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Questions Answered by Christopher Tolley
2 Answers | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If I own two properties that abuts a paper road do I have more rights then my Neigbor?

I live in a private neighborhood my house has a separate piece of land that I pay taxes on and the paper road was designed for this piece of land. My Neigbor is trying to Claim the whole paper road as his front yard? He’s even trying to clear my half of the paper road from its natural brush so... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jan 12, 2021

Under the derelict fee statute, G.L. c. 183, s. 58, title to property abutting a way carries with it either (i) ownership to the midpoint of the way, when the grantor retains land on the other side of the same; or (ii) ownership of the entire width of the way, when the grantor does not own land on... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How to end the lease early due to a toxic roommate situation?

I'm asking for my friend Anne, located in Boston, who has been living with a terrible roommate who continuously harasses her verbally and mentally for several months. For the past 2 months Anne has been trying to break her lease by subletting her room, but finding it impossible to escape this... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jan 5, 2021

I think you have stated the legal issues well. The landlord has to to approve any subletter, and likely the lease says that approval may not be unreasonably withheld. He is is reasonably withholding his approval because the roommate does not approve. The landlord has every right to hold your friend... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a sub-hoa be formed after a Master HOA has solely been in effect for many years?

Our neighborhood has condos, townhomes, and single family homes all governed by a Master HOA. The condos also have a sub-hoa as governing their properties. Can a street with 6-7 single family homes on it create their own sub-hoa to manage the common cul-de-sac's rules, regulations and... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Dec 8, 2020

You have to consult the condominium documents and any amendments as to the procedure for amending the condominium documents. Amendments may require the assent of a certain percentage of unit owners and their mortgagees. If you have a combination of types of units and at least one sub-hoa my guess... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Are the home inspector or seller responsible?

We had a home inspection and was advised a fireplace we were concerned about only needed to be repointed and capped but no major issues found. Two weeks after moving in a chimney sweep found both fireplaces unusable and unsafe. There is a 9ft crack and major moisture damage and damage from a... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Dec 8, 2020

A common clause in many P&S agreements states the buyer had an opportunity to inspect the property and are buying it 'as is'. If your P&S had such a clause, you may have a difficult time pursuing the seller. However, if the seller or the broker said anything to you about the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Am i bound to lease agreement from last year even though never renewed for this year?

Lives in a leased unit with lease agreement 1/2019-12/2019 and never renewed, and lived another year (2020) paying landlord the same on 1st of each month. I moved out on 12/4/20 and landlord is asking for the final rent payment for the month even though i didnt use whole month. Must i pay this... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Dec 7, 2020

Your lease may be self-renewing. If it is, and it contains a cancellation fee, you may be liable for that and may have been required to follow everything the lease states regarding terminating your tenancy. If the lease is not self-renewing you were required to give the landlord notice of your... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How do i go about transfering poperty in puerto rico under my name

My grand mother passed a few yrs ago with no will... none of the siblings want the property i have the original deed and paperwork to the property how do i go about transferring the property deed under my name without traveling to puerto rico

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Nov 24, 2020

I think you have to get in touch with an attorney in Puerto Rico, unless you can find someone here who is licensed to practice in Puerto Rico.

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1 Answer | Asked in Collections, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a person sue me for non-payment after refusing to give me the bill?

After a break up I spent some time living with my Nana. Our agreement was I’d work in lieu of rent in her shop, but pay utilities in the house I occupied since it’s normally empty. The utilities were in her name. After events ranging from abusive, to manipulative, to straight out slanderous I... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Nov 18, 2020

You appear to understand and agree that you owe the bill for March. However, if you do not know the amount to pay, you cannot pay it. Your Nana would have to show you knew the amount you had to pay, that she asked you for the money, and you refused to pay.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: No, we did notice after closing by Buyer so real estate agent did not know. Inspection done by buyer

Inspection done and was noticed after 30 days the water leakage by buyer...

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Oct 20, 2020

Same response.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: When the buyer notices water leakage after closing, will they sue Seller in Massachusetts?

Buyer did not ask Seller about water leakage before closing and seller did not know

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Oct 20, 2020

In order to recover from the Seller, the Buyer must show the Seller made a false statement of a material fact made to induce the Buyer to act, and that the Buyer relied on the Seller's false statement.

Based on the short description of the issue, the Seller never made any statements...
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1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Consumer Law, Contracts and Entertainment / Sports for Massachusetts on
Q: Fitness training company charging me for services that were not provided. What are my options?

I signed up for personal fitness training with a company for 6 months from Dec-2019 to May-2020 ($600 for each month & 10 sessions each month). No services were provided between Mar 2020 to May 2020 due to COVID. The company was not reachable on phone during that time for cancellation enquiry.... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Oct 9, 2020

Most lawyers' rates would make legal representation impractical. Look carefully at your contract and see what your options are. Contact your credit card company and have them stop the automatic payments. I suggest you consider filing a small claims suit yourself. If nothing else, it will get... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My father passed away & left properties - if he for some reason still owes a mortgage - am I as a heir responsible?

I never co-signed for any loans! The properties are in Puerto Rico!

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Oct 6, 2020

If you did not sign for the loans, you cannot be held personally responsible. I assume the Puerto Rico mortgages, if any, are like Massachusetts mortgages, that empower the lender to sell the property to satisfy the debt, and in most cases if you wanted to stop the foreclosure sales payment... Read more »

Q: What is CDC eviction meant for MA state ? Can someone explain to me ?
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Oct 5, 2020

The CDC moratorium forbids landlords from attempting to evict tenants for non-payment of rent if the tenants meet certain financial hardship guidelines:

- Make less than $99,000 (or $198,000 if they file a joint tax return)

- Be unable to make full rent “due to substantial loss of...
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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: signed a lease agreement with 2 other roommates. 2 of us wanna move out now can we break the lease without the consent

break the lease without the consent of the 3rd roommate?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Sep 4, 2020

If you signed the lease, you move out before the lease ends, and you stop paying rent, under most leases you are liable for the rent for the remainder of the lease term. This is so regardless of whether the other lessees do the same thing or not. The two lessees will have broken the lease and will... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: can a seller back out of a verbal agreement for sale of their house 3 hours after accepting because a better offer came.
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jul 20, 2020

Yes. To be enforceable, an agreement to sell real property must be in writing.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Real Estate Law Question Can the seller back out of a signed agreement to sell a piece of land to a real estate agency

We are under non binding agreement with a builder/agency to build a new home. The land was supposed to be purchased months ago. We just found out the reason for the delay is the seller potentially trying to back out of the sale due to the tax implications to the town for selling. The agency has... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jul 16, 2020

Your agreement with the seller governs what rights the seller has to back out of the deal and your rights to your deposit. This is not an ordinary purchase transaction and I strongly suggest you consult an attorney for a thorough review of all relevant documents.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law, Contracts, Business Law and Civil Litigation for Massachusetts on
Q: The plumber who is fixing my boiler has been in and out over 3 weeks. If i hire someone else instead, do I have to pay?

It's been 3 weeks without hot water, the plumber I called keeps not showing up, or he will just suddenly show up at 8pm. He hasn't fixed my boiler in three attempts. No paperwork has been signed, and he hasn't really communicated the problem. If i hire someone else to fix my boiler,... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jul 16, 2020

If you have not agreed on the work he is to perform and what you are required to pay him, you do not have a contract. He may have a right to compensation for his visits but it would be up to him to show what he did and the basis for any compensation he claims to be entitled to. I suggest you hire a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Selling my home in MA. Are the appliances considered 'personal property' and 'as is' if left w the home?

inspection already done. We are leaving appliances w house. Purchase and Sale agreement signed and will close in 3 weeks. We allowed buyers to have a decorator come in to measure, etc. Apparently, she saw a small amount of water by the fridge and wants us to have an appliance repair person come to... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jun 22, 2020

You do not have a legal duty to obtain the opinion of a professional if your P&S states you are selling the appliances 'as-is' at the time of inspection, reasonable wear and tear excepted, no warranties or representations.

To keep the peace, if you are still residing in the...
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1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: I made a partial payment on a time barred loan but it had it reversed in less than 2 minutes. Can they still sue me?

Hi, so I had a debt collector who called me seeking a payment. After negotiating back and forth I was going to make a payment on the account only to realize that would restart the loan. I did make a payment of $50 but had it reversed immediately and it doesn't show up in my banking account

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on May 11, 2020

If the debt is otherwise time-barred, the creditor would have to file suit against you and allege that your reversed payment was agreeing to pay the debt. Based on what you say, you do not appear to have agreed to repay the debt.

Also, the creditor has to have informed you that the debt is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law for Massachusetts on
Q: In MA if you receive a notice to appear in court to mark docket satisfied is it important that I go?

It was for a debt paid off very difficult for me to get there. Thank you

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Mar 6, 2020

I do not see why you have to go to court in order to have the debt marked satisfied in full.Normally my office just sends the paperwork to the court indicating the debt has been paid. I suggest you call the clerk's office to get clarification as to the necessity of your appearance. You could... Read more »

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