When Tenants Should Call A Lawyer
Boston, Massachusetts (June 4, 2014) – As a tenant, the law in Massachusetts is designed to safeguard your health, safety, and well-being from landlords who fail to provide housing that is suitable for human habitation. This overarching objective is achieved through an “implied warranty of habitability”, which requires landlords to supply all residential tenants with a living space that meets the “Minimum Standards of Fitness for Human Habitation” (the “Habitation Standards”) as defined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulations.
Landlords have a limited amount of time to remedy conditions that violate the aforementioned health regulations once they know of the violation(s) or should have known of the violation(s). Generally, any condition that violates the Habitation Standards is a condition deemed by to endanger human health and accordingly, the landlord has five days to correct the violation(s). Some of these conditions include, the failure to provide a kitchen sink; the failure to provide a shower or bathtub; any defect in electrical, plumbing, or heating systems; the failure to maintain a safe handrail on any stairway or porch; or the failure to eliminate any infestation of cockroaches or rodents.
The failure to remedy any of the foregoing conditions may provide the tenant(s) with the right to sue the landlord to recover rent paid while the premises were in violation of the Habitation Standards, withhold future rent payments until the violations are cured, or even file a consumer protection action pursuant to Chapter 93A of the Massachusetts General Laws for double or treble damages plus reasonable attorneys fees. Moreover, a tenant may contact the Department of Public Health and request an inspection of the premises if the landlord has failed to cure the violation(s) of the Habitation Standards.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing a problem similar to those mentioned above please call us to discuss your rights and the available remedies.
Originally published at BostInno