How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Michael J, Esq. Your Own Question
Michael J, Esq.
Michael J, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Satisfied Customers: 3426
Experience:  Licensed Attorney - represented hundreds of clients in criminal cases, family law disputes, traffic issues, and general legal issues. Youth Court Prosecutor.
18210975
Type Your Landlord-Tenant Question Here...
Michael J, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have bought a home under my own name in Massachusetts in

Customer Question

I have bought a home under my own name in Massachusetts in Southbridge .
I would like to rent out my home out to families or groups as a vacation home from time to time and my town says that is called a business and therefore falls under commercial use of the home. They are making have the kitchen inspected for public use ( I do not prepare any food), the pool to be a semipublic pool, making me go through surveying the driveway for the parking spaces.
I have rented homes everywhere in the past and none of the homes had to get any permits.
I have been unable to find on line the rights of homeowners for Mass .
The town planning boards are made up of volunteer semiretired citizens. Please advise my rights and I need a good lawyer on this.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Landlord-Tenant
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
can you call me at(###) ###-####? thanks
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have never heard that a home owner needs a permit in Mass in order to rent the home out to any families or groups for short term rentals. This is my primary home.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My email is***@******.***
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting JustAnswer. My name is Michael; I look forward to assisting you today.

Have you taken a look at the city ordinances for Southbridge? This would be a city permit issue, not a state issue.

Thanks,

Michael

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not know what you mean. Please answer my question. you are not answering my question.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please do not waste my time if you do not have an answer to my question. I would like a different lawyer to tackle my question. I am not satisfied.
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I was trying to get some more information in order to assist you properly and was in the middle of answering your question. Do you want me to opt out?

Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Please be patient as it sometimes takes time for us to do research and respond with an Answer.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
please you do the research before answering my question as the answer you gave does not at all address my question. Do you know the Mass laws for the homeowner to rent out her own home anytime ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Why would I need a permit to rent out my own home anywhere in the country ?
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I did not give you an Answer, I was trying to ask you a question about whether you had taken a look at city ordinances, as this is a city issue, not a state issue. This is not a Mass law - it's a Southbridge ordinance.

I'm sorry to say that yes, Southbridge requires a business license to operate a business in the city. A business is any activity carried out for commercial purposes, which would include renting your home out to other people. Don't get me wrong - I hate these kinds of ordinances as they limit freedom, but unfortunately most cities have them. You will have to have a business permit to move forward and if you refuse to get one, they will be able to fine/penalize you.

Michael

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
have you looked into the website of Southbridge that confrims this ? And does that mean the other towns in Mass in the cape etc have no ordinance and so they can rent their homes out with no permits ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Please copy and paste for me to see that fact. Are you to say if I rent out my entire home to someone for months at a time that that is also call commercialism ?
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Here is the Southbridge website dealing with business certificates. It deals with DBAs as well as the zoning for your particular business (renting the house). I have been unable to find the ordinance referring to this online, which is why I was asking if you had looked at the ordinances. They are filed at City Hall and can easily be retrieved locally to confirm.

Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Also the committee who has forced you to do these things should be able to provide you a copy of the rule.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What if the group of volunteering citizens are wrong in doing this and not realizing there is no ordinance in addressing the situation that a homeowner can rent out his home to anyone ?Can you find out for me if there is such an ordinance written anywhere for the public to see in the town of Southbridge that confirms what you stated ? What if there is no such ordinance ? All those homes in the various towns in Mass that are renting their homes out through the realtors or internet or printed ad have no permits needed and did not have to go through this. Check it out for yourself.
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

As mentioned, I'm unable to find it online. I would check at city hall in Southbridge, or request a copy of the ordinance from the committee that is enforcing it. If you can show it to you, I can give you my opinion whether you are breaking it or not. Other cities have no relevance in this discussion as this is a Southbridge city ordinance.

Michael

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If you do not see online, Can you call and find out if if there is such ordinance that exists ?
Expert:  Michael J, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Unfortunately, the costs here just cover this research/chat. I would find it extremely odd and unreasonable if the committee was trying to impose these restrictions on you with no authority. I can almost assure you they have the authority to do so generally, but we would need to see the actual ordinance to do so. Please let me know when you have it.

Michael

Related Landlord-Tenant Questions