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Massachusetts Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
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 Contracts, Criminal Law and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: As tenants do we have a legal claim to use of common space? How do we address harassment by neighbors who won't share?

My husband and I moved into an apartment in an upstairs/downstairs duplex last year. The upstairs tenants had been living there for several years before we moved in. In our leases each apartment has rights to two parking spots in the shared driveway, but the neighbors have taken three, making our... Read more »

Lissa McKinney
Lissa McKinney answered on May 23, 2020

You should send a polite email to the landlord asserting that your lease provides you 2 parking spots and they have taken one of yours. He needs to tell them they have only 2 and to move the 3rd car someplace else. He should also tell them in writing that you are entitled to half the garden and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is a buyer in a legal binding contract if the offer they submitted was accepted with an added contingency by the seller?

Buyer put in a offer with 1000 down. The buyer chose to back out of the offer after it was signed. (Less than 48 hours after signed by seller) the seller wants to seek legal action for the 1000. The seller however when accepting the offer added in a contingency. Is the offer binding if the... Read more »

Vincent Gallo
Vincent Gallo answered on Apr 28, 2020

No, that would be considered a counter offer that the purchaser me either accept or reject.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I’m taking my seller to small claims over non disclosure. She also never disclosed she’s a realtor. Can I sue her lawyer

I’m suing for non disclosure of a faulty major appliance, not disclosed during settlement nor was the appliance fixed during a 2 month rent back agreement period.

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Feb 17, 2020

Why do you want to sue the lawyer? Did he/she make any false statements or refuse to disclose the faulty major appliance when he would have been expected to? If not, I do not see the basis for a suit against the lawyer. Also, if you had an inspection of the premises that would have disclosed the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hello I am buying a house in Massachusetts and not sure if I should file for Homestead, buy Title Insurance or do both.

The house is a short sale and I have to do something to protect challenges to the deed. I am not sure what the differences are between Title Insurance and Homestead in my state and not sure who to ask. The attorney I am dealing with for the closing is not helpful he just says I need both.

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Feb 14, 2020

Sorry, I agree with the closing attorney, both. A homestead protects your equity in the house. Recording a homestead is so inexpensive it's silly not to do it. The recording fee is $35 and all the MA registries have have forms online if you want to prepare the homestead yourself. Title... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Criminal Law, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: A new const. apt. has been pushed back 7x's totalling 6+months. We have no more timeshare points and are nearly homeless

Multiple leases signed over the course of this fiasco. Is there any way to sue for reimbursement for timeshare being exhausted, multiple hotel and resort stays plus the mental pain and suffering from all of this?

Michael Hales
Michael Hales answered on Jan 30, 2020

I would need more information to give an answer. I've worked with most timeshare companies, but I'm not entirely sure what happened. It's possible there's a breach of contract claim, but that would largely depend on the agreement and additional facts I don't have. Feel free... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Personal Injury and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I fell through the broken staircase in Nov 2017 at my Fiancée’s rented apartment. Do I have a case?

at my Fiancée's rented apartment in November 2017. One of the back stairs on which I was standing suddenly broke and I fell through it on the floor below. We Immediately called an UBER and rushed to emergency room. I had injuries on my legs, back, stomach sides and arms. Plus, it is causing... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 21, 2020

Hello, This is not a real estate case but a personal injury premises liability case.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Is it possible to file a claim on an estate prior to the individual passing to force it into probate?

The individual is elderly. One of her step grandsons 'befriended' her and convinced her to sign over power of attorney and in doing so had her sign multiple documents and she had no idea what she was signing (although she has all her faculties). During an application process for assisted... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 3, 2020

It is not possible to probate an estate in advance of the individual passing, but there are other remedies for this situation. First, you can get a trusted person appointed as guardian and conservator. The order should also specifically revoke that power of attorney. Second, you can file a... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Collections, Contracts, Real Estate Law and Small Claims for Massachusetts on
Q: does a homestead act on a home in mass prevent a contractor collecting money if homeowner refuses to pay final bill

I completed a foundation replacement on a property to stop the house from collapsing and the home owner is refusing to pay there final bill even tho the job passed all state inspections upon completion

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Jan 2, 2020

The Homestead Act itself does not. It may impact your ability to lien the house, however.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: On deceased mother's deed, not mortgage. Renters in place in one of two houses on property. Am I now a landlord?
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Dec 30, 2019

First, check the wording of the deed to determine the type of ownership you held with your deceased mother. For example, the deed might say, "X and Y, as joint tenants" or "X and Y, tenants in common," etc. The type of tenancy determines to whom ownership of the property passes... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts on
Q: 24 hour notice

Hello, I received a noticed from my landlord that I am no longer able to use the basement for storage and I can no longer use/have my washer and dryer in the basement. Which is his right to denie me access as this is his house. Even though that's part of the reason I rented the house and it... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Dec 18, 2019

I suggest you call the Section 8 people and see if there is something in the lease or their contract with the landlord that addresses this.

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce, Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My ex wife’s mortgage is in my name, if she stops paying the mortgage will it hurt my credit?

She’s responsible for all costs associated with the home per the divorce decree. I have a perfect credit score and I really don’t want this to screw things up. She hasn’t paid it in 2 months. I’m really not sure how to go about this.

Timothy E. Angley
Timothy E. Angley answered on Dec 10, 2019

Short answer: Yes, it will hurt your credit. If your name is on the mortgage and it is being reported to the credit agencies, then as soon as that mortgage is reported as late that will be a ding on your credit. You can dispute your responsibility for the expenses with the agencies, but until... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Hi, Our home in Lincoln MA. was built in 1995 ( we built it). The developer describes the lot our home is built upon

as lot #2 on the subdivision. This is what is says on the deed. The address that the builder created was 3 Oakdale Lane. In case of future resale, does the deed have to be amended to reflect the actual street address.? For instance, would it be important to fill out a Confirmatory Deed Form and... Read more »

Timothy E. Angley
Timothy E. Angley answered on Dec 2, 2019

Usually, you would have the deed carry forward the description as you received it and then add at the bottom a line something like, "Address of the property being 3 Oakdale Lane, Lincoln, Massachusetts." You would also indicate the property address on the left margin of the deed. There... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Health Care Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What is a special needs trust?

I am legally blind and my husband needs to go into a nursing home due to a stroke. We own our house, Is there any way we can use the equity to pay nursing home costs. I am 86; he is 87

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 13, 2019

You REALLY should schedule a consultation with an elder law attorney. You might be eligible to have the government pay for his nursing home costs WITHOUT having to sell the house.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I bought a house a month ago,3 days after living in the house i learn that the house didnt have sewer pipe whos paying

The previous owner did not disclose the missing sewer pipe connection and he pretent to be ignorant about it can i make him responsable and pay for it ,its a costly situation for me,who is responsable to fix this problem

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Nov 11, 2019

If the seller actively concealed the sewer pipe issue or failed to inform you of it when asked, you may have a right to recover from him. You should consult your own attorney and give him/her copies of all relevant documents to review.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My father had 2 properties and his will designated that my sister was to receive property A and I received property B.

He also had 2 classic cars, but the Probate Atty says that my sister gets them because they were parked in the garage of property a and the will lists that we receive the property and it's contents. Is this correct. If my Dad had died in the winter months, the cars wouldve been parked in... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Nov 11, 2019

Normally courts give effect to written instruments according to their terms. The will said your sister receives Property A with its contents. Nothing you have said leads to the conclusion that your father had any other intention. Perhaps your father intended for your sister to receive the vehicles.... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Can someone help me get out of a Wyndham timeshare that I signed up for May 24th 2019

After I made this huge error of signing up for this I realized 14 days later I financially cannot afford it, I have called the attorney general, the BBB and had a lawyer send them a letter because they basically told me it's my fault and I'm stuck with it, they refused to speak with my... Read more »

Michael Hales
Michael Hales answered on Oct 30, 2019

I have some clients in a similar situation. They hired me because I'm a Florida attorney, but Wyndham is doing this same thing with everyone. You may be able dispute the negative credit reporting, but that's something you'll want to discuss with your attorney. If you and your... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Civil Rights, Elder Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Massachusetts on
Q: in MA an offer was placed on my property on 8/9/19 we are now well passed the 45 days agreed upon for closing.

Closing was set for tomorrow 10/16/19. i have done repairs and updates to the lawful expectations of the original inspection in a timely manner by my agents father who i paid for his services. My real estate agent has not been forthcoming about many items through this process. A week ago the buyers... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Oct 15, 2019

I strongly suggest you contact a lawyer to represent your interests as soon as possible. The agent/broker is supposed to be working for you, the seller, and no one else. Most P&S agreements state the buyer is prohibited from entering the premises and/or doing work n the premises with the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: seller claims buyer is responsible for title 5. Seller has no records of inspection nor does the town. is this legal?

seller has no records of the original title 5 ever being completed on the property. Is it legal for the seller to sell the property without having any prior inspections done on the septic. I contacted the town records and they did not have any information on file. Is this an issue for Health and... Read more »

Timothy E. Angley
Timothy E. Angley answered on Sep 9, 2019

The Board of Health should be the ones keeping the records for a Title 5 inspection. It is legal for a sale without an inspection if the sale is to a family member. In Massachusetts, it is the SELLER who is responsible for the Title 5 inspection and if needed, repair costs. The Buyer would only... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: What is the best way to assume the deed from a family members house when they move out. Gift or buy?

My son is planning to assume the deed of his grandmother’s house which is paid for. The plan was to have them gift the house for $30,000 to my son or buy it for that amount. How would these options affect my son’s income taxes at the end of the year. The property is valued at $290,000.... Read more »

Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley answered on Aug 20, 2019

An online Q & A forum like this one is not the place for advice about the disposition of a $290,000 asset. Find a lawyer versed in tax law or an accountant you trust.

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