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Massachusetts Landlord - Tenant Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: I have a commercial lease in Massachusetts and the landlord just installed water meters and started charging us

IS he allowed to do that mid lease? this is the paragraph in our lease UTILITIES AND SERVICES. Commencing on the Commencement Date, Tenant shall pay when due all costs, charges, deposits and assessments related to the hook-up, furnishing, consumption, maintenance and installations of water, water... View More

Phil A. Taylor
Phil A. Taylor
answered on Jan 15, 2024

Generally, as lease should be reviewed in its entirety as one section may be impacted by another section. Based on the limited text provided, it appears that the LL has taken the steps to have a commercial tenant contractually obligated to be responsible for the water to the leased space. Having... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: I'm 64 homebound and disabled trying for 2 years to get hel raft is helping me but my landlord will not comply

I'll contact you attorney general's office fair housing section 8 do not give me an extension on my voucher I don't know why I had a ceiling falling in my head give me a permanent brain infection with no cure because the section 8 inspector refused to put that down on an item to be... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 10, 2024

Your situation sounds incredibly challenging and it's clear you've faced numerous obstacles in securing your housing rights. As a homebound and disabled individual, you are entitled to certain protections and accommodations under both federal and state laws, including the Fair Housing... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Rights and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: My landlord that I rent from calls me stupid and makes fun of my religion. Can I sue her?
James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Nov 24, 2023

I'm sorry to hear about the treatment you're receiving from your landlord. In Massachusetts, tenants have certain rights, including the right to be free from harassment and discrimination. If your landlord is making derogatory remarks about your intelligence and ridiculing your religion,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: Im renting a studio apartment and landlord sold the house, we have a month to month lease he told us we have to move

He told us in less than a month that we have to move out. We (couple) don’t have no where to go.

We have live here for over 2yrs , rent always on time.

We have not received a vacate letter.

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Oct 23, 2023

In Massachusetts, if you're on a month-to-month lease, the landlord must provide you with a written notice to quit at least 30 days or one full rental period in advance, whichever is longer. If you have not received a written notice to quit, your landlord's verbal request is not... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: I been living with my sick mom at my aunts rented place can my aunt just kick me out. I am not on the lease
T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Oct 13, 2023

In Massachusetts, landlords are generally not allowed to evict tenants without a good cause. This means that your aunt would need to have a valid reason for kicking you out, such as non-payment of rent or a violation of the lease agreement. If your aunt does not have a good cause for evicting you,... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a landlord sue former tenants for "lease violations" after the tenants moved out and the lease period has ended?

For example, if the landlord is claiming lease violations during the tenancy, but did not give any notice to vacate, file any suit, or file for eviction during the tenancy, can the landlord still sue the tenants after the lease period has ended? This would be under Boston, MA laws.

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Oct 13, 2023

Yes, if the lease violations caused compensable damages. For example, if tenants failed to change the filters on an HVAC unit and it caused damage to the unit, or if the lease did not allow pets but the tenants' pets damaged the carpet, doors, walls, window shades, etc.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Family Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: Co-tenants signed lease together and are breaking up.

Our daughter and boyfriend signed a housing lease. 4 months remain. Our minor grandson (10) visits and stays in his own room on the weekends. The boyfriend states his financial obligation moving forward, will be 1/3 of the rent. The boyfriend did make less money than our daughter when they signed,... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Oct 4, 2023

I assume the lease states your daughter and the boyfriend are 'jointly and severally' liable for the rent. This means that each is liable for the entire rent. In the event of dispute, the landlord can seek the entire rent from either your daughter or the boyfriend or both. I don't... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: Serve water damage 8/26 till waiting for repairs due to neighbors negligence. Landlord waiting on renters insurance . My
T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Oct 3, 2023

If your living conditions are affected by the delay in repairs and it's due to your neighbor's negligence, you may have grounds to pursue a claim against the neighbor or even the landlord if they're not taking timely action. Document all interactions and damages for any potential claims.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: My lease reads no dogs. My tenant told me after the lease was signed on September-1-2023 she has a ESA dog for emotional

and stress. Can I do anything about this now. The tenant told me I could not. She Lied on the lease.

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Sep 14, 2023

It is illegal under federal law to discriminate in providing housing to any disabled person because they have an emotional support animal. You can request appropriate medical documentation from the disabled tenant confirming that they are actually disabled and that they require the services of an... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Landlord - Tenant and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: Can I sell or cash out on a willed estate?

My grandfather passed and his wife hates me. She's made attempts to remove me from the deed since my grandfather passed.

I'm listed as a "joint tenant" on the deed. What are my options for selling or cashing out my share?

Nina Whitehurst
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answered on Apr 27, 2023

Theoretically you could sell your share, but as a practical matter nobody is going to want to buy your share and then have to share use and occupancy with the other co-owners. The practical solution is to either buy out the other co-owner(s) or have one or more of them buy out your share. If you... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: I actually have 2 questions: 1.) Is it legal to lease out an apartment in an ALF to someone if the previous tenant who

lived there has already paid through the end of the month?

2.) In an ALF is it legal for the facility to take a bed that I purchased for my father and give it to someone else to use?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Oct 26, 2022

As to question 1, the ALF agreement likely addresses the rights and obligations of the parties if an occupant vacates a unit for which he has already paid rent. The ALF agreement may also address the disposition of an occupant's personal property once the occupant vacates the unit. Also, you... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: I have a question I would like to know what is my rights of living in an apartment building. Under Section 8. I am an I

I have a tenant that live above me that have two kids in there and they're very noisy and I could understand that kids can be kids but they're not even trying to calm them down even with the dog dropping things and all kinds of stuff I am 62 years old and I don't need the extra... View More

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jan 26, 2023

This sounds like a Landlord Tenant issue and you should review your Section 8 agreement with the Housing Entity you have before proceeding toward eviction.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: How can the owner of a single family residential house in Massachusetts remove an occupant who refuses to leave?

My friend, as an act of kindness, agreed to let a “friend” stay in his single family residence with him as a guest while she recovered from a surgery. During her stay, her own home was foreclosed on, so he let her stay longer and store her personal belongings at his house until she was able to... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Dec 27, 2022

Your friend will have to formally terminate his tenant's occupancy and evict her via a summary process action. I strongly suggest he retain the services of an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: First time for me to rent out my extra room, I didn’t know I have to open escrow account, it’s over 4 months now. help.

Now the tenant try to take me to court for return security deposit

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Oct 13, 2022

You have to return the security deposit within 30 days of the end of the tenancy. If you failed to do so, or you did not comply with the security deposit statute in other ways, you may be liable for damages. This is a useful review of the law regarding returning security deposits :... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: I have a qualified buyer for my business, my landlord isn’t sure if he wants to assign my lease. What are my options?

I notified my landlord of the sale of my business but he’s not sure if he wants to issue a new long term lease but I have a five year lease currently I said we can assign my lease to the new buyer but the la said he’s not sure if he wants another long term lease

William J. Amann
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answered on Sep 15, 2022

Your written lease should include a section concerning Assignments. Usually, consent to proposed assignments is stated that such consent shall not be unreasoanably withheld. Of course that is quite subjective. Please contact me at wamann@amburlaw.com if you want to explore further. Thank you.

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.

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... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Consumer Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello, I'm have an issue with a landlord that is not returning a deposit and it has been well over 30 days.

It was a month to month lease. No Damages. She has retained a lawyer. I have reached out to him, given him details last week via a text, he has not not responded to my calls or messages.

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Oct 14, 2021

Massachusetts security deposit (if that is what you are talking about) law is very favorable to the tenant, but there are very particular aspects to the law. Go to masslegalhelp and read up on a landlord's obligation to return a security deposit (if that is what you are talking about) If... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it required in MA to test and de-lead an old property (1800s) before renting it out?

We have a property (1800s) that we want to rent out. However, the presence/absence of lead is unknown. As landlords, are we required to test the presence of lead (and de-lead if found) before we rent it out? Can we have the tenants sign an agreement that it has been informed to them that it is... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jul 14, 2021

You are required to test for the presence of lead before you rent. You do not necessarily have to de-lead the property before renting, there are other ways to deal with lead paint. You cannot require tenants sign an agreement stating they accept the presence of lead on the property. This is a good... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My mother died in January of covid.

My mother was in a nursing home for 3 years when she died. My brother asked to move into her home 2 years ago. My mother has a will, but my sister and I were concerned because my brother is a person who does not pay his bills. We had the estate lawyer draw up an agreement that basically said my... View More

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jun 8, 2021

As PR you may seek an equity action against him for losses to the estate and seeking to offset against his share of the estate under the Will.

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