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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?

Boston, MA |

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 1st, in the amount of 1/2 month's rent, due to your breach of the warranty of habitability for our apartment, Violations of Chapter II of the State Sanitary Code (105 CMR 410.000), specifically subsections 410.351, 410.500 and 410.503 have already been documented by the Dedham Board of Health, following its inspection on Oct30,12 and subsequent notice to you. Requested that our deposit be returned in pursuant to MGL chapter 186 Section 15B subsection 3. Many issues still remain. Quick fixes led to more issues. No sink in kitchen for last 4days.

Attorney Answers 4

  1. 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.

  2. You should consult a landlord-tenant attorney as soon as possible to help you with this unfortunate situation. Best of luck.

    Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. (It lets us know how we are doing.) Attorney Kremer is licensed to practice in Massachusetts. Please visit her Avvo profile for contact information. In accordance with Avvo guidelines, the following disclaimer applies to all responses given in this forum: The above is NOT legal advice, and is NOT intended to be legal advice. No Attorney-Client relationship is created through the above answer.

  3. It sounds like you have a good case for a counterclaim and a defense. The issues you raised generally mean that the landlord pays attorneys fees, so you shouldn't have much trouble finding a landlord/tenant specialist to take the case on contingency. Call some local attorneys who have an active tenant's rights practice.

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  4. You should contact a Landlord/Tenant lawyer. Also, make sure that the Attorney you consult is familiar with the rules particular to small claims court, as these rules differ from the regular session of the District Court and the Superior Courts of Massachusetts.

    The foregoing answer does not establish an attorney client relationship, is not confidential, and should not be relied upon in place of an actual consultation with an attorney. Attorney Samiotes is licensed to practice in Massachusetts, the Federal District Court of Massachusetts, and the Court of International Trade. Most initial consultations are free. Further information is available on my profile and at