Covid-19: Signs Your Landlord is Committing a Breach of Lease

If your landlord has committed a breach of lease in Massachusetts during this crisis, here is what you need to know and do to protect your rights.

breach of lease in Massachusetts

Covid-19: Signs Your Landlord is Committing a Breach of Lease

Whether your landlord has committed a breach of lease in Massachusetts out of ignorance of the law or intentionally during the Covid-19 crisis, you need to protect your rights under all circumstances. If you believe your landlord may have violated the lease terms, your best bet would be to speak to a seasoned landlord-tenant mediation attorney in Massachusetts. 

Signs of a Landlord’s Illegal Action 

Your landlord is bound by the state and federal laws as well as the terms of the lease. Some actions are illegal on your landlord’s part during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond – even if they may not be explicitly mentioned in your lease agreement. These include: 

  • Even if you have failed to pay rent for several months, your landlord cannot lock you out of your home unless they have first obtained an eviction order from the court
  • Your landlord cannot take any retaliatory action against you if you have complained to them about the uninhabitable conditions in your dwelling.
  • Your landlord has no right to enter your rented place in absence of a reasonable advance notice – except when there is an emergency. 

Signs of Retaliation if You Have Made a Complaint

A breach of lease in Massachusetts may also occur by way of your landlord’s retaliation against you for complaining against any issue related to your rental property. Whether you have complained directly to the landlord or filed a complaint with the local Massachusetts municipality or state, your landlord cannot retaliate against it. 

If the landlord harasses you, makes the conditions unlivable for you by refusing to make repairs, files an eviction action, or increases the rent – as a reaction to your complaint, you should consult with a landlord-tenant mediation attorney in Massachusetts.

Signs of Harassment to Make Up for Increased Costs

If your landlord’s operation costs, such as charges for maintenance or utilities, insurance premiums, and property taxes have gone up, they may resort to illegal tactics to compensate for their increase in expenses. Some of the common signs of this type of illegal activities may include: 

  • Trying to push out tenants who have been paying a lower rent 
  • Delaying urgent or mandatory property inspections
  • Bringing in unskilled workers to carry out serious repairs 

Refusal to Make Essential Repairs 

The breach of lease in Massachusetts may occur when your landlord refuses to make essential repairs to the property, which poses a risk to your safety or health. If the local laws in your area require the landlord to use only licensed professionals for certain repairs, such as plumbing or electrical, and your landlord hires cheap, unlicensed contractors, you need to safeguard your rights. 

Sometimes your landlord may have knowledge of a pre-existing safety or health hazard at the rental property and may attempt to cover it up rather than have it fixed. For instance, the landlord may be aware of a lead paint hazard, but may avoid expensive remediation and instead cover it with decorative molding. This would be a violation of the law, and you should seek advice from an expert landlord-tenant mediation attorney in Massachusetts.

Talk to an Experienced Mediation Lawyer Today!

If you believe your landlord may have breached the lease terms during Covid-19, you don’t have to suffer because of their unlawful actions. Talk to a mediation attorney who is an expert in this area of the law. Call Shapiro Mediation Services today at 617.765.1040 to book a free consultation or contact us online.