Boston Eviction Mediator Answers: Evicted For Any of These 5 Reasons? It Was Illegal!
Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) set forth the rules that tenants and landlords are required to follow. These rules cover how and when a landlord may evict a tenant. In some situations, the eviction may be illegal and you have a right as a tenant to dispute the landlord’s action. A seasoned landlord tenant mediation attorney Massachusetts can help settle the dispute and the possibility of litigation may be avoided for both parties.
“Self-Help” Eviction is Illegal
In Massachusetts, if you are a tenant, your landlord cannot evict you unless they have obtained a court order, which is known as an execution. If you were evicted from the property in any other manner, such as cutting off the utilities or changing the locks of the property, it is an unlawful action on part of the landlord.
You may claim repossession of the rental property or claim damages from the landlord in such a case. However, filing a lawsuit could prolong the matter and you will have no control over the legal proceedings or the outcome of the case. Working with a Boston mediator might be a far more effective way to resolve the dispute.
Correct Eviction Procedure not Followed
If your landlord failed to follow the eviction procedure as described either in the lease terms or as per the state’s General Laws, you can challenge the action. For instance, the landlord must give a notice of two weeks when they want to evict the tenant for non-payment of rent.
An eviction lawsuit filed without giving this notice can give you a defense in court. Both you and the landlord may consider choosing the path of mediation and consult with an experienced landlord tenant mediation attorney Massachusetts for dispute resolution.
Failure to Maintain the Rental Property
The landlord in Massachusetts has a legal obligation to maintain the rental premises in a habitable and fit condition. The rental property should comply with the local building codes and sanitary rules, and the rental unit should not adversely impact the safety or health of the tenant and their family members.
If the tenant does not pay the rent because of the landlord’s failure to carry out essential repairs or maintenance in the rental unit, they can argue against their eviction. Rather than settle this dispute through a lengthy, stressful, and expensive litigation process, it may be an astute idea to pursue a resolution with the help of a trusted Boston mediator.
Eviction based on Discrimination
According to the Fair Housing Act provisions, a landlord cannot discriminate against tenants on the basis of gender, religion, race, nationality, disability, or familial status (pregnant women and children below 18).
The anti-discrimination state laws in Massachusetts also prohibit landlords from discrimination on various grounds, including age, gender, creed, sexual orientation, ancestry, veteran status, genetic information, marital status, or disability. Eviction based on one or more of these characteristics would be illegal. It is best to mediate and settle these disputes with the help of a landlord tenant mediation attorney Massachusetts.
Get Legal Advice and Assistance from a Top Boston Mediator
Tenants in Massachusetts have several protections against illegal eviction. Your best bet in a tenant landlord dispute would be to speak to a dedicated legal expert who is trained in the mediation process. Consult with one of our mediators at Shapiro Mediation Services today at our Massachusetts or South Florida office. Call us at 617.765.1040 or fill out this contact form to schedule a consultation.