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"Student Apartments" in Massachusetts

The SJC recently changed the law here in Massachusetts as it relates to a "lodging house" and ruled that a house rented to 4 or more unrelated persons is not considered a "lodging house".  Historically, the laws and restrictions relating to "lodging houses" were stricter and required compliance with state safety and fire prevention codes, i.e., sprinklers, hard-wired manual pull stations, etc.

The new law allows 4 or more unrelated students, for example, to live in the same apartment and the landlord/owner is not required to comply with the stricter "lodging house" rules, such as those enforceable for a hotel.

In short, apartments now being rented to students are not considered "lodging houses" and parents [and the students] should make sure that they are satisfied with the manner in which they are being maintained.

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