Skip to main content
James F. Landergan

James Landergan’s Answers

4 total

  • Does my ex landlord owe me the rest of my money?

    My girlfriend and I moved out of our last apartment and broke our lease the landlord was ok with this as long as we could find someone else. We did that and we signed an aggrement that he would pay us the rest of our sercurity deposit by August i...

    James’s Answer

    In Massachusetts, a security deposit MUST be:
    Refunded in full within 30 days
    or
    You be given a document called an Accounting which documents the damage you have caused to the premises the landlord is with holding the security deposit for. It should be specific e.g. reciepts for the repair (like a bill from a plumber. - within 30 days.
    or
    an Accounting for the amount of damage + the remaining money.
    The Accounting must be signed by the landlord "under pains and penalties of perjury".
    Note that "30 days" keeps coming up. Failure to meet any of these requirements will cause a potential penalty against the landlord for the security deposit times 3.
    See MGL c. 186 s. 15B & MGL c. 93a

    See question 
  • Our question: "is it legal I am one month late on my rent payment, my landlord put for rent signs outside my unit, advertising m

    my apt for rent

    James’s Answer

    Merely putting up a 'For Rent' sign is of no legal significance. If you have paid the rent, and there have been no actual legal actions taken against you, (i.e. a filing of summary process to evict you) I doubt you should have any significant problems. This being said, there may be ramafications should you have tardy rent in the future. The question really is whether there are any additional facts..

    See question 
  • My wife left the home that we own together 4 months ago, now she wants to move back and take it from me. I am on disability.

    she was paying me 200 a month to keep interest in the home. she also cancled my health insurance and I suffered an accident and I have over 10,000 in bills. she informed me that she is moving back in in 3 months. also she is filing for divorce. is...

    James’s Answer

    Many issues at play here. Number one, you need an attorney experienced in the area of divorce.
    As husband and wife, you owe each other a duty of mutual support, that includes health insurance and keeping the marital home out of foreclosure. These can be ordered by a court upon your motion and affidavit. I don't know enough about your specific case, but you should certainly talk with your attorney about an affidavit and Motion for Exclusive Use And Possession Of The Marital Home. Depending on the length of your marriage you may also be elegible to collect alimony from her. (really) You also need to be aware that in Massachusetts, if she stays away from the home for 12 months or more, without anything being filed, you would have a case for desertion.
    Contact an attorney right now.

    See question 
  • What can be done re: my landlords keeping over a dozen cats on her property. it smells so bad I cant open doors or use our deck.

    These cats are their "outdoor" cats. it smells horrible. they are ferile cats and so they spray not to mention reproduce. we've asked that the stop feeding them but they won't. The cats also pee and poop all over the place. in the back yard i...

    James’s Answer

    You have a number of avenues.
    First, your municipal board of health and animal control officer. They can simply take the animals away. If you are in a rural area, perhaps you could contact your state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. This would be if they would be classified as wild animals. There are regulations that could put them in legal jeopardy for feeding wild animals, although their status as wild or domestic may be debatable as they could arguably be owned by your neighbors, but also the descendants of domestic pets.
    Secondly, you can sue them for maintaining a private nuisance. That is, your neighbor is maintaining an activity (feeding and/or keeping the cats);
    that interferes with your use or enjoyment of the real estate which you rent;
    your harm suffered is substantial;
    and unreasonable.
    Satisfying the above allows you to recover by suing the neighbor for the tort of maintaining a private nuisance. Please be aware though, your landlord has a duty to provide you with reasonably safe premises, and all of the above would be most appropriate for your landlord to pursue. Therefore, you should notify the landlord in writing of this situation, and the landlord is responsible. You should bear in mind, that if the problem is not remedied reasonably quickly, you can probably leave, with your security deposit, but this can be tricky, and you should not stop paying rent or leave before your lease is up without the guidance of an attorney.

    See question