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Real Estate Archives

Massachusetts Condo Association Can Establish Multiple Successive Priority Liens for Unpaid Common Expenses

Massachusetts General Laws c. 183A, § 6(c) provides that a lien for the unpaid common expenses of a condominium is prior to all other liens on the unit except those recorded before the master deed was recorded, a first mortgage on the unit recorded before the assessment became delinquent, and liens for property taxes and other municipal assessments. The statute further provides that the lien for common expenses does take priority over a first mortgage to the extent of the common expenses assessments that would have become due absent acceleration in the six months immediately preceding the filing of the action to enforce the lien, as well as costs and reasonable attorneys' fees to enforce that lien.

Agreement Entered Into When Developer Controlled the Board Is Enforceable Against Massachusetts Condo Association

Property developers sometimes enter into agreements for the benefit of the development. Both the Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act (UCIOA) and the Restatement (Third) of Property: Servitudes allow the condominium board to terminate certain agreements made by the developer, but Massachusetts has not adopted either. Therefore, in the recent case of Sewall-Marshal Condominium Association v. 131 Sewall Avenue Condominium Association, the appeals court considered a contract entered into by the developer in light of the Massachusetts Condominium Act.

Massachusetts Appeals Court Finds Court Doesn't Have to Accept Stipulation of Contract's Validity

massachusetts_blog.jpgBreach of contract claims often involve disputes over the terms of the agreement, what occurred, and whether a party's actions constituted a breach.  Sometimes, however, there is a dispute over whether a valid contract even exists.  The existence of a valid contract is fundamental to any breach of contract claim.  To create an enforceable contract, the parties must agree on the material terms and have a present intention to be bound.

Boston Condo Unit Owner Didn't Violate Affordable Housing Restrictions by Having Roommates

The Boston Redevelopment Authority ("BRA") has created an affordable housing program that is intended to help create and maintain affordable housing opportunities for middle-income residents of the city. The affordable condominium units sold under this program are subject to restrictions that require owners to maintain the unit as their primary residence and prevent them from leasing out the unit. DSC_1054-300x199.jpg

Adverse Possession And Color Of Title In Massachusetts

Property rights are generally transferred through conveyances of deeds, but there are times when a person can obtain rights to property through certain actions without the consent of the property owner. A person may gain an interest in property through adverse possession. To prove adverse possession, the person must show that he or she has openly used the property continuously for 20 years, without permission. The use must be adverse, notorious, and exclusive.

Massachusetts Landlord Liability For Violent Acts By A Third Party

Rental properties can be highly profitable, but they also carry some risks. A significant risk landlords face is the potential for liability when someone is injured on the property. A landlord's liability for an injury will depend heavily on the circumstances, as seen in the recent case of Belizaire v. Furr.

Appeals Court Allows Massachusetts Civil Rights Act, Abuse of Process, and Civil Conspiracy Claims in Condo Case

When the relationship between condominium owners turns sour, the result can sometimes be lengthy and complex litigation, as occurred in the recent case of Wodinsky v. Kettenbach. This case involved two separate lawsuits that were consolidated for trial.

LANDLORDS BEWARE: NEW HOUSING RIGHTS FOR VICTIMS OF VIOLENT CRIMES

There are new housing rights for victims of domestic violence, rape, sexual assault and stalking. Victims of these crimes now have increased rights to: 1) break a lease; 2) have apartment locks changed; 3) to not experience retaliation by a landlord, or a potential landlord in the future, for having had to break a lease or for having locks changed, and; 4) to not be evicted for getting a restraining order or for having to call the police. 

Commercial Landlords Beware: Listen to Your Tenant's Complaints About Defects As A Court Has Ruled that You Can Be Liable For Double or Treble Damages

In a stern warning to commercial landlords, a Superior Court judge in Kuong, et al. v. Wong, et al., has ruled that a commercial landlord could be held liable for double or treble damages and attorney's fees under G.L. c. 93A, the consumer protection act, for his failure and neglect to remedy complaints of common area defects which were causing damage to leased units. 

SJC: No Licenses Allowed For Landlords To Rent To College Students

Remember when you lived in a rundown, dirty and dingy apartment or house in college with as many friends as you could cram into the place? Recently, such practices have been scrutinized by cities throughout Massachusetts. Recognizing the dangers inherent in these types of dwellings occupied by college students, the city of Worcester tried to regulate this rental industry by classifying these dwellings rented to four or more college students as lodging houses pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws c. 140 §§ 22-32. Categorizing these dwellings as lodging houses provided the city with more control over the industry as the city then had the ability to license and regulate the operation. The landlords objected to the city's actions and litigation ensued. The Supreme Judicial Court in City of Worcester v. College Hill Properties, LLC, et. al. recently decided the issue.

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