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Massachusetts Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Does a commercial lease agreement & term truly end if the landlord does not extend the lease term of a tenant?

Id like to know:

1) Does a commercial lease agreement & term truly expire to allow the landlord to take complete repossession of a leased space at the end of the lease term even though the tenant would like to stay as tenant for a longer period, the tenant does not have a option to... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on May 6, 2024

1) If the lease does not give the tenant some mechanism for extending the lease term such as an additional term, option to renew, etc., once the lease expires, the tenant no longer has a right to occupy the premises. The landlord is not permitted to perform a 'self help' eviction however... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law and Collections for Massachusetts on
Q: Could I get sued by a real estate agent for not paying their broker fee?

Myself and a friend are looking for a rental apartment in Boston. On of these listing sites, a real estate agent reached out to me offering to help me, without stating there was a fee for service or making me sign anything agreeing to a fee. We finally find a place we like and the agent send us a... View More

Nicholas Arthur Matlach
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answered on May 2, 2024

This is a difficult case, and one that should be reviewed by a licensed attorney experienced in handling contracts. Here are some considerations for your discussion with an attorney:

- Contractual Obligations: Whether you're bound to the "sight unseen" document depends on its...
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1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: There is a piece of property around 200 sq feet that we have been using for the past 27 years that a condo association

They attempting to get back from us. The property abuts our land and after about 19 years they are looking to take it back do we have any right here.

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Apr 16, 2024

Your argument would be that you used the land as if it were your own, you landscaped it, cut the grass, watered the plants, built on it, parked your car there, etc. (if all that is the case) and if the town assessed it to you, paid taxes on it, and that it should have been obvious to the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can a board of trustee of a cordiaminum prohibit washers and dryers in the units (they have hook-ups)?

Good afternoon: I just purchased a condo (apartment) and the trustee says washers and dryers are not allowed in the building. The trustee just says that the owners voted and except for 2 apartments, the rest of the owners voted against washer and dryer in the building. I am wondering if this... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Apr 16, 2024

I have never heard of a condominium prohibiting washers and dryers. I would think you would have explored that in the process of buying the condo. I took a quick look a the statute and I found nothing stating one way or the other the permissibility of washers and dryers. Is it that they are... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law, Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can money be gifted to a irrevocable trust ?

I have 3 questions:

1) Can money be gifted to a irrevocable trust?

If so

2) Is their a maximum amount allowed to be gifted in a certain period e.g like yearly etc?

3) Can a trustee and beneficiary to the same trust also gift money to the same trust?

Thank you

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Apr 12, 2024

Yes, money can be gifted to an irrevocable trust. However, there are some important considerations and limitations:

1. Gift tax exemption: As of 2024, an individual can gift up to $18,000 per recipient per year without triggering the need to file a gift tax return or pay gift taxes. This is...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Claiming "Senior Circuit breaker" Tax Credit with Multiple people on deed

My mother in law use to claim the massachsuetts "Senior Circuit Breaker" Credit on her taxes for years (She is 92). Last year after her stroke she revised her will and put myself and my husband on the deed to the house with here via quitclaim deed and retaining life estate (so technically... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Jan 22, 2024

In Massachusetts, the Senior Circuit Breaker Tax Credit is designed for senior citizens who meet certain criteria, including property ownership and occupancy. Even though the deed to the house now includes you and your husband, the fact that your mother-in-law retains a life estate means she still... View More

2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I bought my home in 2019.Refinanced 2021 and added BF to all aspects of loan.i have equity. what is he entitled to?

prior to him signing i had already gained $160k of equity. If we were to sell is he only entitled to what was gained from Refinance till now?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jan 22, 2024

He was added to the Deed as a title holder either as a tenant in common or as a joint tenant most likely and would have the right to seek a Partition of his undivided interest and the portion of equity he contributed to would be either determined by agreement of the parties or through Court... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Family Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I bought my home in 2019.Refinanced 2021 and added BF to all aspects of loan.i have equity. what is he entitled to?

prior to him signing i had already gained $160k of equity. If we were to sell is he only entitled to what was gained from Refinance till now?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Jan 22, 2024

What was your agreement with your BF when he signed the loan documents in 2021? Did you convey title to him or did he merely sign the new mortgage? What, if anything, did he pay you for an interest in the property? Has he paid any mortgage payments, contributed to the upkeep and maintenance of the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: I am in Massachusetts and want to sell my half of real property inherited to my sister. But for her to do that I need

to hold the mortgage until interest rates come down. Is a mortgage deed the best way to do this?

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

Your question is not clear. Generally, two persons cannot be forces to hold title to real property together. When one wants to sell, and the other does, not a Petition to Partition is filed and the court will then appoint a commissioner either divide the land, if possible to do so, or to sell the... View More

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My siblings and I recently inherited our parents’ house after they died. One of my brothers wants to purchase the house.

If the house is appraised at $450,000, does my brother pay me and my other sibling ⅓ each ($150,000) or ½ each ($225,000)? Since he will be owning the house and could turn around and sell it at any time, does he also get a portion (1/3) of its value? Is that getting two bites of the proverbial... View More

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

If you and your siblings each now own a 1/3 interest in the property and one sibling wants to purchase your interest and the interest of the other sibling, then the sibling would pay 2/3 of the fair market value (give or take depending on how the other costs, savings are addressed). The sibling... View More

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How to go about taking EX off property, he refused to make mortgage payments for the past 6 years.

I own a home together with my EX partner in Massachusetts who I have a permanent restraining order against, we were never married. We have minor children together. I have been the only one making payments for our mortgage for over 6 years because my EX refused to pay any mortgage payments for 6... View More

James L. Arrasmith
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answered on Dec 19, 2023

In Massachusetts, removing an ex-partner's name from a property title, especially when there are disagreements, can be complex. Since both of you jointly own the home, both parties must agree to any changes in ownership or refinancing. If your ex is not cooperating, you might need to take... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi. Can my partner quitclaim deed his property to me or change it to joint tenancy? He has a mortgage in the property.

Thank you in advance

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Nov 1, 2023

Generally mortgages have terms that a transfer of the property can calls the promissory note in or due to be paid, called a "due on sale " clause, but the owner can contact the mortgage holder and inquire about adding you as an owner and their preferred mechanism to do so with regard to... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Gov & Administrative Law, Real Estate Law and Appeals / Appellate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My brother missed a court hearing in Massachusetts and he was placed in receivership. He was never got the letter.

How does he appeal the decision?

T. Augustus Claus
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answered on Sep 21, 2023

In Massachusetts, if your brother missed a court hearing and was subsequently placed in receivership, but never received the letter notifying him of the hearing, he should consider seeking legal advice as soon as possible for the specific steps to take in his situation. Generally, he might be able... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: If a quitclaim to add spouse to the title of the house is not registered, do I still need his signature to sell?

I am married, but the house and mortgage are in my name only. If I add my spouse to the title through a quitclaim deed but don't register it, would the spouse be a legal co-owner of the house? If I die, how would the unregistered quitclaim affect the spouse's ownership of the property?

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Aug 18, 2023

If you convey property to another, whether you record the deed or not, the grantee owns the property and in order to convey to a third party, both of you must sign the deed. How the property is disposed on your death depends on how you and the grantee take title. If you convey to the grantee as... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure, Real Estate Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: My ex has end stage dementia-I am his POA/HCP-hold mortgage on 1/2 house he shares-Can I get lieu deed before he dies?

I have never been paid any interest & want to keep family property safe. I have already paid off one other foreclosure on the property to keep it safe. It is shared (TIC) with his niece. I do not want to force sale of the property when he dies to get my money, so would like to deal with this... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Aug 1, 2023

So I understand correctly, your ex owns the house as tenants in common with his niece and you have a mortgage on his interest in the property only. You propose to accept a deed in lieu of foreclosure of his interest in the house. Following such a transfer, you will be tenants in common with the... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I am a homeowner living in Marlborough, MA in Middlesex County . My parents(now both deceased) bought the home in 1965.

In 1994 we had a detached garage built on our property. Our new neighbors told me they were going to have their property surveyed. They did, and according to their surveyors, a corner of our garage is encroaching their property by one foot. Nothing further has developed either by them or by me. My... View More

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jul 13, 2023

To claim adverse possession you would need an adjudication of same from the Land Court and should involve real estate counsel in order for good title to your property to be passed, unless you want to adhere to the official meter and bounds as stated in the Deed and remove the garage or offending... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Does a trust protect my home purchased before marriage if I am to get divorced?
Michael M Marques
Michael M Marques
answered on Jun 21, 2023

There are a couple of factors to review. a) Was the home placed in a trust prior to or after the marriage? b) Is the trust revocable or irrevocable? c) Whose benefit was the trust intended for? Until recently, trusts were seen as assets when a court decided how assets were to be distributed upon... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My father had 3 or 4 strokes less than a month before signing to sell his house now they are taking him to court for it
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa
answered on Jun 2, 2023

Assuming that your father is a Massachusetts resident for his thumbnail response: Your father may well have been infirm and not competent to enter into the sale agreement in which case an Equity case on his behalf should be commenced along with a Guardianship and Conservatorship petition... View More

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: Lived in parents house for 10yrs after parent passed away; Executor; sold for 150K; how much should I give sibling

97K mortgage was paid from 150K; utility, and home maintenance fees.

Mass probate

John Michael Frick
John Michael Frick
answered on Apr 22, 2023

From your question, I assume you and one sibling inherited the home, that you continued living in the home for ten years while your sibling did not, that you are the only one who made the payments mentioned, and that you have been an adult for the full ten years.

Determine the fair rental...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How do I get a redemption for a real estate tax taking in Massachusetts?

My local tax collectors office filed a tax taking back in 2008 for outstanding real estate taxes due on an investment property? The delinquent taxes were paid by my mortgage servicer from my escrow account.

A recent title search shows the 2008 tax taking lien recorded, but a redemption or... View More

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
answered on Apr 12, 2023

If the tax title amount has been paid, the town is required to issue a redemption. The town is permitted, but not required , to request the recording fee for recording the certificate as a condition of providing the certificate, and then must record the certificate. I believe the recording fee for... View More

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