When you rent an apartment in Massachusetts, sometimes you might end up paying your landlord a bit more than you bargained for. It's not always uncommon to pay extra just to move in, for your pet, to use the community facilities, or whatever else may have attracted you to the building in the first place. These fees can really start to add up and are obviously rather cumbersome to apartment renters, especially when rent in this state seems to be so high by itself. On the upside of this situation is these extra fees have now been proclaimed illegal under the Massachusetts Security Deposit Law.
Recently federal judge William Young abolished these extra nonrefundable fees and has permitted a class action suit to commence against Reading's Archstone apartment complex, where the whole fiasco began. This suit might be cause Archstone and other Massachusetts complex's to be in the business of owing tenants a nice chunk of change for refunds to previous and existing tenants who have paid such fees in the past four years. When you rent, your landlord is only allowed to charge tenants first and last month's rent, a security deposit and the cost of a new lock and key. If you find landlords are still trying to enforce amenity fees, take a stand and call the apartment complex's management. If you paid an amenities fee already, it is your right to ask for a refund.
According to Bushari Group realtor Brendan Cavanaugh "This will potentially change the rental business as we know it today and drastically reduce profits for largely managed apartment complexes. It could very well increase rent for tenants because the profits will have to come from somewhere else." The Archstone trial determining its monetary fate is scheduled for June of this year.