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Christopher McHallam

Christopher McHallam’s Answers

54 total


  • My co-tenant on a one year lease agreement we signed has chosen to move out after losing their job.

    There is no sublet agreement in the lease. The landlord said they would be willing to draft a form to allow this. Do I have the right as a co-tenant to not allow a sublet to live in the apartment with me, as I will not live with a stranger? If so,...

    Christopher’s Answer

    If your LL allows the co-tenant to leave and releases them from their lease obligation you would be the sole tenant. As long as you are willing to pay the entire rent for the remainder of the term, there should be no reason that you would be compelled to have another co-tenant.

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  • Do i receive interest on my security deposit in Massachusetts on a commercial lease

    I am trying to lease space for my small business. The realtor is always surprising me, we'll agree on something, then when he emails me the proposal it is different than what we stated. Finally I think we have an agreement and he adds a security...

    Christopher’s Answer

    The Massachusetts security deposit law does not apply to commercial leases. Thus, the requirements imposed upon residential landlords do not apply in your setting. You may, however, negotiate these protections to the extent the Landlord is willing to set up a separate account, accrue interest, etc.

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  • I received a thirty day notice to quit as an unlawful detainer. What are my chances to win . What can I expect at trial?Timeline

    I am a single74 year old man living alone in a small single room. I have an an ailing heart. I receive $887 a month from SSI. The BHA subsidises my $900 monthiy rental unit with $650. I pay the remainding $250 a month as rent. I was never late ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    Without reviewing your lease, this is a difficult question. If, however, your interpretation of the lease is correct, you may very well owe the market rent differential. If may be best for you to explain the matter to a court and hope that in light of your disability, that you can negotiate a more favorable settlement. I strongly recommend you consult an attorney.

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  • Can I get a emegency r.o. against my roommate?

    I've been dealing with a hostel roommate she's threating me & has in the past threating my 10 yr old daughter I don't know what todo I have no where to go and I can't live in fear and I know she will retaliate please help me

    Christopher’s Answer

    I agree with my colleagues' answers. Contact the police immediately and take all necessary steps to protect the safety of your family. Be sure to explain all of your concerns and detail all specific instances of threats. Safety is the number one priority.

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  • Lawsuit pending in small claims court for rent we with held in Dec & Jan due to violations.What kind of lawyer do we need?

    No statement of conditions. We sent a list of things that needed to be fixed with 14 days. Owners stated in order to make those repairs they would have to raise the rent.Nov we sent a letter explaining our intention to withhold rent beginning Dec ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    You should definitely consult with a landlord/tenant attorney who has done small claims cases in Dedham. Follow up with the Department of Health and have them document the lack of repair/compliance prior to the hearing, along with the lack of kitchen sink. Based upon your version of events, it would seem the apartment is not habitable. Thus, you should be in a good position to make a counterclaim and effectively defend yourself.

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  • Compensation?

    I have been diagnosed with two tumors in my scalp 15 months ago in the first visit to the doctor in MGH Boston they benign inclusion cyst or sebaceous cyst. But when you increase the size of the tumors went to a cancer doctor in boston medical...

    Christopher’s Answer

    We all strongly recommend that you see competent counsel who can advise you with respect to medical malpractice and personal injury matters.

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  • Who is liable for stolen items if apt was broken into and front door was left unlocked by tenants.

    My apartment was recently broken into because the main door to our building was left unlocked by other tenants. We have left notes and talked to the landlord about this issue, but unfortunately 2 apt's were robbed because the main door was unlock...

    Christopher’s Answer

    I agree with my colleague's answer. The landlord has a responsibility to ensure the door is locked and the buidling is secured, especially since they were notified of the problem. As for the other tenants, it is more difficult to hold them liable for any one specific instance and because they may owe no legal duty to you. If a substantial amount was lost, it may be worth submitting a claim against your landlord's insurance policy, if they have one.

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  • Tobacco smoke entering my home through vents. Landlord not ready to fix it or leave me out of the lease. How to break the lease?

    We live in a apartment communicty which turned smoke free in July 2012. Last Oct, we started sensing tobacco smell in our home (we dont smoke). Our building and the adjacent one (connected with vents and shares a common wall) have a couple fo smo...

    Christopher’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    First, consult your lease and determine if it makes any provision for the unit being smoke-free. If not the lease, then review the rules relating to smoking in the complex. If the lease and/or rules are clear about the smoking ban, you should advise the landlord that you believe they are in default of their obligation to provide a non-smoking environment. Secondly, you should invite a representative of the building to your unit to experience the smell and you should document each occurence as specifically as possible. I would also recommend contacting the local board of health to document the issue especially since you are expecting.

    All that being said, I recommend speaking to an attorney and attempting to negotiate an early termination of your lease. The best way to end your tenancy early would be to make an effort to locate a new tenant and advise the landlord that you believe your health is at risk and right of enjoyment in the unit has been impaired.

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  • Trying to separate from "partners" in C-Corporation

    I have a C-Corp I started for a web based media company. After 2 years took on some "partners" (in quotes because there was never any official agreement or paperwork. Also the corp has no shares issued.) and I'd like to separate from them as they ...

    Christopher’s Answer

    More information is required. Are your partners in any way officially involved in the corp. as officers or directors? If not, and if no shares have issued, what evinces their ownership interest in the company? It may very well be that, if there is no substantive indication of any ownership interest other than yours, the company can simply disengage from using the other parties services.

    All that being said, if there is any value to the business, you are probably going to have a fight on your hands and thus should seek a business attorney's advice. Moreover, it may be in the company's best interest to document the separation so that, if there were to be substantial success in the future, the other parties don't re-surface.

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  • If a tennet breaks a lease is the landlord respresponsible to refund the tennets money if the rented be fore there last month

    tennets want there last month back because the house has been rented

    Christopher’s Answer

    I agree with the other answers and would point out that generally the Landlord is not entitled to double rent. Therefore, if the tenant vacated before the lease term was over and the apartment was rented to a new tenant for the same or more rent, the original tenant should be returned the deposit. If the new rent is less thant the original rent, the difference should be retained by the landlord.

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