Landlord / Tenant Law

Get Clear Guidance on Landlord and Tenant Law

Landlords and Property Managers

At Farber & Lindley, LLC, we represent landlords and property managers with regard to all aspects of residential and commercial tenancies. From the tenant selection and application process to drafting leases and related documents, we do it all. We can also provide assistance for termination of the tenancy and eviction proceedings.

We represent landlords and property managers in many court systems and before various administrative boards, including the Housing Court, District Court, Superior Court, United States District Court, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Fire Safety Commission and Automatic Sprinkler Appeals Board. 

Our Landlord and Tenant Law Services

Our services include advice, counsel, and representation in the following areas:
  • Tenant selection
  • Leases and rental agreements
  • Security deposits
  • Last month’s rent
  • Rental policies and procedures
  • Notices to quit
  • Eviction proceedings
  • Temporary restraining orders
  • Subsidized housing, including section 8 issues
  • Lead paint issues
  • Reasonable accommodation/modification for disability
  • Housing discrimination
  • State sanitary and building code issues
  • Defense of claims alleging breach of warranty of habitability
  • Defense of claims alleging breach of quiet enjoyment
  • Defense of claims alleging emotional distress
  • Defense of claims alleging violations of G.L. c. 93A

Get Tenant Representation

We also provide tenant representation when tenants’ rights to reside in a safe and habitable dwelling have been violated. We can assist tenants with the following issues:
  • Bad conditions
  • Breach of warranty of habitability
  • Breach of quiet enjoyment
  • Housing discrimination
  • Lead paint
  • Security deposit violations
  • Emotional distress
  • Retaliation
  • Cross-metering of utilities
  • Unfair and deceptive practices in the business of being a landlord
Landlord Law

Receiverships

When properties have been abandoned, foreclosed or are otherwise out of compliance with the state sanitary code, the housing court has the authority to appoint a receiver to take control of the property in order to make necessary repairs and otherwise stabilize the distressed property. 

The receiver may collect rents from occupants and borrow money to make improvements. We are available to represent receivers through this judicial process.
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Let Us Handle Lead Paint Issues

Whether you are a landlord or a tenant, it is critical to know about the dangers of lead paint to human health and the statutory requirements applicable to owners of residential property who lease to families with young children. We can advise landlords as to their obligations regarding disclosure and remediation of lead paint. 

We represent parties before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination (MCAD) in connection with claims arising out of alleged violations of lead paint laws. We also represent tenants with children under the age of six or those with children who have been injured by lead poisoning.

Reasonable Accommodations and Modifications 

State and federal law require that landlords and others make certain reasonable accommodation to tenants with disabilities so that the disabled tenant can use and enjoy the dwelling. Additionally, landlords may be required to allow certain disabled tenants to make reasonable modifications to their apartments.

Massachusetts law defines “handicap” as “a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more major life activities.” The law also defines the term as having a record of such an impairment or being perceived as having such an impairment.

A reasonable accommodation is a change in the rules, policies or practices of a landlord so that the disabled tenant is able to use and enjoy the unit. A reasonable modification, on the other hand, is a physical change to the unit’s structure which will make it accessible to the disabled tenant.
 
However, a landlord is only required to provide accommodations or allow modifications which are reasonable under the circumstances. Accommodations or modifications which would impose an undue financial or administrative burden on the landlord are not reasonable. Who must pay for a reasonable modification will depend on the specific situation!

Farber and Lindley is available to help landlords navigate the complicated legal requirements of the anti-discrimination laws and to assist tenants to vindicate their rights to equal access to housing. 

Housing Discrimination

Both Massachusetts law and federal law prohibit discrimination in housing on the basis of:
  • Disability or handicap
  • Familial status
  • Race, color, national origin or ancestry
  • Religion or creed
  • Sex
This means that landlords, as well as property managers and agents, cannot discriminate based on the protected classes in the provision of housing, including the terms, conditions or privileges of the rental of a dwelling and in the advertising of rentals. Massachusetts law also protects tenants from discrimination on the basis of:
  • Sexual orientation
  • Marital status
  • Age
  • Income source
  • Receipt of public assistance or rental subsidy
  • Veteran or military status
There are very limited exclusions from some of the anti-discrimination laws based on the type of housing involved. Housing discrimination may be subtle or blatant, intentional or seemingly unintentional. If you have been accused of discrimination, it is important to have a knowledgeable and experienced attorney review the allegations immediately. A landlord may not even realize it has violated a fair housing law and the landlord’s attempts to explain may make matters worse. Contact our attorneys immediately if you find yourself accused of discrimination!

If you are a tenant who feels discriminated against, there are strict time limits within which you must file your claim in order to protect your rights. Please contact our office to schedule a FREE initial telephone consultation!

Personal Injury on Leased Premises

We also assist tenants and occupants who have suffered injury from a slip and fall accident or other personal injuries on the landlord’s property or as a result of a landlord’s negligence. If you have been injured, contact the experienced attorneys at Farber and Lindley to assist you in receiving a fair compensation. 
Call us to schedule an appointment with us for landlord and tenant law!
413-256-8429
We have 50 years of combined experience.
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