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Does Landlord have to tell me who is making complaints against me?

Boston, MA |

A tenant is making false allegations to the management company is using these alegations against me to evict me..........I asked that management tell me who it is. and they said that they can not because of privacy..............I have even asked for reasonable accommodation that they tell me who is complaining and mediate before things get blown up even more. My Reasonable accommodation states by failing to mediate and not leting me know who is complaining ..they are causing my health issues to be made worse ......Given that i lived in massachusetts.......does anyone know of any specific laws that i given to my landlord that state they must tell lme who is complaining and that by refusing to grant my reasonable accommodation they are voilating the fair housing act.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. Best answer

    You have not provided the subject or details of the complaint made by your neighbor. You should concerned about the contents of the complaint and subject matter of the complaint than with who is making it. The matter will likely only escalate if it pits the management against other tenants. I'm not sure reasonable accommodations can extend to the type of request you are making. You should seek advice and assistance from a legal services entity. There are plenty in the Boston area. Having an attorney as your mouthpiece may be a better way for you to deal with the now tricky situation you are in.

    This "answer" is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.

  2. You can find out in court.

    If a landlord is relying on complaints to perform a "for cause" eviction, then the landlord is obliged to prove cause, and you'll have an opportunity to examine them regarding the complaints.

    Do you want accurate, personalized, legal advice that you can rely on? You will have to hire an attorney, not ask on Avvo. I am not your attorney and am not creating an attorney-client relationship by this post. I am therefore giving only general advice. This advice may not apply to you or your situation; may not take account of all possibilities, and may not match the advice I would give to a client. DO NOT rely on this advice or any other advice on Avvo to make your legal decisions. If you want an answer to a legal question you should retain an attorney who is licensed in your state.

  3. As my colleagues have indicated, you should focus on the substance of the complaints and recognize that if an eviction / sumary process action is commenced against you, you will have an opportunity to learn more detailed information regarding the complaints. I suggest that you speak with an attorney that handles real estate / landlord - tenant law who as they may describe the eviction process and see if you have any viable defenses or counter-claims. I wish you all the best.

  4. I agree with Attorney DiCarlo's excellent answer. A reasonable accommodation request has to have a "nexus" with a disability in order to be enforceable. Merely stating that the lack of knowledge about the specific source of the allegations is making your health issues worse is not going to help, because it's hard to believe. I doubt a doctor will write a letter stating that that's true either, but it would give a better chance if you had something along those lines to corroborate what you're claiming. No matter what, I'd expect such a reasonable accommodation request to fail, and I don't think they are likely violating the Fair Housing Act simply by refusing to divulge the identity of an anonymous complainant.

    Reasonable accommodations are usually made to relax the rules of an admissions policy or tenant agreement, not as an information discovery tool. You should consider submitting a new reasonable accommodation request that's better tailored to tie your disability to the rules you need to ask to be disregarded.

    Luckily, you have another good way to get the information: discovery requests in your case. You should request all information known to the landlord that's relevant to your case, including logs and all other written records related to your tenancy and any complaints submitted about you. You should also ask interrogatories (questions) about specifically who has made complaints, when, to whom, the substance of all related conversations, etc. even if not recorded. If the landlord then tries to withhold the identity of the complainant(s) or further information about the complaints, you will be able to make a strong counterargument that you should be able to examine the complainant(s) under oath and find out enough information in advance to properly prepare your eviction defense.

    You should consult an attorney for help with this if possible. If you have low income, Greater Boston Legal Services has an excellent housing unit, probably the best in the country.

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