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Daniel T Blake

Daniel Blake’s Answers

87 total

  • What can I do about my landlord making us live in bad conditions?

    We moved into our apartment almost 2 months ago. last month we noticed black mold and asked the landlord to take care of it. All he did was cut out where the mold was in some places and put pieces of drywall up. This week we showed him the mushroo...

    Daniel’s Answer

    The prior answer covers your situation very well.

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  • Can my landlord evict me after november 1st?

    I owe my landlord a decent amount of money, he has been nice and has been working with me but recently has been getting a little frustrated with the situation which i can't blame him so am i. I can not get a job at the moment I am 8 months pregnan...

    Daniel’s Answer

    The previous answers should be reviewed as they are both relevant to your situation.

    You question is one I have often been asked by those who seem to confuse a landlord's rights with those of a utility company.

    In answer to your question on whether a landlord may evict a woman carrying a child after November 1. (Please excuse my choice of wording due to my age/generation.)


    As noted in previous answers, however, there may be more to your situation than can be determined by a review of your question (as you have phrased the facts and question), thus you should try to sit down with an attorney who will have an opportunity to develop and discuss not only the facts that you have presented, but perhaps others that may bear on your situation.

    Dan Blake

    Disclaimer: This is not specific legal advice on which you may rely as I have not had the opportunity to discuss the facts of your case with you in detail and no attorney-client relationship has been established.

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  • If a break a commercial lease what will happen if get sued ?

    What will happen if I get sued from walking away from a lease? I'm walking away from two leases after tried to negotiate with the mall. The business have failed and I'm unemployed. I signed the lease on my name and I'm married but my husband was ...

    Daniel’s Answer

    I must second the prior answer as a review of the lease is necessary before any answer can be attempted.

    In addition the attorney you chose will also need to discuss the facts of the case with you. You may have a defense if a legal action is filed against you, or you may have counterclaims. Nothing in your question gives any informatin on the overall facts other that that there is a lease.

    You should contact local counsel who can provide advice.

    Dan Blake

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  • What if my landlord filed acounterclaim against me? I decided to drop the claim bu received a late court summon.

    I had filed a clain againsy my landlord for non payment of deposit but I changed my my and did not continue with the claim. I received a counterclaim from him a summons to appear in court on th same day the court hearing was scheduled. I did not w...

    Daniel’s Answer

    Initially you should contact the office of the Court Clerk / Magistrate in the court where you filed the action. The civil desk will be able to tell you the results of the case for which you did not appear. There is more than one possibility. You should have your papers in your hands when you contact them and a personal visit to the court might be more productive than a phone call.

    Once you start a court action you do open yourself up to counterclaims. You can dismiss your claim, but if a counterclaim is filed the defendant (who is the plaintiff in the counterclaim) still has the right to continue with his or her claim.

    Once you find out the result in court you should consider seeking out the advice of an attorney especially if a judgement by default entered against you. It may also be that the landlord did not appear in court with both claims then being dismissed. Other results may also be possible.

    DO NOT DELAY as your best chance to fix a mistake will be lost with the passage of time.

    Daniel T. Blake

    The above may not be taken as specific legal advice on your matter as an attorney-client relationship would only be entered into after a meeting and a full discussion of the facts and law applicable to your case.

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  • Am i responsible?

    I rented a house and the electric was on in the landlords name. After three years of paying the bill in there name, i left with an outstanding balance. Can they sue me in anyway. They are saying it is identity theft, is this true? What can i d...

    Daniel’s Answer


    Your question is identified as being posted from Carver, MA where you presumably now are located. Thus it may be impossible for any attorney to answer your question as there is no way to identify the state where the rental property was located and whose law will be applied.

    If the information provided was misleading, however, and the rental was in Massachusetts, then the following information should be of some use.

    The Code of Massachusetts Regulations provides in part:

    410.354: Metering of Electricity, Gas and Water
    (A) The owner shall provide the electricity and gas used in each dwelling unit unless
    (1) Such gas or electricity is metered through a meter which serves only the dwelling unit or other area
    under the exclusive use of an occupant of that dwelling unit, except as allowed by 105 CMR 410.254(B);
    (2) A written letting agreement provides for payment by the occupant

    (Please note that the full regulation is longer and other parts may be applicable, but I am focusing on the need for a written agreement.)

    Did you have a lease or a tenancy at will agreement that provided that you would pay for the electricity? If not, you are probably not liable for the electricity. If you did have such an agreement you may or may not be liable.

    On the limited facts provided it seems you did nothing that would be "identity theft". If a criminal charge is brought against you, however, you must appear in court to defend it.

    If a civil case is brought against you in the state where you formerly lived and they properly file the case and make service of the papers upon you based upon the laws of that state, then you should seek legal counsel or a default judgement will result and they can send that to Mass. counsel for collection. In the collection case you will not be able to offer some or all of the possible defenses that may available to you in the court where the case is originally filed.

    Dan Blake
    Attleboro, MA

    Please note that the above may not be taken to be legal advice. If a civil or criminal case is brought against you it is important that you then seek specific advice from an attorney in the area where the case is filed in court. At that time the attorney will discuss the facts with you in detail and based upon that will be able to provide advice. Best Wishes.

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  • If you are an tenant at will can a landlord evict you from the premises after the 14 day noticed that was given to you from him?

    If the landlord sends a notice of eviction, not by a judge, but in the form of a piece of paper with his lawyer’s name on it, can he go forward with the eviction after the 14 days notice was given? Additionally, the tenant has an infant at the ...

    Daniel’s Answer

    In MA, the landlord must always terminate the tenancy before beginning a summary process (eviction) case.

    If the grounds for eviction are non-payment of rent under a tenancy at will, the notice terminating the tenancy must give at least 14 days notice. See Mass General Laws chapter 186, section 12. If there is a lease the notice in a non-payment situation may also be a 14 day notice, or it may be given under differing provisions of the lease, if any, covering such a non-payment situation. See MGL c. 186, s. 11A.

    Otherwise, under a tenancy at will, a notice period of 30 days or one month, whichever longer, is ordinarily required to terminate a tenancy and move forward with eviction. This assumes the usual monthly or weekly rental period, but in some cases the statute may require as long as a three month notice period. Mass. General Laws chapter 186, section 12.

    However the notice terminating the tenancy is given, the tenancy must be terminated before the summary process summons and complaint are served upon the tenant. Most commonly the case is scheduled for a hearing about three weeks after service is made.

    On the court date for eviction in MA, you may have an opportunity to mediate depending upon whether the court in which the case if filed offers this service.

    You may also have defenses and counterclaims that must be listed in a written answer. There is a court form for the answer. It is very important that you seek legal advice in an eviction case. Do so at the earliest possible date after being served with the court papers (the summary process summons and complaint). It is even better if you do so as soon as you receive the notice of termination (14 day, 30 day or other). If you cannot afford counsel investigate to see if there is a legal aid office in your area or whether the court has a Lawyer-of -the-day program.

    Whether the presence of a child can be used as a defense, as part of a counterclaim, as grounds for a delay in the issuance of the execution, or otherwise is something you will want to take up with legal counsel who will have a chance to obtain all the facts of the case from you.

    Best Wishes

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  • Is it legal for a landlord to extend my lease for another 3 years after he sells the house???

    is it legal??

    Daniel’s Answer

    I have not a lot to add to what Atty. De Nigris has offered above. I will stress that, as he suggested, you should have the specific terms of your lease reviewed by a local attorney who will also review the specific facts of your situation before offering advice. You might also check on the facts so that you can explain what you mean by "after" the sale. Had the original landlord actually closed (and deeded the property) to the "new" landlord, or had they merely signed a Purchase and Sale Agreement?

    Good Luck

    Dan Blake

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  • Can I break the lease

    My landlord removed the smoke detector from my apartment and never put it back on. There are a lot areas in the apartment need to be repaied. I can't live there anymore.

    Daniel’s Answer

    As noted by the prior answer, it is not possible to give specific advice in such a situation without having a chance to review the lease and to discuss the other facts of the situation so that the attorney will have an understanding of the entire situation as well as the client's needs and wishes. With this in mind you should contact an attorney in your area who has experience in landlord-tenant law.

    You certainly should be able to improve your situation with the help of counsel. The landlord has obligations under the State Sanitary Code (public health laws), the consumer protection act, the lease, court decisions and other parts of the law. If you do not know what your rights are, however, it is very possible that your rights will not be protected. It is quite common for the person who knows the law to win even when all the laws are on the other side, but the other side (often the tenant) is unaware of their rights.

    One point, if you send written notice to your landlord you might use certified mail, return receipt requested so that you can later prove receipt, if you need to do so.

    I suggest that you might first seek legal counsel so that the letter will do the most good. In addition, upon learning all the facts, it is more than possible that counsel will not recommend such a letter as your first step.

    Best Wishes

    Dan Blake

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  • My tenant has died. Sole child has not removed his belongings. We have left her voice mails and sent letters. No answer.

    Two months have passed. When can we remove the contents (give away and throw out)?

    Daniel’s Answer

    I will avoid repeating the advice given above by Atty. Hodge other than to agree that these are always difficult situations. I wish you the best on resolving it without delay and I hope without excessive expense.

    I strongly suggest that you follow the advice given above. I particularly wish to join in the recommendation that you get the advice of an attorney on this matter. In your consultation your attorney will be able to discuss the facts with you in much more detail than in your short description above.

    Be very careful as you need to terminate the tenancy (now held by the deceased tenant's estate and must also be cautious in your treatment of the tenant's property. Both civil and criminal penalties are out there for the unwary landlord in such a situation.

    One explanatory note - if the family does not work with you and if no one is appointed as personal representative of the tenant's estate, you may need to file a creditor's petition, so-called, to have the court appoint a public administrator for the tenant's estate. Thereafter your legal counsel can advise on the next steps which may resolve the matter by negotiation or by a summary process action.

    Good Luck

    Dan Blake

    Note again that the above is not legal advice as the facts of the case would need to be developed in much more detail before advice would be given on which you could rely. The comments above are for informational and educational purposes only.

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  • I just rec'd a letter from my landlords atty. stating i must leave in 30 days. selling the house..I've recently retire

    She is has just decided to sell the house, however I'm on a fixed income and recently retired. I must find Section 8 housing otherwise I will be in the street. Isn't there some rights I should have as a tenant to protect myself?

    Daniel’s Answer

    I am sorry to hear of what I am sure is a very distressing situation for you.

    As noted by each of the prior answers, if you have a lease it will determine whether more notice must be given, for instance, the lease may have some months to go before the term expires. You should speak with an attorney about this.

    I you do not have a lease you should speak with an attorney now. Eventually you are likely to have to move, but the attorney may be able to help you get 8 to 14 months to find suitable quarters.

    Best Wishes

    Dan Blake

    Disclaimer: The short factual situation given is not an adequate basis for legal advice. You should speak with counsel experienced in Landlord-Tenant law so that you can discuss your situation in detail and work out the best approach.

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