Legally Binding Contract (Massachusetts)

6 Replies

Hi All,

I've had this conversation a few times, specifically with my parents and others around me in the south coast Massachusetts area and had a question surrounding "legally binding" contracts that one requires tenants to sign prior to property rental.  Is it enough to conjure up your own contract on word and put a statement at the top that says "this is a legally binding contract", or do you have to get it notarized or do something special for this document to hold up in court if needed.

I am just starting to get my feet wet in real estate, am sole owner of a condo in Malden, MA and 1/2 owner of a two family property in New Bedford, MA that net a positive cash flow of $450.00/month.

I ask just this to increase education and knowledge giving my current investments. I do plan on moving away from buy/hold strategy and set a concrete business plan for entering real estate with a focus on flipping. At this point, I am just researching, learning, and hopefully in the near future moving into REI meetings and networking and building relationships.

Thank you in advance.


Hi Kyle, the contract does not need to be notarized in order for it to be legally binding.  If you plan to do your own lease, be sure to familiarize yourself with Massachusetts Landlord/Tenant laws.

@Steve N. - Thank you. I appreciate the forwarded information!

Hi Kyle,

Steve is right to make sure if you want to write your own lease that you know the laws very well.  MA is very tenant friendly so make sure you don't just put in stuff that seems like common sense, about 90% of the time that is probably illegal.  :)

Why reinvent the wheel?  Just google the standard MA lease and use that.  If you have some specific stuff you want to change cross it out and/or add an addendum at the end.  You are sure to miss something if you are winging it yourself.

@Kyle Cabral I would use one of the RHA forms that have been proven in Massachusetts housing court.

Also I would recommend reading this book "The Massachusetts Landlord Survival Guide" by Philip S. Lapatin. I have read this book and it is a great source of information.

If you have any specific questions PM me.


@Kyle Cabral is another great source for contracts and so is

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here