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May 2012 Archives

Closure of 38 Studios Have You Moving Back to Boston?

Recently, Curt Schilling’s 38 Studios laid off all of its employees, reports The Associated Press. Unfortunately for employees, this may mean yet another move.

Originally headquartered in Maynard, the company moved to Providence after Rhode Island offered $75 million in incentives to the company. Now the company is seeking a private investor to pick up where RI left off. If this happens, the new money might send 38 Studios back up to the Boston area, forcing its employees to search for a new place to live once again. That is, if they haven’t already moved back to get a more stable job.

Boston Grill Laws Heat Up for Memorial Day

Since it’s Memorial Day weekend, that means it’s time to grill some tasty food outside. The weather has warmed up and this weekend looks like it’ll be wicked good for grilling. Of course, this topic wouldn’t be on a legal blog unless there was some trouble that you could get yourself into.

Boston has some very specific laws on what you can do with your grill. And we’re not talking about your teeth decorations here. Read on to see what’s up with your grill.

Bad news for Boston renters: rental unit vacancy is at the lowest level it”s been in decades, causing rents to soar to pre-recession levels, the Boston Herald reports.

Experts attribute the rise to the improving job market combined with the scarcity of rental units. According to a new study conducted by Marcus & Millchap’s National Multi Housing Group, rental unit vacancy is going to keep on falling.

On Wednesday, the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed a bill that would make it harder for lenders to make unnecessary foreclosures, The Associated Press reports.

Attorney General Martha Coakley has said that the bill would help people keep their homes without requiring any sacrafices from lenders. The bill will now go to the state Senate.

Nearly everyone has seen "The Landlord" video on Funny or Die where Will Ferrell is harassed by his landlord, played by his friend's 2-year-old daughter Pearl. The pint-sized landlord hurls expletives and threats at Farrell for being behind on his rent.

While the video is a good laugh, it would be pretty uncomfortable if a full-sized landlord launched into Pearl's tirade. Is this kind of behavior from a landlord legal? Below, we've provided a breif legal analysis of some of Pearl's more intimidating behavior.

Tenants in Medford and Malden are working together to combat rent hikes implemented by a Boston real estate firm, the Boston Globe reports.

Shortly after purchasing 248 units for $23.5 million in April 26, Allston-based Alpha Management began implementing 20 to 30 percent more rent for its tenants. The rent hikes are set to go into effect June 1.

How far do real estate agents have to go to verify their sources of information? The Massachusetts Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case regarding the extent of a real estate agent’s duty disclose and independently verify property information they obtain from the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), BostonRealEstateNow reports.

DeWolfe v. Hingham Centre Ltd. was previously decided by the Massachusetts Court of Appeals, who held that a real estate agent who provides erroneous information could be held liable for misrepresentation and Chapter 93A violations. The Supreme Court’s decision could have a significant impact on the real estate brokerage industry.

Fannie Mae, the taxpayer-funded mortgage finance firm, was able to turn a profit in the first quarter, allowing the company to pay out the dividends it owes the government for its support, Forbes reports.

The firm's $2.7 billion net income this quarter is a marked contrast from the $2.4 billion loss it suffered last quarter and the $6.5 billion loss it experienced in the first quarter of 2011.

A state foreclosure hotline that opened last month has been bombarded with up to 300 calls a day from homeowners looking for help in avoiding foreclosure of their homes, the Boston Herald reports.

According to the Massachusetts Attorney General's office, over 45,000 homes in the state have been foreclosed upon during the current economic crisis. The HomeCorps hotline was launched to provide homeowners with advice that will help them remain in their homes.

Landlords can sometimes be nosy, constantly showing up at your door to make sure everything's in order. Tenants generally have a right to privacy that protects them from such unwanted intrusions.

However, under Massachusetts regulations, a landlord has the right to enter a rental property in certain situations. Below, we've included the circumstances in which a landlord may enter a dwelling.

The Federal Trade Commission and state officials have begun to crack down on scam artists preying on timeshare owners who are looking to sell their shares, USA Today reports.

In the economic downturn, many timeshare owners are looking to sell due to the high fees and travel costs often associated with time shares. According to authorities, the influx in owners looking to sell has been accompanied by a sharp spike in cases of time share resale fraud.

Many Massachusetts residents planning to vacation in Maine have recently fallen prey to a craigslist rental scam, Seacoastonline.com reports. The scam involves craigslist listings for fake York Beach homes.

The bogus listings require the renters to pay a deposit in order to reserve the rental properties. When the renters show up at the rental units, however, they find that the units are either already occupied or aren’t available to rent at all.