Check out a variety of resources to help you with just about any situation, from local legal assistance to eviction information.
City and Neighborhood Resources
- Tenant's Rights: This Massachusetts government page covers your rights as a tenant in the state, including common terms and definitions, and information on what your landlord must provide to you.
- City of Boston COVID-19 Information: The City of Boston maintains this page with resources specific to COVID-19, including information on common scams, support for individuals experiencing housing insecurity, and details on any legislation passed in Boston as a result of the pandemic that may impact you.
- BOS: 311 Information for Reporting Non-Emergencies: BOS: 311 details a number of ways for you to report non-emergencies in your off-campus community, such as a broken street sign, graffiti, a missed curbside pickup, or a pothole that needs to be fixed. You can call the number provided, tweet at them, download their app, or submit a report online.
- Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination: The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) site allows you to file a complaint of discrimination and receive assistance from a MCAD investigator. They also offer various trainings and events for those looking to learn more about their rights in Massachusetts.
- Boston Neighborhoods: Learn more about each of the neighborhoods in Boston, including local events happening in that community.
Finding an Apartment off Campus
- RentSmart Boston is a free resource that compiles data from BOS: 311 and the City’s Inspectional Services Division to give prospective tenants a more complete picture of the apartments they are considering renting. The tool prompts users for an address and generates a report to assist prospective tenants in understanding any previous issues with the property, including the following:
- Housing violations
- Building violations
- Enforcement violations
- Housing complaints
- Sanitation requests
- Civic maintenance requests
- My Smart Renter is a paid resource (approximately $35 per report) that provides a comprehensive background report on the owners, landlords, and property managers of any property you’re considering leasing/renting. Give yourself peace of mind at a fraction of what you could potentially lose in a scam or by dealing with a negligent landlord.
- The Inspectional Services Department protects and improves the quality of life for all Boston residents by enforcing building, housing, health, sanitation, and safety regulations as mandated by the city.
- The Tenant's Guide to Eviction is a Massachusetts government resource that provides information on eviction and your rights as a tenant. This page covers the proper process for being evicted and your rights during that process.
- The Office of Housing Stability provides advice, information, and assistance to Boston landlords and tenants who have problems with or questions about rental housing. They also oversee the Good Neighbors Handbook, designed to help landlords and tenants understand and comply with the complex landlord and tenant laws.
- Massachusetts Attorney General: This is the page for the current Massachusetts Attorney General's Office and includes a number of resources as well as information on filing a consumer, workplace, or civil rights complaint.
- Boston Bar Lawyer Referral Service: This is a convenient resource that gives you 24/7 access to panels of qualified lawyers where you can compare attorney profiles, filter by geographic region and the topic of legal need, and get matched with an appropriate lawyer.
- Greater Boston Legal Services: This provides free legal assistance and representation on civil (noncriminal) matters to low-income residents in the city of Boston and 31 surrounding cities and towns.
- Lawyers for Affordable Justice: This is a collaborative legal incubator providing Boston residents with affordable legal assistance. They specialize in immigration, small business, employment, and landlord/tenant issues.
- Massachusetts Bar Association Lawyer Referral Program: The Dial-a-Lawyer program encourages members of the public to call with their legal problems and questions. This program was created in order to assist the people of Massachusetts who have fallen through the cracks of the legal and criminal justice system. On the first Wednesday of each month, volunteer attorneys give free, basic legal information by phone from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
- Massachusetts Legal Answers Online: This is a website where low-income Massachusetts residents can post their civil (noncriminal) legal question. Volunteer attorneys will answer the questions through the same website.
- Massachusetts Legal Help: This provides information about tenants’ rights in Massachusetts. You will find self-help forms, sample letters, booklets, handbooks, and frequently asked questions.
- Small Claims Court: Learn more about how to file, what to do if you receive a summons, and how to prepare for your court date.
- Small Claims Advisory Service (SCAS): Find information about Massachusetts small claims court, relevant laws for case resolution, and contact information to receive further help from SCAS staff.
- Volunteer Lawyers Project: This page allows you to apply online for legal assistance with appeals or other matters.