Posted by Rita in MA on November 07, 2000 at 10:59:05:
In Reply to: get out of there and keep your money posted by the president on November 04, 2000 at 01:15:19:
Perhaps the poster is unfamiliar with the laws in Massachusetts, but this advice is very risky. I suggest you not follow it unless you want to hand your head on a silver platter to your landlord. Review the Stae Sanitary Code and know exactly what parts of the code your landlord is violating. If you have unsafe living conditions under the code, document and follow the procedure and you will prevail.
There is a very clear process here for documenting and reporting unsafe living conditions:
1) notify your landlord in writing of the conditions - send it certified and regular mail.
2) Contact your local inspectional services/building/health department for an inspection. Depending on the conditions, they could be out there this afternoon. "...letters, pictures and witnesses" will not suffice; don't rely on them. Once you have documented the conditions, you will be in a better position to make a decision about what you want to do - repair and deduct, move out, negotiate, withhold rent, etc. and you will be doing it legally. You will also have protected yourself from retaliatory action from your landlord. If you follow the legal procedure, you will proceed with the support of local agencies and the law. If you don't, the best you can hope for is a protracted court battle which will be difficult even if you win.
Here's a couple of good sites for Massachusetts tenants. The following site can give you additional information on rights and procedures -
The following site is the State Sanitary Code - http://www.state.ma.us/sec/cis/cissfsn/sfsnidx.htm
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