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