How Important is the Landlord’s Notice to Quit in Massachusetts?

When a Landlord decides to begin the process of an eviction the first formal step is to issue a written Notice to Quit. A recent case illustrates that if the Landlord does not get the notice to quit right it can result in a dismissal of the Court case. To get the Notice right the Landlord has to first make what is essentially a legal determination as to the type of tenancy he or she is trying to terminate. A Tenancy At Will Notice is different from a Tenancy At Sufferance Notice. In the case the Landlord thought the tenancy
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Section 8 Rental Assistance Terminations

Housing Authorities and other agencies issue rental assistance vouchers which tenants use to rent market rate apartments. The subsidy paid under the voucher makes the apartment affordable because the voucher holder pays their share of the rent according to their income, and the Section 8 program makes up the difference by a payment to the Landlord each month. However, the tenant has to follow the program rules or the subsidy can be terminated and the tenant would then have to pay the full market rent. Since the termination of the subsidy usually means the tenant will no longer be able
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Landlords Could Be Liable For Tenants Criminal Acts

A recent case is a reminder that as a result tragic accident in a rental property, a Landlord could be found liable if the Landlord is on notice of a tenant’s potential criminal conduct. In this case a second floor tenant fired a rifle through the floor killing the first floor tenant in her bed. The estate sued the Landlord claiming the Landlord was negligent letting the second floor tenants live there. The Court did not find a duty in the Landlord to take action against the second floor tenants who had not committed any prior acts of violence. The
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Section 8 Case in Massachusetts

Tenant being evicted for not paying her share of the rent blamed Section 8 for not recalculating her share.  Tenant argued that GLM 186 Sec. 11 required the Landlord  and Court to wait for that adjustment.  The District Court Judge did not agree and that was sustained  on appeal.  The Landlord is not precluded from taking action when the tenant fails to pay their share of the rent. If you are in need of an experienced Section 8 landlord attorney to assist with you landlord tenant issue, please contact our law office for a case evaluation.
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Landlord Breach of Warranty of Liability

By Robert Jachowicz How does a minor maintenance issue turn into an expensive problem for a Landlord? The first question is whether your maintenance issue rises to a breach of the warranty.  The judge will consider inspection reports and board of health reports. If it is determined that the condition breaches the warranty of habitability some significant issues have to be resolved.  How will damages be measured?  Traditionally the Judge will consider a percentage reduction in rent for the time the condition existed.  The theory being the tenant should not pay the full rent for a “substandard” apartment.  The Appeals
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Landlord Serves Two Notices to Quit

By Robert Jachowicz A Landlord takes its chances if more than one ground exists to terminate a tenancy and the decision is made to issue two separate Notices to Quit concurrently.  For example if a tenant is behind in the rent and also in violation of a covenant in the written tenancy agreement, the Landlord could send a Notice to Quit for nonpayment of rent and a Notice to Quit for breach of the Lease. In a recent District Court Appellate Decision the tenant in Hingham District Court lost the case, but appealed this issue to the Appellate Division.  However,
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How Landlords Should Handle Counterclaims in Massachusetts

By Robert Jachowicz Counterclaims and defenses raised by a tenant in an eviction raise complicated issues in Massachusetts. In a recent case the Appeals court said the Trial court Housing Court judge got it wrong and the Supreme Judicial Court said the Appeals Court got it wrong. It is easy to understand why Landlords have trouble navigating their way through the laws and procedures that apply. If an eviction is for cause a tenant can raise defenses. If the eviction is on some other ground, such as non-payment of rent, the tenant can also raise counterclaims. In a recent case
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Landlord Retaliation

By Robert Jachowicz – Most Landlords try to work things out with their tenants prior to bringing a Summary Process action in court.  By the time the relationship reaches that point, the Landlord is usually anxious to get started on the legal process.  However, it is at that point, before the case is filed that the Landlord needs to think about whether the Tenant can assert that the action is considered retaliatory by the law. Retaliation claims are reasonably complicated since there are two laws that apply, one law is a defense to possession and creates a rebuttable presumption of
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Divorce and the Business Owner: Protecting the Business

Some marriages may last for decades, others just a few years. No matter how long a marriage lasts, divorce can have a profound effect on a business, unless the business owner took steps ahead of time to minimize the impact of divorce. One of the best ways to minimize the impact is with a prenuptial agreement. In the event of divorce, a prenuptial agreement can prove invaluable in protecting a business and its assets. Massachusetts considers a variety of factors when deciding how to divide a marital estate, and a prenuptial agreement can help protect a business that would not
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