Landlord-Tenant Disputes

  • In March of 2020, negotiated a settlement for a commercial tenant in a dispute regarding back rent allegedly owed.  The commercial tenant did not dispute that an amount was owed, but disputed the amount claimed by the landlord. Furthermore, the tenant had a counterclaim for a violation of chapter 93A due to the landlord’s failure to install a separate utility meter that lead to utility overcharges.  TNP v. Beacon Power, LLC, Suffolk Superior Court, Civil Action No. 2084CV000108.
  • In September of 2019, assisted a commercial landlord in obtaining a recovery for a substantial amount of back rent owed by negotiating the assignment of commercial equipment from the tenant’s finance company in lieu of pursuing a claim for unpaid rent in Court. Cosgrove Realty LLC v. Duval Sign Company, Inc.Ayer District Court.
  • In April of 2019, represented a local commercial landlord in a matter against a tenant who is a repeat offended in failing to pay rent. The tenant immediately came current on the back rent owed before needing to appear in Court.  Panda Realty, LLC v. Crawford Street Collison, Fitchburg District Court, Docket No. 1916SU000001.
  • In January of 2019, negotiated the termination, settlement, and mutual release for a commercial tenant in a dispute with a landlord over the use of 12,000 square feet of space. The tenant entered a five-year lease with the landlord.  Soon after the lease was executed, the landlord demanded a substantially larger security deposit and would not approve the tenant’s buildout plans, claiming it did not realize the extent of buildout that the tenant wanted to conduct.  The parties first attempted to resolve their differences without success.  The tenant finally gave notice of termination and vacated the location eight months into the tenancy, feeling the landlord materially breached the terms of the lease agreement and was unreasonable.  The tenant commenced suit against the landlord to recover economic damages, including past rent already paid.  In turn, the landlord issued a notice of default and then countersued the tenant, claiming that the tenant wrongfully abandoned the premises. Moreover, the defendant landlord also commenced a third-party action against the guarantor.  The parties each made a business decision and reached a settlement before discovery and the attendant costs of litigation escalated. Luc’s Transportation, LLC v. Foxford Business Center, LLC v. Trillium Brewing Company, LLC, Norfolk Superior Court, 1882CV00546.
  • In August of 2018, obtained a judgment and execution for a real estate trust against a family member living in the familial house. The family member had been permitted to return to the house to live as long as he agreed to care for his aged mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease. The family member failed to adequately care for his mother and she was then transferred to an assisted living facility.  After a few years, the Trustees then sought to remove the family member from the house so that the mother could return home for the few remaining years of her life. There was no lease between the trust and the family member, and the family member did not pay rent, taxes, utilities, etc. for the four plus years he lived in the house.  125 Greenwood Street Realty Trust v. Monti, Housing Court, Central Division, Docket No. 18H85SP002316.
  • In December of 2017, obtained an Agreement for Judgment from a tenant of a mobile home park for back rent owed and possession if back rent not paid subject to the agreement. The process was made subject to Mass. Gen. L. ch. 140, sec. 32J, which sets forth different requirements in order to evict an owner of a mobile home (manufactured housing) leasing space upon which the mobile home rests from that of a typical residential tenancy.  Wood v. Kelly, Ayer District Dept., Docket No. 1748SU000058 (Guzman, J.).
  • In March of 2017, represented a local commercial landlord in a matter wherein the commercial tenant was a few months in arrears on rent. The tenant immediately came current on the owed back rent upon being served with the Notice to Quit.  Panda Realty, LLC v. Crawford Street Collison, Fitchburg District Court.
  • In January of 2017, obtained an Execution for a money judgment for a plaintiff after a trial by a judge. The terms of judgment:  Interest begins 07/14/2016; Judgment Date 01/24/2017; Damages:  $13,950.00 in back rent and use and occupancy; $200.00 costs paid to Court; and $530.00 costs paid to a private constable for service of the Notice to Quit, Summary Process Complaint, and Execution for a total of $14,680.00.  Garabedian v. St. Pierre, Concord District Court, 1647SU000074 (Singh, J.).
  • In October of 2016, obtained an Execution for possession against a particularly stubborn tenant. In August of 2016, obtained a judgment for the landlord for unpaid rent, use and occupancy, and possession.  The tenant then filed a notice of appeal and requested that the bond be waived.  However, the court denied the request and ordered payment of unpaid rent and use and occupancy by September 2nd.  The tenant did not make the ordered payment and instead filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition in an effort to avoid payment and eviction.  The landlord then moved to vacate the Notice of Appeal for noncompliance and requested that an Execution issue for possession only.  Because the judgment for possession entered before the tenant petitioned for bankruptcy protection, the bankruptcy stay was subject to an exception pursuant to 11 USC 362(b)(22), which states that the stay does not apply to matters where the petitioner filed after the judgment for possession entered.  Garabedian v. St. Pierre, Concord District Court, 1647SU000074 (Brendemeuhl, J.).
  • In September of 2016, obtained a judgment for possession only and subsequent Execution in a summary process action against a tenant, who refused to leave her apartment. The Landlord had sold the house and as a condition of the sale, the house had to be completely vacated.  The tenant was in her 60’s and had lived in the apartment for over twenty years.  The Landlord, also in her 60’s, had repeatedly notified the tenant for nearly two years that she was going to sell the two-family house and that the tenant needed to find a new apartment.  Dale v. Torcivia, Somerville District Court, Docket NO. 1610SU000266 (Flynn, J.).
  • In August of 2016, obtained judgment and subsequent Execution from the Housing Court to evict a problem tenant from a mobile home park. The process was subject to Mass. Gen. L. ch. 140, sec. 32J, which sets forth different requirements in order to evict an owner of a mobile home (manufactured housing) leasing space upon which it rests from that of a typical residential tenancy.  Wood v. Beardsley, Housing Court Dept., Northeast Div., Docket No. 16H77SP001481 (Dalton, J.).
  • In April of 2016, represented a landlord of a manufactured housing community from unfounded claims by a tenant of illegal water shut off and breach of quiet enjoyment. The tenant claims were made in retaliation against the landlord after the landlord put the tenant on notice of a violation of park rules.  Successfully convinced the tenant that his claims were made in bad faith and he opted not to pursue a legal action.  Moon v. Wood, Ayer District Court (Cremens, J.).
  • In February of 2016, represented a commercial landlord from Sudbury, MA in evicting a tenant for violating certain provisions of the lease, namely that the tenant’s conduct was either “unlawful, improper, noisy or offensive, or contrary to any law . . . “ As a result of such behavior, the tenant was notified to quit and deliver up the premises, which it did.  Koop Realty v. Olive Spa, Framingham District Court.
  • In November of 2015, represented a local commercial landlord in a matter wherein the commercial tenant had stopped paying rent. The landlord was able to convince the tenant business that it would be evicted and its equipment seized if it didn’t pay back rent and/or vacate the premises.  Panda Realty, LLC v. Crawford Street Collison, Fitchburg District Court.
  • In July of 2015, cost-effectively resolved a landlord-tenant dispute by convincing the tenant to voluntarily vacate the residential apartment after service of the Notice to Quit and before service of the Summary Process Summons and Complaint was served. Mastroianni v. Levoy, Housing Court Dept., Northeast Div. (Dalton, J.).
  • In October of 2013, negotiated a settlement on behalf of a residential landlord who brought a summary process action to evict a non-paying residential tenant. The tenant counterclaimed and alleged that she did not pay because the landlord did not maintain the premises and there was mold in the apartment that made her sick.  The tenant failed to clean her own apartment and was the cause of the mold condition.  Stanton v. Kelly, Housing Court Dept., Northeast Div., Docket No. 13H77SP003266 (Dalton, J.).
  • In September of 2010, obtained a Judgment in favor of a California commercial landlord against a Massachusetts resident who had executed a personal guarantee for the rent of the retail premises. Country Club Shopping Center LTD v. DePatto, Essex Superior Court, ESCV2010-01052 (Murtagh, J.).
  • Successfully represented a commercial landlord in its claim for the recovery of (1) possession of a retail property, (2) back rent, (3) use and occupancy, and (4) attorney fees and costs incurred during the enforcement of its rights, pursuant to the lease. Aetna Real Estate Associates, L.P. v. Virtual Music Entertainment, Inc., Lawrence District Court, Docket NO. 9818-CV-557 (Geary, J.).