Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Massachusetts

I am a landlord in MA, and have noticed my tenant is babysitting a child on a daily basis. They are tenant at will with no lease agreement signed. I am concerned if something happens to the child I can be sued by the child's parents. I told them to stop and they are putting up a fight that they should be able to have whomever they want over. So a few questions in regards to this: Am I right, that this is a huge liability and I can evict if they do not stop on my request? Also, what would they and I have to do if they wanted to make it a legitimate daycare? Do they need to be licensed to have one child cared for daily? Do they need to get insured for this? Do I need to inform my insurance company?

Asked on 5/29/15, 5:01 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

First, there is a significant difference between babysitting and providing day care. Day care facilities have to be licensed and meet certain criteria based on the number of children at a given age.

Second, you are not condoning or licensing them to babysit in your unit. So unless there is lead paint or some defective condition in the unit, such as the screens or windows are not in compliance with the building code, you should not have a problem of any increased liability.

You should check with your insurance agent to find out if your current insurance will cover you if a tenant babysits a child in your property. Your insurance should cover you.

The requirements for day care license can be obtained from:

Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care

51 Sleeper Street, 4th Floor

Boston, MA 02210

Phone: (617) 988-6600

Fax: (617) 988-2451

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Answered on 5/29/15, 5:40 pm

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