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January 2013 Archives

What Are Massachusetts' Adverse Possession Laws?

How can you claim adverse possession in Massachusetts?

The real estate market downturn led to many foreclosures in parts of the country and many vacant properties. There have been cases across the nation of people squatting in homes. In some cases, these people have even been able to produce paperwork to claim that the home now belongs to them, MSN reports.

While the squatter problem isn't rampant in Boston, it's still an interesting question to ask. How can someone take possession of a vacant property in Massachusetts?

8 Things to Know Before Signing a Lease in Massachusetts

If you're entering into a residential lease, it may be worth it to enter into a written lease. While many landlords still go by oral or unwritten leases, a written one will guarantee you certain protections.

You might not always want to get a lawyer to review your lease. But if you opt for reviewing your lease without the help of a real estate lawyer, here are a few things you should know:

New Mass. Domestic Violence Law Lets Victims Break Lease

Have you read the new Massachusetts Domestic Violence Act? If you're a landlord, you might want to take a close look at this new law.

The law provides victims of domestic violence the opportunity to break their lease and move out. Essentially, victims of sexual assault and stalking are allowed by law to break their lease and not incur much financial penalty.

They're also entitled to have the landlord change their locks.

Initially, the law was seen as detrimental to landlords, as the short notice on breaking a lease was criticized. As a result, the legislators included a three-month notice period.

Here are a few more key details on the law:

It's Hard Out There For a Landlord!

Landlords have many obligations vis-a-vis the tenant.

An interesting blog post in the Boston.com Real Estate Blog looks at whether Massachusetts landlords have it tough.

Here’s what the blog post says.

For starters, professional tenants have the ability to use health board complaints to cease paying rent. The problem with this loophole in the law is that many professional tenants play dirty and make fake claims. According to Boston.com, the tenants make trumped up charges and damage their apartments themselves to get a free ride.

Boston Cleans Up Vermin Problem in Public Housing

There's something to be said for improving housing conditions. The city of Boston cleaned up its public housing and as a result, incidents of asthma have gone down, reports The Boston Globe.

Back in 2005, the Boston Public Health Commission joined forces with the city's housing authority, targeting the city's public housing. The joint task force aimed to clean up the public housing, ridding units of roaches, rodents and other vermin.

Homeowners Moving Up? 2013 Could See Housing Growth

New year, new house?

It's been five years since the housing market began to tank. But now, with signs of life in the housing market, 2013 could look promising.

According to Redfin, it certainly is promising. Boston.com's Real Estate Blog discusses Redfin's projection, which proclaims 2013 the "year of the move-up buyer."

The number of buyers who are also sellers has doubled, according to Redfin. This was seen over the course of 2012, when early in the year, the numbers were at 8 percent.