Text Size   Decrease Font SizeIncrease Font Size

Landlords Beware: Four Unrelated Persons Equal A Rooming House


A recent Massachusetts case clarifies that when an apartment is rented to four or more unrelated individuals, the law will treat that apartment building as a rooming house, thereby subjecting it to a different set of regulations.

In this case, the City of Worcester sued a landlord who was leasing his apartments to groups of students.  Although the apartments were in fact large enough to accommodate the students under the state sanitary code, the city claimed that they constituted rooming houses and were therefore prohibited.  A Housing Court judge sided with the city and ordered the landlord to discontinue renting to more than four unrelated individuals.  On appeal, the Appeals Court upheld the Housing Court’s decision and found that a landlord who leases to four or more unrelated adults is in violation of the state’s lodging house statute.

Landlords should consequently beware that by subjecting themselves to the lodging house statute, they may be violating zoning regulations.  This could, in turn, expose a landlord to additional liability in the event that a neighbor were to complain as a result of a loud party or other disturbance occurring on the premises.

The case is entitled City of Worcester v. College Hill Properties, LLC, 80 Mass. App. Ct. 757 (2011) and can be accessed through the following link: http://masscases.com/cases/app/80/80massappct757.html.



Recent Updates

New Power for Condominium Associations to Collect Unpaid Condominium Fees

On March 29, 2016, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued an important decision for Condominium Associations. In the Drummer Boy Association, Inc. v. Britton case, the Court has ruled that ...

Read More

Protecting Condominium Associations - Collecting Unpaid Fees

The Appeals Court of Massachusetts recently restricted the 'super lien' of condominium associations over first mortgage holders for unpaid condo fees to the six months immediately preceding the filing of ...

Read More


"Lori, you have been excellent to us this whole time.  Patient, dealing with two people - my mom and I.  You have also been extremely professional and answered all of our requests very quickly.  I am very impressed with both your efforts and the excellent results.  I am so glad that I decided to put you on the case.  Right now, I feel so happy and thankful for this financial assistance that my dad is receiving.  You didn't promise us anything, but you delivered everything we wanted.  Thank you so much.”
- B.D.

Contact Us

map flood

Law Offices of Flood & Favata
14 Winthrop Street
Marlborough, MA 01752
Tel: 508-624-4700
Fax: 508-624-7497
E-mail: attorneys@floodlaw.net

fb_icon Find us on Facebook

©2014 Law Offices of Flood & Favata


Website Design by The Modern Firm