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Richard D. Vetstein

Richard Vetstein’s Answers

6 total

  • One corner of my lot is encroached by both fences of my rear and next door neighbors' . How can I force them move their fences?

    Rear left corner of my yard is encroached by two neighbors' fences. From the lot corner, 3 feet of my rear neighbors' fence is into my property by 4 inches. My other neighbors' fence is on the property line in most of its length and runs into my p...

    Richard’s Answer

    First thing is to confirm the encroachment with a reliable instrument survey. Once that is done, you should have an attorney issue the neighbor a formal trespass notice pursuant to General Laws chapter 266, section 120, served by constable and copied to the local police department. The neighbor may, however, make a claim for adverse possession under which they could claim ownership of the disputed area if they used it openly for 20 or more years. If that is the case, you are most likely headed to court. If there is no legitimate dispute as to the encroachment, once you serve the trespass notice, you can contact the local police to facilitate removal of the fence. You can remove the fence but of course run the risk that the neighbor will claim damages under adverse possession. The safest course of action is to obtain a court order allowing you to remove the fence before you seek self-help. I have litigated over 50 boundary line disputes, including several trials and appeals. For more information, see my blog at www.massrealestatelawblog.com/category/adverse-possession

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  • In Massachusetts can a landlord evict a tenant for smoking marijuana

    In Massachusetts it is decriminalized for recreational use,meaning consuming marijuana is a civil infraction as opposed to a criminal offense, and legal for medical marijuana patients. . I need to look over the lease to see if it specifically st...

    Richard’s Answer

    This very issue will be considered by the Mass. SJC next week in the case of TRENEA FIGGS vs. BOSTON HOUSING AUTHORITY, SJC-11532. Because the possession of under an ounce of pot is now simply a civil infraction, my guess is that the court will rule that smoking pot in and of itself cannot be a violation of the lease, unless it becomes a legal nuisance to other tenants. Folks with medical marijuana cards will be protected by the disability laws and given the benefit of reasonable accomodations. Of course, there is now vapor technology to significantly reduce the smoke and smell of marijuana.

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  • Attorney fee to review Purchase and Sales Agreement in MA

    I am buying a a 40B brand new townhouse. I just got the P and S and I'm not sure If I should get a lawyer to help me review it or just do it in my own. I have so many costs with the down payment and closing costs that I don't really can afford a ...

    Richard’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    As the only real estate conveyancing attorney who is answering this question, the question of whether a buyer can afford and should spend the money to hire his/her own counsel is a legitimate question which comes up all the time. No need to respond in a condescending manner as some of you have done. I've handled over 5,000 real estate transactions over 15 years, and of course I will say that it pays to have an attorney review the purchase and sale agreement. If the client is financing the transaction and my office is doing the bank/title work, we usually waive the fee for the purchase and sale agreement review. So it's essentially free of charge. For more info about Massachusetts purchase and sale agreements, please read this: http://massrealestatelawblog.com/2009/08/21/massachusetts-standard-form-residential-real-estate-purchase-sale-agreement/

    Feel free to contact me at info@vetsteinlawgroup.com

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  • Adverse possession claim in Massachusetts. Owner of property for 12 years and brother in law owned for 12 years since 1989.

    Continuous ownership since 1989 would tacking in this case be considered privy?

    Richard’s Answer

    Yes, this would be tacking assuming that the brother in law held record title to the premises. Adverse possession, however, encompasses several elements which must be established in court: open, adverse, continuous, notorious and exclusive use. Adverse possession claims are very fact intensive and fairly expensive to litigate. For more info, please go to my blog at www.massrealestatelawblog.com/category/adverse-possession. I have a substantial amount of experience including trials and appeals in adverse possession cases. Please contact me at rvetstein@vetsteinlawgroup.com

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  • Are new homebuyers required to honor old leases made prior to property sale?

    We are looking to buy our first home. One of the houses we fell in love with is currently being rented. It is a single family detached home that would become our primary residence. If we were to purchase it, would we be required to honor the re...

    Richard’s Answer

    Attorney Tobin is correct. New owners assume all lease obligations of existing tenants at closing. However, if the tenancy is one at will, the new owners would be able to terminate the tenancy upon 30 days written notice.

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  • A pipe leaked that the association owns damaged my unit who fixes damage? The man. co. has fixed pipe but not sheetrock damage

    I contacted Management Co. an was told they fixed the pipe and that is it they are not going to do the rest of the repairs- the insulation and sheet rock on the wall and ceiling where damaged.

    Richard’s Answer

    I agree with the responses above, and I'll add that typically a claim is made on the master insurance policy which pays out damage to both the common area and the unit. However, beware of deductible limits and restrictions in the condo docs which could affect a unit owner's recovery. There are typically insurance provisions in the declaration of trust/by-laws that should be reviewed. The unit owner hopefully has his own HO-6 policy covering interior damage. Best to let the insurance companies fight over who is responsible! For more information, read my award winning real estate blog.

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