Tenancy at Will
Why Would I want a Tenancy at Will?
This agreement gives you and your tenant the same kinds of protections as a lease, except they don't require you each to forecast out into the future to imagine how your lives or circumstances might change mid-lease. For more discussion, see our fixed term or self-extending lease.
How to Edit this to Suit Your Needs
The tenancy-at-will 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).
- Removed reference to "15. Resident will not m. House or harbor fugitives or other illegal individuals."
- For satellite dish prohibition, incorporated statement of safety hazard to better comply with FCC regulation.
- Added prohibition on clothes lines without landlord's permission.
- v7 – 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 MassLandlords.net/laws 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 v6 ended up in which section of v7, see “lease v3 redline to 2016 review.docx”, and then note the following changes to the Tenancy-at-Will: "lease" replaced to "agreement", paragraph 6 and 7a edited, references to 7-day notices to quit removed.
- In “vital information,” clarified that ages of occupants were being asked for in the case of minors only.
- In “Vital Information,” added a space to list the legally recognized ‘other occupants’. Clarified wording of how rent is to be paid, and set the due date to be the first of every month.
- In “Legal Use Only,” clarified the ability of a landlord to terminate early for crime, firearms, and drugs. Also, we now grant the landlord a power of attorney to seek restraining orders against the tenant’s guests.
- In “Utilities,” brought the Addendum terms forward, in case the addendum is not used, and called for the landlord to pay water and sewer.
- In “Trustee,” now called “Ownership,” added clarifying language to cover all possible types of corporate entity.
- In “Copies,” landlord should have only 7 days to return a signed copy of the rental agreement.
- In “Removal of Personal Property,” wrote some clarification about how the Massachusetts process works.
- In “Cosigner,” changed the word “lease” to “agreement.”
- paragraph 2: Added, "Tenants are signing jointly and severally."
- paragraph 12: Added, "Tenant agrees to insure their own personal property."
- paragraph 15: Added, "Unless a blocked drain is the result of negligence by either the Landlord or a contractor
- employed by the Landlord, the Tenant agrees to pay to have drains cleared."
- new paragraph 24: Added "Removal of Personal Property"
- signature area: Added sections for cosigners to print name and address