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Massachusetts Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My mothers name on the deed to my grandfather's house but his will says its left to me

Would the house still fall under part of his estate

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Jan 20, 2021

While it appears that If the title to the real estate was not in grandfather's name then he already transferred it to your mother and thus does not appear to be in grandfather's estate, but were there other facts??? This question is Not susceptible to a black and white answer without... Read more »

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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: My property has a shared driveway without any legal easements. Is that a problem if I sell the property.

Would I have to disclose that information?

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Dec 16, 2020

You will need to have your title reviewed on this subject and this is not susceptible of a forum response.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: How can I change my name on my house deed? I have had a legal name change.
Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Dec 14, 2020

Normally you would wait until you are transferring or mortgaging the real estate and then also provide your old name with "formerly known as" .

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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Divorce and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Divorce ??? I have a deed & mortgage with a Joint tenancy with right of survivorship with my dad ( father / son).

I have a deed & mortgage with a Joint tenancy with right of survivorship with my dad ( father / son).

My wife has filed for divorce.

She was not added to deed / mortgage because at the time of purchase she was in arrears with the DOR for back child support from another... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Dec 3, 2020

It looks like it is a marital asset to be divided equitably by the Probate Court if the parties are unable to agree on property distribution. You have not stated the duration of the marriage or other circumstances so assuming at least 10 years it is possible that the Court would assign 50% of the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: My father recently passed. He owned a home with a friend. What are my responsibilities as a surviving adult child?

The friend is not a legal spouse but still lives in the home. My father is listed on the deed/mortgage as a joint tenant in common. Can this house be sold without approval by his heirs?

Kimberly Winslow
Kimberly Winslow answered on Nov 29, 2020

The deed would typically be tenants in common or joint tenants with right of survivorship. If right of survivorship, property automatically goes to the co-owner. If it is tenants in common, then it would need to go through probate to determine his heirs. Unless the deed states otherwise,... Read more »

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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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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Tax Law for Massachusetts on
Q: I co-own a property in Massachusetts. The other owner is buying me out. Are there tax issues I should be aware of?
Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm answered on Nov 17, 2020

You will have a taxable gain based on the sales proceeds less your basis in the property. If the property was subject to depreciation, then you would have "recapture" income. This recapture income would be taxed as ordinary income and not as capital gain income. Any amount of gain in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Massachusetts on
Q: "Will" probated in 2017 norfolk county MA. Wife terminated their estate lawyer to stealing/hiding funds. What to do?

Eldest child 30 yr long criminal h/o not involved in family started coming around. Slowly manipulated mother english only spoken reading minimal. Began causing conflict against the youngest. Identity theft other crime reason father clear to keep eldest away knew she would steal money if gained... Read more »

Steven J. Fromm
Steven J. Fromm answered on Nov 15, 2020

If you do not have a statute of limitations problem since this case goes back to 2017, you must immediately retain an estate litigation attorney. A general legal Q&A forum like this one cannot give you the help you need.

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

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 20, 2020

Was there a realtor involved in this transaction? if so there are disclosure forms completed for the sale listing. As Seller did you complete such a form? Buyers typically make offers contingent upon home inspection results- was there a home inspection?

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate 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!

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Oct 8, 2020

The real estate is subject to the mortgage and it should either be refinanced by the heirs or be sold to pay off the mortgage.

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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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1 Answer | Asked in Banking, Business Law, Contracts and Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: We have signed a P&S to sell a building in MA. The deposit check is in foreign currency. Can we void the contract?

The buyers declared residency as being CA, but have moved out of the country without disclosing that information to us. We're being told the check could take 6-8 weeks to clear. It has not been deposited. Their lawyer has not responded since we contacted them about the foreign bank/foreign currency.

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 24, 2020

You need counsel to review the terms of your offer and acceptance and purchase and sale agreement carefully. Don't do anything at all yourself in this situation without good representation.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Massachusetts on
Q: Regarding property quitclaims

My mother passed away this January and her property deed lists one of my other sisters, JB, and myself. The third sister, TH, was not on the deed, but was left everything in my mother's will, including her property. I found out that deeds take precedence over wills in MA.

JB filed a... Read more »

Lillian J. LaRosa
Lillian J. LaRosa answered on Sep 23, 2020

Without seeing this deed it is difficult to respond to the question other than to state that it seems that JB deeded her interest to your other sister TH and that you should still have your undivided interest in tact now along with your other sister TH instead of JB .

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