Skip to main content
Edward Rice
Avvo
Pro

Edward Rice’s Answers

30 total

  • What will happen if a landlord filled a civil case while the tenant is out side the country

    I left USA for a trip in Asia for 3 weeks because I have a civil case that is being processed in Asia. However I didnt recieved any schedule date for my hearing not until last Minute ( a week after the date I was supposed to come back in US) Unf...

    Edward’s Answer

    In addition to the above answer, the landlord must actually serve you with a Notice to Quit prior to starting a summary process (eviction) case for non-payment of rent. The law requires that the tenant actually receive the Notice to Quit . If you did not receive on before you left, the landlord can not just leave it at you address. If the landlord then files the case and you are defaulted for not being at court, you can seek to have the default removed due to not receiving the Notice to Quit.

    Please note that for the Summons and Complaint the landlord can serve you by having it delivered to your address. The Notice to Quit is different and requires that you actually receive it.

    See question 
  • If I sue, will the courts be able to award treble damages if I did not include a reference to such damages in my demand?

    I sent, by email, a demand for the immediate return of my security deposit to my landlord, as he did not deposit the money into an appropriate account. My tenancy does not end until May 31. I cited my reasons for demanding the immediate return of ...

    Edward’s Answer

    The security deposit law requires triple damages on the security deposit amount in most situations, regardless of if you asked for triple damages in the demand letter. If you are looking for triple damages on the interest then your demand letter needs to be more precise.

    Several of the landlord tenant lawyers here on Avvo would be happy to review your demand letter and security deposit case at no charge.

    See question 
  • Is it too late for me to get my security deposit back? If not, how do I go about getting it back?

    Last year, I took over a lease from February 2015 to the end of May 2015. I paid a $600 security deposit. When I moved out and asked about my security deposit, I was told that I would get it when they find someone else to move in. I asked again ov...

    Edward’s Answer

    No, it is not too late.

    You should contact an attorney who specializes in landlord tenant law to help you with it.

    See question 
  • What makes an itemized letter from a landlord? Can it be just an email? What if it does not say "signed under pains...."?

    I am bringing my landlord to housing court for not returning all of the security deposit. He sent me an email (which he is using as his letter of itemized damages) a week after we moved out informing me of all the damages he believes we caused an...

    Edward’s Answer

    Unless the landlord is keeping your security deposit for unpaid rent, then the landlord is required to give you back the security deposit or a proper withholding letter within 30 days.

    If the withholding letter does not have the receipts and is not signed under pains and penalties then it is not a proper withholding letter.

    See question 
  • Eviction process concerning project based housing

    I am undergoing an eviction process concerning project based housing. I haven’t been to court once yet, but I am inquiring to see. that if I do get evicted…. How I can appeal my case to get a 2nd appearance before the judge? If not for continued r...

    Edward’s Answer

    I agree with what attorney Silva said. In addition I wanted to add that if your court date is coming up you should call Greater Boston Legal Services at 617-371-1234 to get help filling out paperwork for the court called an"Answer". The Answer has your side of the story and your defenses to the case. Many important rights are covered in the Answer paperwork and it is very important to fill out and file an Answer.

    You can also go to the Attorney for the Day table at the Boston Housing Court any Wednesday or Thursday morning from 9 to noon and they can help you fill out an Answer. You should bring the court notice you have so they can look up your case if need be.

    In public housing you likely have other rights that are involved in the eviction process. It is important that you speak to a lawyer as soon as possible so that you do not miss any deadlines.

    See question 
  • Can I do this?

    I was just wondering if I just collect first month's rent and prorated rent from the time the tenant moves in and the start of the rental agreement, could I also charge a non-refundable pet fee? Not asking for last month/security deposit, just fir...

    Edward’s Answer

    The short answer is don't charge a nonrefundable pet fee.

    Just add the amount you want to charge to the monthly rent and call it all rent, don't break it down into seperate amounts.

    See question 
  • What are our legal options as we are now angered at this?

    We moved out of a rented home by 12/31. Gave proper notice and left the house in immaculate shape. It is now 2/11 and our landlord has not returned our $2200 security deposit. We had a walk through and all back then. Looking into this we never re...

    Edward’s Answer

    I'd be happy to speak to you about your options to get your security deposit back. The rule is very detailed and the landlord must comply with specific requirements at several stages. If the landlord does not, then you may be entitled to three times your deposit back.

    I can go over each step with you by phone if you like.

    See question 
  • Would like to know more about a Jury Trial Process?

    I want to request a jury trial for my eviction case. I learned that when I submit my "Answer", I can request a Discovery in which case I need to check on "Rescheduled" (pushes trial date for 2 weeks). But, if I am requesting a jury trial - Do I st...

    Edward’s Answer

    This is a very complicated question to Answer completely in a short online reply. Mainly becuase of the amount of details you ask for about the jury trial. Below is a short but not comprehensive answer.

    If you do select a jury trial, and I usually encourage my clients to do that, you still must appear on the Rescheduled date. That date can be used for mediation or to set the scheduled for the next events and discovery.

    your other questions:
    1. Once discovery is complete the Court will schedule a jury trial, it is somewhat determined by how many other cases the Court has to schedule and the availability of the Court and Jurors. It isn't a fixed date that I can tell you up front.

    2. Again it depends based on several factors. It could be a few weeks or a few months.

    3. This is something you would need to speak to someone in person about or perhaps look at a book from a law library. Many lawyers will meet with you and provide an overview of your case for a low fee. If you are low income you can check with the court for Attorney of the Day services, which are available in Malden District Court (where Melrose cases are heard).

    See question 
  • Can my landlord control who stays overnight at my apartment? We need a lawyer to look over our very ambiguous lease.

    Our lease says "Guest(s) staying over 10 days without the written consent of OWNER shall be considered a breach of this agreement." Before we moved we got it in writing (in an email) that this refers to guests staying ten CONSECUTIVE days. We wou...

    Edward’s Answer

    In answering your question I am making the assumption that this is a private market rental of an apartment. Some special types of housing have different rules.

    If your girlfriend is staying over 3 nights a week and has her own place then she is a guest and not a new occupant of your apartment. As long as you and your guests are not breaking any rules or causing a disturbance then you are allowed to have the guests that you choose.

    That being said it is always a good idea to try and work it out with your landlord so that you can live in peach without the landlord being upset. I know that it isn't always possible but I would encourage giving it another try. Maybe if you have a copy of the girlfriends lease, or a letter from where she lives, your landlord will see that she is really just a guest. It wont always work but its better to try and talk it over before things get even more stressful.

    See question 
  • Do we have a lead paint case against our landlord?

    My husband and I moved into a duplex where we rent 3 years ago. I had a baby a year later and she tested positive for lead in her blood. The house was bukit in 1965. When we moved in we were never given a lead certificate or any paperwork about l...

    Edward’s Answer

    Lead paint poisoning is potentially very serious. You should certainly speak to an attorney about your options for getting your home tested, addressing the lead removal if the home does have lead, and what steps you need to consider with regards to your daughter.

    These cases are very dependent on the individual facts. The landlord certainly has to get the property tested and provide you the results, but there could be other sources of lead to consider- day care is one example I have encountered. Depending on the levels of lead in her test you may also want to wait before bringing a court action on behalf of your daughter. But that does not prevent you from a separate court case regarding your current housing.

    I strongly encourage you to talk this over with an experienced attorney.

    See question