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Residential and Commercial Landlord-Tenant Practice in Massachusetts

Comprehensive and up-to-date guidance and practical advice for the constantly changing area of landlord-tenant law.

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  • Product Number: 2010283B00
  • Publication Date: 8/17/2018
  • Edition: 3rd Edition 2016, with 2018 Supplement
  • Copyright: © 2018 MCLE, Inc.
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  • Product Description
  • Table of Contents
  • Editors & Authors
  • Product Description

    Product Description

    Landlord and tenant law in Massachusetts comprises a myriad of statutes, regulations, and common law provisions. This book guides you through each stage of the landlord-tenant relationship, from the creation of a tenancy to its termination and posttermination issues, providing sample documents and pleadings for guidance. Featured are judicial and ethics commentary as well as tips for effective practice. The manual is full of the information you need to understand the complexities of real estate lease agreements and to represent both lessors and lessees in residential and commercial relationships.

    Recent updates:

    • Update: August 2018

      Dear Subscriber:

      Thank you for updating your reference library with the 2018 supplement of Residential and Commercial Landlord-Tenant Practice in Massachusetts. This supplement brings the latest in landlord-tenant law and procedure within your immediate reach—for fast answers to the questions that arise most frequently in your practice.

      There have been a number of important developments in the more than two years that have passed since this publication was last updated. Highlights from the 2018 supplement include

      • a substantial expansion of the Housing Courts geographic reach, with reorganized divisions and the hiring of additional associate justices and court personnel;
      • a Supreme Judicial Court decision addressing the damages available for security deposit violations;
      • an Appeals Court decision concluding that commercial landlords generally do not have a duty to warn about or repair hazardous conditions on adjacent public sidewalks;
      • standards for assessing motions for intervention in summary process cases;
      • recodification of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) as amended in 2013, the issuance of final regulations for the amended act, and a Supreme Judicial Court case indicating that VAWA may confer rights on a survivor of abuse to intervene in a subsidized housing eviction case;
      • potential liability for developers under the manufactured housing community statute;
      • issuance of the ninth edition of the State Building Code;
      • conditions that the State Sanitary Code indicates "may endanger or impair the health, or safety and well-being" of the occupants;
      • case law on the availability of tenant civil actions for damages;
      • a substantially expanded discussion of statutes, regulations, and case law relating to mortgage foreclosures and postforeclosure evictions; and
      • a newly added discussion of writs of entry (actions to recover possession of real property when the superior titleholder has been dispossessed), including a sample complaint.

      The 2018 supplement also includes new and updated forms, newly reviewed judicial and ethics commentary, and updated practical guidance for representing landlords and tenants. With this latest supplement, Residential and Commercial Landlord-Tenant Practice in Massachusetts remains an essential companion for any lawyer handling a landlord-tenant matter in Massachusetts.

      We at MCLE thank you for your ongoing support of this product, as we continue our efforts to bring you the latest solutions to the issues you face in your practice.

      Very truly yours,

      John M. Lawlor, Esq., MCLE Publications Attorney

    • Update: April 2016

      Dear Subscriber:

      Thank you for updating your reference library with the 2016 edition of Residential and Commercial Landlord-Tenant Practice in Massachusetts. This edition brings the latest in landlord-tenant law and procedure within your immediate reach—for fast answers to the questions that arise most frequently in your practice.

      There have been a number of important developments in the more than two years that have passed since this publication was last updated. Highlights from the 2016 edition include

      • a 2015 U.S. Supreme Court case addressing disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act;
      • discussion of the online docketing system for the Massachusetts Trial Court, which may be used for locating prior evictions and other court records;
      • substantial revisions to the book's materials on lead paint provisions;
      • recent Supreme Judicial Court decisions on the scope of liability for building code violations and on "mode of operation" liability for slips and falls in commercial establishments;
      • notice of an upcoming (ninth) edition of the State Building Code;
      • recent case law on the application of the security deposit provisions set forth in G.L. c. 186, § 15B;
      • a newly added section discussing the use of administrative search warrants by state building inspectors;
      • a new section describing residents' rights to purchase a mobile home park pursuant to G.L. c. 140, § 32R;
      • a substantial expansion of the discussion of statutory and case law relating to mortgage foreclosures; and
      • numerous recent decisions from the Housing Court on the termination of residential leases.

      With this latest edition, Residential and Commercial Landlord-Tenant Practice in Massachusetts remains an essential companion for any lawyer handling a landlord-tenant matter in Massachusetts.

      We at MCLE thank you for your ongoing support of this product, as we continue our efforts to bring you the latest solutions to the issues you face in your practice.

      Very truly yours,

      John M. Lawlor, Esq., MCLE Publications Attorney

  • Table of Contents

    Table of Contents

    expand all
    Chapter 1 expand

    Creating the Residential Tenancy

    Buy Chapter
    Catherine F. Downing, Esq., Downing Van Dyke, PC

    Exhibit 1A

    - Rental Application Buy Form

    Exhibit 1B

    - Request for Prior Landlord Reference Buy Form

    Exhibit 1C

    - Licensee Agreement Buy Form

    Exhibit 1D

    - Tenancy-at-Will Buy Form

    Exhibit 1E

    - Standard Form Apartment Lease Buy Form

    Exhibit 1F

    - Rent and Security Deposit Receipt Buy Form

    Exhibit 1G

    - Apartment Condition Statement Buy Form

    Exhibit 1H

    - Security Deposit Return Form Buy Form
    Chapter 2 expand

    Creating the Commercial Tenancy

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 2A

    - Exclusive Leasing Agreement Buy Form

    Exhibit 2B

    - Lease Buy Form

    Exhibit 2C

    - Definition of Percentage Rent Buy Form

    Exhibit 2D

    - Definition of Breakpoint and Gross Sales; Payment of Percentage Rent and Landlord’s Audit Provisions Buy Form

    Exhibit 2E

    - Office Definition of Operating Costs Buy Form

    Exhibit 2F

    - Retail Definition of Operating Costs Buy Form

    Exhibit 2G

    - Operating Costs Exclusions Buy Form

    Exhibit 2H

    - Tax Definition Buy Form

    Exhibit 2I

    - Audit Provision Buy Form

    Exhibit 2J

    - Subordination, Nondisturbance, and Attornment Agreement Buy Form
    Chapter 3 expand

    Reasonable Accommodation Issues in Housing

    Buy Chapter
    Alexander Mitchell-Munevar, Esq., Greater Boston Legal Services

    Exhibit 3A

    - Bibliography Buy Form

    Exhibit 3B

    - Checklist of Impermissible Questions for Prospective Tenants Buy Form

    Exhibit 3C

    - Sample Letter to Verify Request for a Reasonable Accommodation Buy Form

    Exhibit 3D

    - Landlord’s Notice of Right to Request a Reasonable Accommodation Buy Form

    Exhibit 3E

    - Sample Request for Accommodation Buy Form
    Chapter 4 expand

    Discrimination Issues in Housing

    Buy Chapter
    Catherine F. Downing, Esq., Downing Van Dyke, PC
    James H. Van Dyke, Esq., Downing Van Dyke, PC

    Exhibit 4A

    - Resources Buy Form

    Exhibit 4B

    - Chart of Antidiscrimination Statutes and Statutes of Limitations Buy Form

    Exhibit 4C

    - MCAD Complaint Form Buy Form

    Exhibit 4D

    - Sample Response by Respondent to MCAD Complaint Buy Form

    Exhibit 4E

    - HUD Complaint Form Buy Form
    Chapter 5 expand

    Enforcement of the State Sanitary and Building Codes

    Buy Chapter
    Edward Coburn, Esq., City of Boston Inspectional Services Department
    Neil R. Janulewicz, Jr., Esq., City of Boston Law Department

    Exhibit 5A

    - Notice of Violation (Building Code) Buy Form

    Exhibit 5B

    - Notice of Violation (Sanitary Code) Buy Form

    Exhibit 5C

    - City of Boston Code Provision CBC 9 1.3 (Inspection and Re-Inspection of Rental Units) Buy Form

    Exhibit 5D

    - City of Boston Ordinance Regulating the Maintenance of Vacant, Foreclosing Residential Properties Buy Form

    Exhibit 5E

    - Checklist for Housing Inspection Reports (G.L. c. 111, § 127B) Buy Form

    Exhibit 5F

    - Housing Complaint Screening Checklist Buy Form
    Chapter 6 expand

    Lead Paint: Complying with Massachusetts Law

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 6A

    - Tenant Lead Law Notification Buy Form

    Exhibit 6B

    - Notice to Property Owners and Tenants: Tenant’s Rights and Responsibilities Buy Form

    Exhibit 6C

    - Low-Risk Deleading Work by Homeowners and Their Agents: A Step-by-Step Guide Buy Form

    Exhibit 6D

    - Sample Complaint in Lead Paint Liability Action Buy Form

    Exhibit 6E

    - Sample Request for Production of Documents in Lead Paint Liability Action Buy Form

    Exhibit 6F

    - Sample Set of Interrogatories in Lead Paint Liability Action Buy Form
    Chapter 7 expand

    Tort Actions Based on the Warranty of Habitability

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 7A

    - Plaintiff’s Interrogatories to the Defendant Buy Form

    Exhibit 7B

    - Defendant’s Interrogatories to the Plaintiff Buy Form

    Exhibit 7C

    - Plaintiff’s Requests for Production of Documents and Other Items Buy Form

    Exhibit 7D

    - Defendant’s Requests for Production of Documents and Other Items Buy Form

    Exhibit 7E

    - Jury Instructions Buy Form
    Chapter 8 expand

    Tort Issues in Residential and Commercial Tenancies

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 8A

    - Complaint and Jury Trial Demand (Negligent Maintenance) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8AA

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Damages (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8B

    - Complaint and Jury Trial Demand with Chapter 93A Claim (Negligent Maintenance) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8BB

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Compensatory Damages (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8C

    - Complaint and Jury Trial Demand (Negligent Security) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8CC

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Comparative Negligence (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8D

    - Plaintiff’s First Set of Interrogatories to Defendant (Trip and Fall) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8DD

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Evidence Properly Considered (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8E

    - Plaintiff’s First Set of Interrogatories to Defendant (Negligent Security) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8EE

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Workers’ Compensation Lien (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8F

    - Plaintiff’s First Request for Production of Documents to Defendant (Trip and Fall) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8G

    - Plaintiff’s First Request for Production of Documents to Defendant (Negligent Security) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8H

    - Plaintiff’s Request for Jury Instructions Buy Form

    Exhibit 8I

    - Sample Jury Instructions on the Nature of a Civil Action (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8J

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Burden of Proof (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8K

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Preponderance of the Evidence (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8L

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Negligence (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8M

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Duty of a Property Owner (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8N

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Duty (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8O

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Owner’s Duty of Care (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8P

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Owner’s Non-Delegateable Duty of Care (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8Q

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Duty of Care (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8R

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Duty: Foreseeability (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8S

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Evidence of Control (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8T

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Evidence of Negligence (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8U

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Evidence: Handrail Regulations (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8V

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Standard of Care (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8W

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Proximate Cause (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8X

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Exact Cause of Injury (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8Y

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Superseding Intervening Cause (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form

    Exhibit 8Z

    - Sample Jury Instructions on Causation (Plaintiff’s Perspective) Buy Form
    Chapter 9 expand

    Landlord Applications for Injunctive Relief

    Buy Chapter
    Catherine F. Downing, Esq., Downing Van Dyke, PC

    Exhibit 9A

    - Sample Verified Complaint (Drug Offenses) Buy Form

    Exhibit 9B

    - Sample Order (Drug Offenses) Buy Form

    Exhibit 9C

    - Sample Verified Complaint (Property Damage) Buy Form

    Exhibit 9D

    - Sample Order (Property Damage) Buy Form

    Exhibit 9E

    - Sample Verified Complaint (Trespassing) Buy Form

    Exhibit 9F

    - Sample Verified Complaint (Trespassing—Alternative) Buy Form

    Exhibit 9G

    - Sample Order (Trespassing) Buy Form

    Exhibit 9H

    - Sample Notice of Trespass Buy Form

    Exhibit 9I

    - Sample Verified Complaint (Refusal to Allow Access) Buy Form
    Chapter 10 expand

    Probate and Family Law Issues in Housing

    Buy Chapter
    Alexander Mitchell-Munevar, Esq., Greater Boston Legal Services
    Chapter 11 expand

    Termination of Residential Tenancies

    Buy Chapter
    Catherine F. Downing, Esq., Downing Van Dyke, PC
    James M. McCreight, Esq., Greater Boston Legal Services

    Exhibit 11A

    - Notice to Quit Terminating Tenancy at Will Buy Form

    Exhibit 11B

    - Notice to Quit Tenancy at Will with Offer of New Tenancy Buy Form

    Exhibit 11C

    - Notice to Quit for Lease Violation Buy Form

    Exhibit 11D

    - Rental Period Notice to Quit Buy Form

    Exhibit 11E

    - Use and Occupancy Letter Buy Form

    Exhibit 11F

    - Summary Process Summons and Complaint Buy Form

    Exhibit 11G

    - Housing Court Standing Order 1 01 Buy Form

    Exhibit 11H

    - House Court Standing Order 1 10 Buy Form

    Exhibit 11I

    - District Court Standing Order 1 11 Buy Form

    Exhibit 11J

    - MLRI Discovery Booklet Buy Form

    Exhibit 11K

    - Plaintiff’s Sample Responses to Discovery Requests and Memorandum in Opposition to Defendant’s Motion to Compel Buy Form

    Exhibit 11L

    - Plaintiff’s Sample Motion for Payment of Use and Occupancy and Supporting Affidavit Buy Form

    Exhibit 11M

    - Checklist for Notice Required from Storage Facility Holding Evicted Tenant’s Possessions Buy Form
    Chapter 12 expand

    Termination of Commercial Tenancies

    Buy Chapter

    Exhibit 12A

    - Notice of Default for Nonpayment of Rent Buy Form

    Exhibit 12B

    - Notice to Quit / Notice of Termination of Commercial Lease Buy Form

    Exhibit 12C

    - Summary Process Summons and Complaint Buy Form

    Exhibit 12D

    - Plaintiff’s Motion to Strike Buy Form

    Exhibit 12E

    - Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss Buy Form
    Chapter 13 expand

    Appeals and Bonds

    Buy Chapter
    Michael J. Louis, Esq., Boston Housing Authority
    Angela Marcolina, Esq., Deputy General Counsel for Leased Housing, Boston Housing Authority
    Chapter 14 expand

    Exhibit 14A

    - Permissible Reasons for Terminating a Manufactured Housing Tenancy Buy Form

    Exhibit 14B

    - Notice to Terminate a Manufactured Housing Tenancy Buy Form
    Chapter 15 expand

    Postforeclosure Evictions

    Buy Chapter
    Benjamin O. Adeyinka, Esq., Eastern Housing Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    James F. Creed, Jr., Esq., Creed & Formica

    Exhibit 15A

    - Opinion Letter Concerning Referendum on 2015 Mass. Acts c. 141 Buy Form

    Exhibit 15B

    - Letter to Petitioners Regarding Referendum on 2015 Mass. Acts c. 141 Buy Form

    Exhibit 15C

    - Massachusetts House Bill No. 1656 Buy Form

    Exhibit 15D

    - Massachusetts Senate Bill No. 901 Buy Form

    Exhibit 15E

    - Attorney General’s Letter Dated December 13, 2010 Buy Form

    Exhibit 15F

    - Sample Form to File Impounded Materials Buy Form

    Exhibit 15G

    - Request for Information Buy Form

    Exhibit 15H

    - Occupant Notice to Vacate Buy Form

    Exhibit 15I

    - Tenant Notice to Vacate Buy Form

    Exhibit 15J

    - Mortgagor Notice Buy Form

    Exhibit 15K

    - Summary Process Summons and Complaint Buy Form

    Exhibit 15L

    - Summary Process Answer and Counterclaims Buy Form

    Exhibit 15M

    - Defendant’s Interrogatories, Request for Admissions, and Request for Production of Documents Buy Form

    Exhibit 15N

    - Agreement for Judgment Buy Form

    Exhibit 15O

    - Foreclosure Deed and Affidavit Buy Form

    Exhibit 15P

    - Complaint for Writ of Entry Buy Form
    Chapter 16 expand

    Residential and Nonresidential Real Property Leases in Bankruptcy

    Buy Chapter
    Chapter 17 expand

    Collection Practice in Residential and Commercial Tenancies

    Buy Chapter
    Scott D. Carman, Esq., Shaevel, Krems, O'Connor & Jackowitz LLP
    Kenneth A. Krems, Esq., Shaevel, Krems, O'Connor & Jackowitz LLP

    Exhibit 17A

    - Sample Statement of Small Claim and Notice of Trial Form Buy Form

    Exhibit 17B

    - Verification of Defendant’s Address Buy Form

    Exhibit 17C

    - Application for Supplementary Process Buy Form

    Exhibit 17D

    - Sample Order Referring Case for Mediation Buy Form

    Exhibit 17E

    - Sample Complaint to Reach and Apply Rents in Satisfaction of Judgment Against Landlord Buy Form

    Exhibit 17F

    - Sample Letter to Debtor Postsuit Buy Form

    Exhibit 17G

    - Agreement for Judgment and for Payment Order Buy Form
    Chapter 18 expand

    Tenant Civil Actions for Damages and Other Relief

    Buy Chapter
    Lawrence A. Wind, Esq., The Law Office of Lawrence A. Wind

    Exhibit 18A

    - Housing Code Checklist Buy Form

    Exhibit 18B

    - Rent Withholding Letter Buy Form

    Exhibit 18C

    - Repair and Deduct Letter Buy Form

    Exhibit 18D

    - Checklist of Requirements Relating to Tenants’ Water Service Buy Form

    Exhibit 18E

    - Checklist of Actions Requiring Return of the Security Deposit Buy Form
    Appendix

    Massachusetts Housing Court Practice

    Buy Chapter
    Stephen G. Carreiro, Esq., Southeast Housing Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    Hon. Robert G. Fields, Western Housing Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    Hon. Diana H. Horan, Central Housing Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    Hon. David D. Kerman, Northeast Housing Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    Hon. Manuel Kyriakakis, The Real Estate Bar Association of Massachusetts Dispute Resolutions
    Hon. Timothy F. Sullivan, Eastern Housing Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts
    William S. Weiss, Central Housing Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

    Appendix A

    - Practice in the Housing Court Buy Form

    Appendix B

    - Bench Memorandum for Residential Summary Process Cases Buy Form

    Appendix C

    - Pattern Jury Instructions in Landlord-Tenant Cases Buy Form
  • Editors & Authors

    Editor(s)

    Catherine F. Downing, Esq., Downing Van Dyke, PC, Boston

    Judicial Commentator(s)

    Hon. Timothy F. Sullivan, Eastern Housing Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston

    Ethical Commentator(s)

    Author(s)

    Benjamin O. Adeyinka, Esq., Eastern Housing Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston
    Scott D. Carman, Esq., Shaevel, Krems, O'Connor & Jackowitz LLP, Boston
    Stephen G. Carreiro, Esq., Southeast Housing Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Fall River
    Edward Coburn, Esq., City of Boston Inspectional Services Department, Boston
    Catherine F. Downing, Esq., Downing Van Dyke, PC, Boston
    Hon. Robert G. Fields, Western Housing Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Boston
    Hon. Diana H. Horan, Central Housing Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Worcester
    Neil R. Janulewicz, Jr., Esq., City of Boston Law Department, Boston
    Hon. David D. Kerman, Northeast Housing Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Lawrence
    Kenneth A. Krems, Esq., Shaevel, Krems, O'Connor & Jackowitz LLP, Boston
    Michael J. Louis, Esq., Boston Housing Authority, Boston
    Angela Marcolina, Esq., Deputy General Counsel for Leased Housing, Boston Housing Authority, Boston
    James M. McCreight, Esq., Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston
    Alexander Mitchell-Munevar, Esq., Greater Boston Legal Services, Boston
    James H. Van Dyke, Esq., Downing Van Dyke, PC, Boston
    Stephen A. Wasserman, Esq., Wessler and Wasserman, Salem
    William S. Weiss, Central Housing Court, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Worcester
    Lawrence A. Wind, Esq., The Law Office of Lawrence A. Wind, Boston
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