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Massachusetts Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it a breach of contract If a seller is not ready to close at the closing date stated on the buyer-seller agreement?
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Nov 18, 2022

Yes, although many real estate purchase and sale agreements permit the seller to extend the date for closing under certain circumstances even though the buyer may not agree to extend. You should review your purchase and sale agreement .

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Massachusetts on
Q: Can HOA covenant be forced on abutting parcel that is NOT part of the deeded covenants to the subdivision boundaries?

An abutter (private parcel, NOT part of the HOA/subdivision) wants to develop their adjacent lot for a single family home in Massachusetts. Certain people have suggested that this parcel may be forced to become subject to the HOA covenants, even though those covenants, maps and recorded deeds... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Nov 9, 2022

Based on your explanation of the situation, if the HOA documents do not describe the abutting property as part of the HOA, it is not subject to the HOA covenants. I cannot think of circumstances under which abutting property could be 'forced' to become part of the HOA unless there is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: A home seller lied about no unpermitted work in the P&S. Is there any recourse for issues arising from this?

The seller stated and signed in the purchase and sales agreement that there was no unpermitted work performed during their ownership. After the sale, it came to light that they had received stop-work orders from the town for unpermitted work and never remedied the issue. Is there any legal recourse... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Oct 24, 2022

You should contact real estate counsel about pursuing a claim for the misrepresentation as soon as possible. The facts involved are important to establish.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I have a real estate lawyer doing my purchase and sales agreement why would he give it to the buyer's first??

The house that I am saying is a affordable unit through housing authority that I have owned for over 20 years there is a deed Rider that I do not understand but I thought I would get to see the purchase and sales first

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Oct 12, 2022

You should talk to your lawyer about your questions and find out from them why you did not see the P & S before the purchaser and if you are not comfortable with your counsel you should seek other counsel ASAP as in the real estate sphere "time is of the essence".

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What are my options regarding my fathers behind on many payments and about to die?

My father is 25000 behind on the mortgage and 12000 for utilities. I am due to inherit the house as stated by him and as I’m next of kin also. I don’t know exactly what will happen if he passes with debt since his cancer is bad and due to pass soon. I want to know what my options are that will... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Oct 3, 2022

Will you be the sole heir? Is he a Massachusetts resident? If you are the sole heir, then you may be able to take over the mortgage through what is referred to as a "novation" with the mortgage company if that is something the company offers or you may be able to refinance the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: What is the easiest way to do a lease to own from parent to son?

I am downsizing and my son/wife want to own my home and we discussed 2 year lease. I am not sure how it works. What do I need to do? Do I become a landlord?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Aug 23, 2022

There can be a Lease and a separate Option to Purchase instrument. It is unclear if you want a Right of First Refusal or an Option with a price setting mechanism.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Municipal Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can one town foreclose if the property is in two separate communities and other town's taxes are current?

I bought a home that's 1/2 in 1 town and 1/2 in another - the dwelling is > 80% in Town A. Original mortgagee escrowed & paid property tax only to Town A. The mortgage has been transferred twice & modified once, & still the error wasn't discovered. Now, over 10 years in, I... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Aug 19, 2022

I think Town B probably has a right to foreclose on its lien but my guess is it has not done so because of the issues you raised. Whether Town B does or does not foreclose, I do not see any alternative but your #1. I do not see the value of ignoring Town B. You already have no equity in the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Husband died with no will, and the wife died 2 months later without claiming anything, whose next of kin inherits what?

MASSACHUSETTS - Husband died without will and then his wife died 2 months later. The husband has no children and parents, only a sibling nor does the wife. Did the wife automatically get the inheritance, or did she need to follow a procedure to get it within some days? Does the inheritance belong... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jul 29, 2022

Were they domiciled in Massachusetts ?Did the death of husband happen after March 2012? Neither had any children? A post March 2012 death brings the Massachusetts Probate Code into the response so that if husband had no children then surviving wife would take all if no Will.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How can dead people own a house in Massachusetts?

A house on my street was owned by a husband and wife who died 20 years ago. Their estates have been closed by the Probate Court; however, according to the town assessor's office and the registry of deeds, the house is still owned by them.

(To comment on Mr. Avery's answer, the... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Jul 12, 2022

The Heirs of the Survivor of the Deeded Grantees probably own it as Tenants in Common. You may want to search the Title and check on the Taxes.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: I am living in a house that was just sold do the new owners have the right to do renovations in or outside of house
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jul 9, 2022

Normally once a landlord leases premises the landlord cannot make changes to the leased premises without the tenant's permission. Your lease may give the landlord the right to make changes. Generally a landlord is permitted to enter leased premises to make repairs at reasonable times' on... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a real estate seller trustee stop a sale after purchase & sale?

My wife and I made an offer on a house and signed a P&S. We discovered the property is in a trust and only trustee #1 signed the P&S. My attorney reviewed the trust and concluded only one trustee is required to sign. She conferred with the bank’s attorney and he came to the same... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jun 6, 2022

This is not the type of straightforward question well suited to a question and answer online forum. It appears there are issues with the trust and the trustees' powers that are specific to this situation. In other words, there is no standard answer to your question. I strongly suggest you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What does "full possession of the premises" mean in an MA real estate contract?

To us, "full possession of the premises" means we get the keys and can occupy the house. Our attorney said it just means the seller must move out and not reenter. How would one have full possession with no keys to the house?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jun 6, 2022

The phrase refers to the fact that you have a legal right to possession and the seller no longer has such a right. It does not address the practical issue of how physically you enter the property. Getting you the keys is something the real estate broker usually deals with.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Cannot get ex tenant to pay rent, owe's me for 8 months. Yell's at me for asking. I have no money left. I am a disabled

The bad thing is he is my Son . I pay the Taxes,water, and Ins. He suppose to maintain the lawn but that is also a disaster. He made the place look so bad that I can't sell the property for a good price. And things look bad since he moved in. The first year he paid for three months then... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on May 25, 2022

If he had a lease and stayed over the expiration he is still a tenant and the eviction process called summary process is needed. You can contact an attorney who specifically handles landlord tenant matters and if son is disabled this would especially be advisable.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: MA residents, mom willed CT RE to me and sister, estate probated in MA, but no deed to us. To sell how do we show title?

Sister was Executor, I was Successor, but sister probated and closed in 2006. Sister has now died and I want to sell property. How do I show title to the property?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on May 19, 2022

Sorry for your loss. Was your Mom a CT resident or a MA resident? If this is a Massachusetts Probate of estate, then an Ancillary type proceeding would need to be brought in CT and you should be in contact with a CT Probate attorney ASAP.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Banking for Massachusetts on
Q: Regarding an indorsement of a promissory note, does the "no space" test only apply to the originally printed side?

Does the "no space" test include using the backside of the original promissory note for an indorsement if that side of the paper is blank? Is there a citation for the actual wording of the "no space" test?

A "no space" test is showing that there is no room on... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on May 9, 2022

Please explain what you mean by the "no space" test.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: MA superior Ct has judged mortgage company to be in default, but did not declare the note void. can I sue for damages?

Mortgage co was unreachable from 2018 to 2022. If homeowner defaults, homeowner loses house. But if bank defaults, no penalty? Is there any recourse in addition to MGL 183 section 54D?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Apr 14, 2022

If this is a default in the nature of a failure to Answer a duly served Complaint, the case would proceed to assessment of damages. However, it is common that a Motion to Remove Default would be filed at some point by the defendant.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My mother-in-law wants me to go on the deed and then refinance the house we rent from her. I would be 1% on the deed.

If this is able to be done - How long do I have to be on the deed before I can do the refinancing? She wants me to be the only one on the refinancing but she will still retain 99% ownership of the house. Is this able to be done? We live in Massachusetts.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Mar 14, 2022

There is a difference between can you do something or should you do something. If you refinance in your name( even along with her) you will be liable on this entire mortgage yourself to the full extent of it as mortgage notes generally have joint and several liability not based on the percentage of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If I want to create a common driveway

I have 3 ANR lots. I want to sell the lots, but two lots are restricted by topography such that I can't put driveways on each lot. The Town zoning bylaw doesn't address common drives at all. Are they then allowed by right? There are several others in the Town already. The lots are in MAssachusetts

Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Anthony M. Avery
answered on Feb 8, 2022

Hire a competent attorney to draft and record a Joint and Mutual Use Easement that encumbers all three lots. It would be better to survey the Joint Easement and use that legal description, but it is not required.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I be evicted for only owing January's rent? I just got a 14 day notice. I don't owe any rent except for January's.

Today is only the 27th so how is my landlord able to evict me. And he is only did this because I told him I wanted things fixed and I was not going to pay rent until they are fixed. My electric and gas is connected to his illegal apartment on the 3rd floor. The 1st floor is 122 and my apartment is... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jan 28, 2022

This is really a Landlord tenant issue ( an area of legal practice specialization )and not strictly a real estate question. It sounds like you have defenses to non-payment of rent due to non-repair and that there are significant health and building code violations where the City of Town should be... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Land Use & Zoning, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I owe real state taxes for the city of Methuen MA Can I set up a payment plan are there any options

The total real state taxes with fees and penalties is around 30000, can a payment plan be in placed so I don’t loose my home and also be on time with my current tax bill

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 7, 2022

Contact the tax collector, explain your situation, and see if you can arrive at a payment plan.

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