A.   Discrimination

     A landlord cannot refuse to rent to you on the basis of
     race, color, national origin, sex, age, ancestry, marital
     status, sexual orientation, or because you are a member of
     the armed forces. S/he cannot refuse you if you are a
     recipient of welfare or any other public assistance, or
     because of a handicap of any sort.
     It is also unlawful to deny rental to adults who have a
     child living with them. Massachusetts General Laws prohibit
     such discrimination except in dwellings of two units or
     less, and in dwellings of three or fewer units where the
     presence of a child would cause hardship to a resident who
     is disabled, chronically ill, or at least sixty-five years
     of age.
     S/he may not discriminate by offering you a less desirable
     apartment due to any of these factors, either orally or in
     writing. A landlord is required to post a summary of the
     antidiscrimination laws in a conspicuous place on the
     premises. To file a complaint about discrimination contact:
     The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination One
     Ashburton Place Boston, MA 02108 617/727-3990

B.   Lease  Your landlord is required by state law to give you a
     copy of your lease within thirty days of your signing it. If
     your landlord fails to do this s/he can be fined an amount
     of not more than $300.

C.   Unlawful Entry  Your landlord may not enter your apartment
     without express or implied permission to do so. This could,
     but does not have to, include the right to inspect the
     premises for damage or if the apartment seems to be
     abandoned, or to show the apartment to a prospective lessee.
     Otherwise, entering the apartment can be considered
     trespassing. Trespassing is punishable by up to thirty days
     imprisonment and $100.  You have a right to privacy. Your
     landlord is not entitled to disturb your privacy within your
     apartment. You may choose to have closed tenant meetings in
     your apartment, and your landlord may in no way record your
     conversations or invade your privacy in a similar manner.

What are habitability rights?

You are entitled to a safe and healthy living environment. The
State Sanitary Code regulations protect the health, safety, and
well-being of the occupants of housing and of the general public.
Copies of the Code may be purchased from: The State Bookstore
State House, Room 116 Boston, MA 02133 617/727-2834 The Tenant
Information Packet costs $2.25. (Price quoted on March 30, 1992.)

The State Sanitary Code states that your landlord may not
interfere with your utilities in any way. You can sue your
landlord for the equivalent of three month's rent, or actual
losses (if they are more than three months rent) if your landlord
has interfered with the "quiet enjoyment" of your apartment. You
have the right to quiet enjoyment. Examples of a violation of
this right are:

A.   Heat: Failure to provide heat during seasons which require
     heat. The landlord must provide and maintain a heating
     system in good operating order. From September 16 to June
     14, every room must be heated to at least 68 degrees between
     the hours of 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. and at least 64 degrees
     between the hours of 11:01 p.m. and6:59 a.m., unless the
     tenant is required to supply the fuel under a written lease
     agreement. During the heating season, the maximum heat
     allowable is 78 degrees.

B.   Cockroaches and Rodents: The landlord of a dwelling of two
     units or more must maintain your unit free from rodents,
     cockroaches, and insect infestation and shall be responsible
     for exterminating them.

C.   Hot Water: The landlord must provide and maintain facilities
     capable of heating and supplying hot water at a temperature
     of between 110 and 130 degrees, in a quantity and pressure
     sufficient to satisfy the ordinary use of all plumbing
     fixtures. Exceptions are made when the occupant is required
     to provide fuel for the operation of the facilities under a
     written lease agreement.

D.   Kitchens: The landlord must provide, within the kitchen, a
     sink of sufficient size and capacity for washing dishes and
     kitchen utensils, a stove and oven in good repair (except
     when a lease agreement requires the tenant to provide
     his/her own stove and oven), and space and proper facilities
     for the installation of a refrigerator. (Note: the
     refrigerator does not have to be provided.)

E.   Safety Requirements: In every apartment building consisting
     oftwo or more dwellings, there must be a secure, locked door
     to the building. Each apartment must also have a secure,
     locked door. Your landlord must provide you with locks for
     the building as well as for your unit, if you live in a
     building with more than three units. A fine up to $500 can
     be imposed if your landlord fails to comply with these

F.   Other rights: You have certain other rights as well, giving
     you grounds to contenst the following:

If the landlord converts an area that was once private
(accessible to you only) to a common area; assaults or threats
from a person the landlord has promised to monitor; excessive
noise from other tenants under the same landlord's supervision;
repeated problems or inconveniences resulting from conditions
that the landlord has not adequately repaired.  If conditions or
situations become absolutely intolerable, and these conditions
have seriously interfered with the quiet enjoyment of your
apartment, you can plead "constructive eviction." You will then
be permitted to move out without being held accountable for the
lease or additional unpaid rent.  If your landlord intentionally
interferes with services received by you as a tenant, such as
water, heat, lighting, electricity, gas,elevator service, phone
service, custodial services - s/he can be fined up to $300 or
sentenced up to six months in jail.  An absentee landlord is
required to post his/her name, address, and phone number in each
building, in an obvious location. For each day this information
is not provided s/he may be fined up to $50.