I live in Fall River Massachusetts and my landlord, a real estate management company, has sent me a 30 day notice to quit. In the last few years I had made several complaints for a leaky roof, ceiling, faulty radiator with no heat for three months and several other small issues. The landlords of the building I live in never repaired anything until I was forced to report the situation with the Board of Health in Fall River. All my landlords want is there rent and they make no repairs. I don’t think it’s fair that me simply asking for repairs that were needed should get me evicted, when I always pay my rent on time. Is there anything that I can do?
This is clearly a case of retaliation for you requesting needed repairs on the apartment and should easily be proven if they attempt to bring you to court for eviction. If I’m reading your question right, you have paperwork proving that you had filed with the Board of Health for repairs never made by your landlord, prior to receiving the 30 day notice to quit. It is critical in a situation such as this that you have proof that before you receive the notice to quit that you had asked for repairs, which were never done and you had to take additional steps to get those repaired. Especially in the case of no heat for three months and getting the Board of Health involved, it certainly seems like you have a case of retaliation to me. In a situation such as this the best case scenario would be you to get the services of an experienced landlord tenant attorney, and fight this in court. That attorney should also file a motion for attorneys fees, as this eviction is in retaliation for you attempting to have issues with the apartment resolved with the landlord, which resulted in a retaliation of eviction. You may attempt to resolve this matter yourself, but I’ve seen far too many people lose in housing court simply because they don’t know the rules of court. Because this is a form of retaliation against you, most likely the judge will grant attorneys fees and you will not be forced to move. Just realize the you only get one shot at this and after a time. The landlord will be able to evict you. So you really want to take that into consideration, looking for a new place to live in the future. Even though you will be able to stop this particular eviction, after six months to a year, depending on the judge, the landlord will be able to evict you. But it’s better to leave an apartment on your own terms, instead of being evicted which will go on your record.
Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave.
Fall River, MA 02723
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