December 24, 2015 | Share
A Boston Tenant Lawyer Can Help Level the Playing Field in Disputes With Landlords
While tenants view their residential rental units as their homes, most landlords view them purely from a business perspective. They are more familiar with the details of landlord-tenant law, so when landlord-tenant disputes arise, tenants are immediately at a disadvantage. That being the case, every tenant should know the basics of the law and when to turn to an attorney for legal advice and support.
Tenants Need to Learn Their Basic Rights
Massachusetts law does a good job in protecting tenants' rights, but you can’t take advantage of the protections that you don’t know about. Before entering into lease agreements, all tenants should take the time to review the online booklet, A Massachusetts Consumer Guide to Tenant Rights and Responsibilities, which provides essential overview information about their responsibilities and their rights.
When landlords attempt to break the law, or even when they jump slightly over the legal borderline, you can often uphold your own tenant rights by illustrating a clear understanding of your statutory protections. When your landlord does not relent even though you believe you are right, it is time to talk with a lawyer.
Know When to Seek Legal Support
Certain situations are too serious to rely on self-help, particularly when landlords often have their own lawyers ready to step in to protect their interests. The following are some examples of circumstances when you need to consult with an attorney who can level the playing field:
- Eviction: You may have more rights than you realize when landlords serve eviction papers. An experienced attorney can formulate defenses that you may not consider on your own while holding landlords accountable in the event they attempt to skirt legally-required eviction procedures.
- Property damage: Landlords have a legal responsibility to handle needed repairs in a timely manner. If they refuse to make the repairs, unfairly blame you for the damage or when the damage causes harm to your personal property or your health, you most likely need legal assistance.
- Contractual issues: Whether your landlord tries to take away the choice parking space promised in writing or fails to install an alarm system that meets the security requirements guaranteed in a pre-rental letter, it sometimes takes one letter from a lawyer to hold landlords accountable for their promises.
- Discrimination: Whether a landlord holds protected class tenants to stricter late payment standards than other tenants, or even when they refuse the use of service animals in no-pet buildings, skilled attorneys can help navigate through the maze of state and federal agency requirements to take proper legal action.
In many cases, landlord-tenant disputes do not need to go to court. With the Law Offices of Shaun A. Hannafin on your side, you can often resolve your issues with a letter or a phone call. However, the first step is to seek our knowledgeable assessment of your rights and your legal options. Call us at (617) 848-4572 to discuss your concerns and learn how we can help.
Posted in Landlord-Tenant Information