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Jennifer L. DiCarlo

Jennifer DiCarlo’s Answers

123 total


  • 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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  • What legal course of action can I take (sans a suit) to reinstate my name as a grantee back on the original deed for a condo?

    I jointly purchased a condo w/a parent. The deed named me & parent as joint tenants w/ the rights of survivorship. I paid for part of the condo, & part of it was gifted/paid by my parent so I have no mortgage. A year ago I stopped speaking to my ...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Assuming your situation takes place in and involves property in Massachusetts, a co-owner cannot unilaterally remove another co-owner from title to the property. I recommend you obtain a copy of the current deed for the property to see exactly what happened. Perhaps there was a fraudulent transfer? Copies of deeds are, for the most part, readily available for electronic viewing at the various Registry of Deeds websites. Once you've taken a look at the deed and if you are still concerned, you should consult with legal counsel to find out what your options are. You may have to bring a title clearing action if fraud was involved. Best of luck to you.

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  • On our house deed it states "Tenants in Common, with Quick claim Covenants".

    The deed does not specify 'Survivor Rights' So, with the"Tenants in Common with Quick Claim Covenants" what will happen to the property if one of us dies? Will it automatically transfer to the survivor or will his/my half go to the deceased' heir...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Based on the limited facts you have provided, I can tell you that absent language specifying that the property is held as joint tenants with right of surviroship or as tenants by the entirety (if the co-owners are married to each other), then there is a tenancy in common. In that situation, when one co-owner dies, that co-owner's heirs at law or devisees under a will would inherit their interest in the property. The deceased's estate would need to be probated.

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  • My father would like to put myself (son) on the deed to the house, does he need to obtain an Attorney to do so?

    MA deed. How much would this cost?

    Jennifer’s Answer

    The drafting of a deed is not a very involved task for a lawyer to undertake. I can't imagine an attorney charging you more than a couple of hundred dollars. I frequently draft deeds as part of my real estate practice. In addition to the legal fee, there is also the recording fee of $125 charged by the Registry of Deeds and sometimes an additonal postage fee charged by them. I do not recommend that you draft the deed yourself. If would be a shame if you did and then the final product did not actually effectuate your intent. Also, sometimes it's good to consult an attorney for the sheer fact that they may think of something you haven't. Finally, you should know that if there is a mortgage on the property, you will have to take that into consideration as most mortgages specify that you cannot transfer title to the property - and what you describe is a transfer of title - without the risk of triggering the mortgage's acceleration clause - something I'm sure you would want to avoid. Best of luck to you.

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  • Can I shorten my tenant's lease on my Massachusetts rental property?

    I have had these tenants since 11/1/2011 and did re-sign a new lease with them this past November 2012 but the tenants have been consistently late up to 2 weeks with their rent and disregard the late fee I have stated in the lease, repeated phone ...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    How you terminate the tenants' tenancy is governed by the express terms of the lease. If you are unsure how to do this, you shoudl bring your rental documents to a landlord/tenant attorney for review and advice. Regarding the facts you have stated, while you are entitled to the prompt payment of rent, in this market, I can't say you are bad off if your tenants are otherwise current but a little late on rent payments. But, you have a business decision to make. Sometimes sending a notice to quit for nonpayment as soon as your tenant is late sets the tone for the parties' expectations. But, you still may want to consult with an attorney in case your tenants have cause for delaying payment. Also, in Massachusetts a late payment fee is not permissible unless and until the rent is late 30 days. Mere late payment of rent does not trigger a late fee. Therefore, your tenants are justified in not paying one.

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  • Roof leakage

    In 2011 condominium hired a contractor to replace a roof on building , where my townhouse is .Under my window the wood ( part of the roof) was damaged due to water leakage. Condominium management told me , contractor must to remove my window in o...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    My gut reaction, without taking a look at your condominium's governing documents, is that the association is responsible for making repairs to damage caused by work on the common elements, if the roof is a common element, which I suspect it is. My instinct is that the association is pushing back on you. Notwithstanding, it sounds like you are experiencing 2 issues. One is that the walls of the interior were damaged. The second is that water is still leaking from what sounds like a bad or negligent repair job. In either case, you may have a claim against the insurance for the property. It may be helpful for you to send a certified letter to the association demanding repair and that if the repair is not initiated you will file a claim with the master insurance. The association may want to avoid any claims against the insurance and may attempt to advocate on your behalf by having the roofer come back in and correct the damage. The work they did is probably warranted. You should request a copy of the contract for the roofing work to see what's covered. After all, it's your condominium fees that paid for the job. The window leak will probably be easy to get some relief on. The wall damage may prove more difficult. Best of luck to you.

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  • Is it negligence if our real estate lawyer did not refer to the MLS listing when writing the P&S agreement?

    Our lawyer missed an important piece of information on the MLS listing that wasn't on the offer when they to wrote the P&S for the property we bought. The closing documents were also missing that information. As a result we incurred legal fees whe...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    Generally an attorney relies on the accepted Offer to Purchase Real Estate form to draft and/or negotiate the provisions included in the Purchase and Sale Agreement. However, because buyers and sellers do not typically consult with attorneys at the pivotal offer stage of a real estate transaction, important key terms and contingencies may be left out. In every transaction I handle, I always ask for all relevant docuemnts and disclosures and download my own copy of the MLS listing and most recent recorded deed so that I can ascertain whether or not there are any unique issues affecting the property and also for basic information like whether or not the property is served by a septic system or has an oil tank. In your case, whether or not you have a claim against your former attorney depends on whether or not they had the relevant information and chose to ignore it or completely missed the ball on something they should have looked into. You may want to broach the subject with them to see if they're willing to reimburse you for some of your additional expense.

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  • Apartment rental agreement, what can I do in this case?

    Hello, I have to my current apartment last October. It is furnished and the contract states that it is a 6 months rental. I told the landlord (and I have the email too) that I may stay longer depends on some paper work I waiting for before I leav...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    A phone call from a landlord will do nothing to terminate your tenancy. Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 186, Section 12, a landlord must terminate a tenancy in writing and the timing of such notice depends on how frequently you pay rent. If you pay rent on a monthly basis, ,"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." Further, the notice must be unequivocally clear. The notice is simply the first step of termination. If you do not leave by the deadline set forth in the notice, your landlord can commence eviction proceedings, but it will be weeks before you get into court. It sounds like your landlord isn't terminating your tenancy for cause so you may be limited with respect to defenses and counterclaims. But, it may be worth consulting with an attorney to help you negotiate additional time in the rental. Also, an attorney can help evaluate whether your landlord is taking retaliatory action against you.

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  • Neighbor's responsibility for snow clearing an easement

    I have an easement across my neighbor's property, their deed states "Said lot is conveyed subject to an easement for the benefit of the owners of lot 43A (THAT WOULD BE ME) to pass and repass on foot and in motor vehicles ...." Does my neighbor ...

    Jennifer’s Answer

    The language of your easement is the best place to look regarding the rights and responsibilities that come with the easement. However, if your easement does not address the area of maintenance, and more specifically, snow removal, then there are some legal principles that come into play. One would be that you, as the easement holder, have the right and obligation to maintain the easement area. If the snow needs to be removed for you to use it, then you need to remove the snow. While the owner the land burdened by the easement doesn't have to remove snow to give you access, they certainly can't pile it up or otherwise obstruct the pathway to prevent your use of it. It sounds like you were able to reach an agreement with the former owner, you should try to do the same with the new owner.

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