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Jennifer L. DiCarlo

Jennifer DiCarlo’s Answers

111 total


  • I'm a tenant being evicted. If my landlord receives a judgement for me to pay the rest of my rent and I don't, then wha

    It's a 3 year commercial lease. I'd like to know if the court orders me to pay the landlord the remainder of rent for my lease term after eviction, and I do not pay what will happen?

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Your landlord will become a creditor and may pursue legal remedies against you, including supplementary process, which is another court action a creditor can pursue to collect on a judgment. You should seek legal assistance to determine whether or not you may have defenses you can raise to mitigate your damages. Best of luck.

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  • How can I find a place to rent with an eviction?

    My partner and I with our 6 year old son and a cat just got evicted out of our apartment. We were in a car accident that messed up out finances as well as made our life more difficult. We talked to the apt people and they were ok with the situatio...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    First off, I am so sorry about your situation and hope that things will improve quickly for you. Your question leaves out some important details. Were you able to reach an agreement for judgment that allowed you to stay in the rental while agreeing to a payment plan? This agreement is something that would have been filed with and allowed by the court. If so, did you breach the payment plan causing your landlord to move forward with your removal from the rental? A landlord cannot simply move you and your property without having court ordered authority, namely an execution, to do so. And, even with an execution, a landlord must follow very specific procedures and handle your property in the correct manner. If you feel that your landlord handled the eviction improperly, you may want to consult with a landlord / tenant law attorney.

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  • Is it better to call a home developer or write him if he made bad decisions regarding his storm water management plan?

    A builder tore down all of the trees on a typical 1/4 acre lot in a residential neighborhood. I live below this house and expect that we will now have water problems based on him removing a plethora of massive trees. The developer hasn't built the...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    If any permitting or town approvals have been given for the development you should obtain a copy of the relevant files to see what has been approved and how it compares to what is actually happening on the ground. You may be able to request a cease and desist order from the building inspector/building department if there has been noncompliance. But, since you are going to be neighbors, it may make more sense to go the less adversarial route and right a letter to the developer. If the developer is represented (you should be able to figure that out if they had legal representation during any permitting), then it couldn't hurt to direct the letter to the developer's attorney. You should try to get as much information up front before your next move.

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  • Under a month-to-month lease, the lessee is required to give 30 days written notice. Is rent prorated if they leave mid-month?

    Rent is payable monthly on the first of the month. If the lessee gives notice on the 15th, can they leave the following 15th and pay a half-month's rent for the following month?

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 186, Section 12 provides that tenancies at will may be terminated by either Landlord or Tenant "by three months’ notice in writing for that purpose given to the other party; and, if the rent reserved is payable at periods of less than three months, the time of such notice shall be sufficient if it is equal to the interval between the days of payment or thirty days, whichever is longer." In your case, where rent is payable each month, then the tenancy can only be terminated by giving the longer of 30 days' notice or the interval between days of payment. This means that even if your tenant terminated the tenancy on the 15th of the month, their tenancy wouldn't expire until over a month later on the rent due date. So, for example, say they gave you notice on 10/15, their notice wouldn't expire until 12/1. The tenant would be responsible for the rent for the entire month of November. Now, this can all be modified by your rental agreement, if you have one in writing. Take a look at it. Some landlords permit a mid-month move-out and, in such cases, the rent would be prorated. But, if this is something you would like to avoid in the future, I suggest that you put such a prohibition in writing so as to head off these kinds of requests from tenants. Now, if your current agreement doesn't permit a mid-month move-out and the tenant is obligated to stay through the next month, it still may be beneficial to let them move out early. Notwithstanding the loss of rent for the remaining weeks of the tenant's last month if the unit is not immediately re-rented, honoring the request keeps things friendly and will give you some time to address any property conditions that would be difficult to deal with if the unit was occupied. Now that the tenancy is terminating, it is a good time to review whether or not you have properly handled any security deposit or last month's rent you may have collected at the beginning of the tenancy so as to avoid any major pitfalls. Best of luck to you!

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  • Am I able to sell my condo or am I stuck here?

    I own a condo and had it up for sale. I received an offer on it and accepted it. Three days later the unit next to me rented his condo out, which made the owner occupancy only 50% (it's just a four unit condo) The people who put in the offer were ...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    I have personally experienced this problem and have had several clients deal with this. Aside from dealing it within the condo documents, which would be challenging to say the least, I recommend that you speak with some local banks that handle portfolio loans. These are mortgage loans that the bank holds for investment rather than sell them on the secondary market and, therefore, sometimes subject to less stringent underwriting standards. If you are armed with information from a lender that offers portfolio lending the next time you receive an offer, this will help move your transaction along. You will regain the time that would otherwise be wasted by taking your unit off the market while a buyer looks for financing that is very unlikely to be granted. Best of luck to you!

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  • Can I file a claim for last 6 weeks rent paid when I wasn't able to live there due to mold?

    I noticed mold in my apartment, notified landlord. After a week of nothing being done the board of health was called. They gave 14 days for him to fix in which he did not. The mold continued to grow and spread damaging/ruining all furniture. The b...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Depending on the facts of your case, you may have claims against your landlord for breach of the implied warranty of habitability and/or breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment. Under the first remedy, the measure of damages is the difference between the fair rental value of premises free of defects and fair rental value of premises during period that defective conditions existed. Under the second remedy, damages are actual and consequential damages or three month’s rent, whichever is greater, plus the court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees. You should consult with a landlord/tenant attorney to determine whether one or more remedies are available to you based on your particular facts. Good luck.

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  • Can my landlord go up on rent in the middle of my signed lease with them?

    I have to sign a new lease every year however half way through my lease my landlord went up on my lease. I am trying to find out if they can do that

    Jennifer’s Answer

    The answer depends on the type of tenancy you have. It could be that what you are perceiving to be a lease for a specified term is a tenancy at will that has been memorialized in a written rental agreement. If that's the case, then increases in rent are permissible so long as the landlord follows certain procedures. Look at the terms of the written contract to determine what the status of your tenancy is. If you truly have a lease for a specified term, then your landlord cannot raise the rent at their will. However, there could be provisions for increases in real estate taxes, etc. Find out exactly what you are being billed for and confirm whether it is permissible under the contract. Best of luck to you.

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  • Do I need *all* owners in a condo association need to sign a 6D certificate for a refinance?

    I live in a triple decker in Boston. All units are owner occupied and there is no disagreement: I do not owe anything to the association. The issue is that the bank claims all three owners need to be present in front of a notary public for the 6D ...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Look to the governing condominium documents to determine what is called for. They will dictate how many trustees are required to execute documents such as 6(d) certificates. The other owner's lender could have some additional underwriting requirements if the condo docs are ambiguous or perhaps if the record is unclear as to who the trustees are. But, ultimately, the condo docs and the Condominium law govern.

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  • Our neighbor keep putting their trashcans and recycling bins on our property?

    We own a piece of land in the city. There is a fence which clearly defines the boundaries. A multifamily house (condominium association) next to our land has been storing all of their trashcans and recycling bins on our property without our consen...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague's answer that this is a simple matter that may be resolved by way of a letter written by an attorney. In addition to the trespass, it sounds like they may be causing a nuisance as well if there is trash and debris accumulating as a result of their actions. A cease and desist letter should do the trick if your neighbors are reasonable and do not want to face the possibility of suit and the costs attendant with that. Failing that, you may have to initiate proceedings for an injunction to prevent them from continuing to put trash on your land. This could get expensive, but if it's important to you, it may be worth it.

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  • If a tenant leaves there stuff and doesn't come back for it what can I do with it. They say they want it but don't come get it.

    Want to rent it out but can't because of the stuff that is there. Can I trash it. Thanks

    Jennifer’s Answer

    This is a challenging question and one that gets asked often around here. The problem with abandoned personal property is it's often not clear cut as to what the tenant is actually intending. Have they truly vacated the apartment or are they later going to claim that they were evicted from the rental by a landlord who engaged in self-help without utilizing the legal remedies available to them, namely the summary process action? I would tread cautiously if I were the landlord. Improperly or prematurely disposing of the former tenant's items could subject the landlord to steep damages, attorney's fees, and fines if it is viewed as interfering with the tenant's right to quiet enjoyment. First, make sure you have something in writing documenting that the tenant has, in fact, vacated the apartment - a letter from the tenant, an email, a fax, some proof showing a change of address - the more, the better. If you can't get that, then put together a timeline of events including how you learned the tenant left and the condition of the rental when it was vacated. Include any details that would lend one to believe that the tenant moved out (i.e. change of address documented, tenant not seen at premises, tenant seen moving out, utilities turned off by tenant, etc.). Then I would inventory the personal property left behind, including taking pictures and making a list. The inventory should also include details such as the quality or state of the items left behind. Secure the items in a safe place where they will be protected until they are either retrieved or ultimately discarded. Next, I would try to reach out to the former tenant in writing, including a certified letter and email if possible. If they haven't provided a forwarding address, send it to the rental address, but request forwarding service from the Post Office. Send copies of the letter by regular first class mail and certified mail, return receipt requested. You can also request that the Post Office provide you with the forwarding address if one has been established with them. There are additional fees for these services, but are well worth it. In your letter, you should provide a copy of the inventory and give the tenant a deadline by which the items can be retrieved. Thirty days is probably enough time, but use your discretion. Give the tenant ways to contact you to arrange for pick-up of their property. After the deadline has passed and if the items continue to be abandoned and based on your circumstances, perhaps after consultation with an attorney, you can then consider discarding the items. These guidelines are general in nature and depend wholly on your facts and circumstances. You never want to interfere with another's rights in their property without first confirming that you are on solid ground in doing so. Good luck!

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