Landlord-Tenant Attorneys in Springfield
Helping Landlords and Tenants Resolve Disputes
No one wants conflict in their living situation. Sometimes, however, landlords and tenants arrive at an impasse in a rental disagreement that must be resolved in court. Passions can run high as, after all, the property in question is often a family’s home. The Housing Court in the state of Massachusetts provides detailed guidance on the rights and obligations of tenants and their landlords.
Our landlord-tenant lawyers in Springfield boast a thorough understanding of the regulations that govern all parties in a lease agreement. If you are experiencing a seemingly unresolvable disagreement as a renter or a landlord, we can help you settle your dispute as efficiently as possible. We can do so while making sure your rights in the relationship are upheld.
If you are a renter, losing a dispute can result in eviction; if you are a landlord, a loss can mean considerable financial damage. Our legal team has successfully represented both landlords and tenants in disputes. We are ready to help you achieve a favorable outcome in yours.
Eviction Assistance for Landlords and Tenants
With the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacting the American economy, many tenants are struggling to keep up with rent. There are some state and federal support systems in place to assist renters and landlords alike struggling to navigate the fallout. However, many are finding themselves in a position where lost income has led to an inability to pay.
This is of course an unenviable scenario that places both landlords and tenants in an uncomfortable position. Evictions are a last resort in resolving a deteriorated rental situation. Experiencing the process in the midst of a pandemic and its aftermath is especially difficult.
Eviction Representation for Landlords
If you are a landlord, we can work to help you protect yourself in the often-fraught eviction process. Under Massachusetts law, the eviction process can only begin by filing an eviction lawsuit with the court. You must follow proper procedure to legally evict a tenant. Our attorneys can help you ensure you are legally complaint through eviction proceedings.
If possible, we can work with both parties to find an alternative resolution to the dispute. COVID-19 has made practically every aspect of our lives more challenging. The only way we can get through it is together.
Eviction Defense for Tenants
If you are a tenant facing an eviction situation, we can help. Our lawyers can examine the specific circumstances of your potential or impending eviction. We will take every step necessary to protect your rights and do everything possible to defend you against the eviction.
Some eviction defenses we can use in your case include:
- Your landlord evicted you through a "self-help" eviction
- You did not receive the 14-day minimum notice for nonpayment of rent
- You were evicted after you paid your rent before the landlord filed their lawsuit
- Your landlord did not maintain your rental unit
- Your eviction was discriminatory
Though every rental situation is different, there are several elements in a landlord-tenant relationship that commonly generate conflict. Often these issues can be resolved once both parties understand rights afforded to them under Massachusetts law. However, sometimes matters will need to be resolved with the help of legal representation or even litigation.
Rental Disclosure Requirements
Landlords are legally required to disclose certain information to tenants before they officially move in. This can include factors that could impact the return of a security deposit or who is authorized to act on the landlord’s behalf. The latter is important when someone other than the landlord attempts to communicate with the renter or access their rental property in an official capacity.
Security Deposit Disputes
In Massachusetts, a landlord can only charge the equivalent to one month’s rent for the security deposit. They must also return the deposit within 30 days of the tenant moving out. In moving out, landlords and tenants can clash on what damages or other concerns justify deductions from the security deposit.
That is why it is critical you establish what potential issues a renter is responsible for. Additionally, regardless of what a rental agreement might spell out, there are additional laws regulating how landlords can handle security deposits.
Raising Rent and Late Fees
Perhaps the most prominent landlord-tenant issues stem from payment of rent disputes. There are specific rules about the amount a landlord can raise rent or charge late fees for nonpayment. There are also strict regulations on the handling of tenancy terminations and evictions.
There are other Massachusetts laws on when landlords can enter a property, what qualifies as unlawful landlord retaliation, and how landlords can deal with an abandoned unit. Federal rules involving non-discriminatory housing and safety disclosures also apply in the state.
Some additional rules can be specific to individual cities, counties, and localities, including Springfield. The multiple layers of regulation can be complex and confusing to decipher. Therefor, it is wise to retain an experienced landlord-tenant lawyer with knowledge of how the law applies to your case.
Living in a tense environment as a landlord-tenant dispute plays out can quickly impact your quality of life. That is why it is important to resolve disputes as quickly and fairly as possible. Our Springfield landlord-tenant attorneys have substantial experience in settling and litigating disputes of all sorts.
Our team at Hare, Stamm, Harris & O’Connor boasts over 100 years of collective legal experience. We are ready to leverage our knowledge of Massachusetts law to help protect your rights as a landlord or tenant.