified sentence structure.
    • For a complete commented reference indicating which section of v3 ended up in which section of v4, see “lease v3 redline to 2016 review.docx”.
  • For previous revisions, see the "Fixed-Term Lease," which was previously our primary recommendation.

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Sample of Massachusetts tenancy at will rental agreement

MassLandlords is a nonprofit dedicated to helping owners rent their property. We try our best, but we can't guarantee these forms will always work. We provide legal information but never advice particular to your situation. Nothing on this site is meant to create an attorney-client relationship. We advise you consult with an attorney.