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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34891
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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My landlord claims I never paid him rent since March,but I

Customer Question

My landlord claims I never paid him rent since March,but I did he sent me a letter to leave a the end of this month.My problem I didn't save my money order receipts and he agreed to a payment plan but now is avoiding my calls to pay him.What should I do?
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the property is in?
Customer: Massachusetts
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: Yes to my housing and he had his lawyer send me papers in the mail by a constable and this is the first time hearing this just because I called him about a rats running through my apartment and broken sink.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: I've called legal aide and they said till I'm summons to court nothing can be done.
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

Are you under a written fixed term lease or are you month to month?.

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Has the landlord given you any written notice?

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Does he know that you don't have your receipts?

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Do you have any documentation about where you might have taken the money out of an account to buy the money order?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
he does he asked me
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
I had no problems before so I never kept them and I called Cvs they can't retrieve them from theem
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Tenant at will
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

Ok, so has he given you any written notice to vacate?

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And if so, when did he give it to you and how much time does it give you?

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hello are you there, I have a very sock child and this is to much
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Its dated Aug 30th
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hello
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

Just a minute or two, I can 't respond instantly..

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Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Please help me
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

If you are a month to month tenant, then either party can terminate the tenancy with a written 30 day notice in Mass. So he isn't evicting you for not paying the rent, which he knows he got, he is just terminating the tenancy legally as he can do under the law, same as you could.

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With that said, if you failed to vacate by the end of the month, he would have to file a formal eviction action in court, get a judgment of eviction and a writ and then have the sheriff or constable execute the writ to physically force you to move out.

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This takes about 3-4 weeks more after the 30 day notice expires.

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However, if this all came about after you complained about the living conditions and asked for him to make repairs, that smells like landlord retaliation under Mass. Ann. Laws ch. 239 § 2A; ch. 186 § 18.

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So you can sue that as a defense to any eviction action he may try to bring because there is a presumption that if the landlord takes negative action against you within 6 months after you request repairs that it is illegal retaliation..

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So the folks at Legal Aid should be able to pick up this case and run with it and not only defeat the eviction case, but also sue the landlord for damages for you for the illegal retaliation..

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thanks

Barrister

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Customer: replied 5 months ago.
They just shut it down
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

I don't know what that means..

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
They said if I'm not brought to court there is nothing they can do
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
They won't listen
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

Right, the notice he gave you doesn't mean you have to move out the end of the month..understand? He has to go to court and file an eviction lawsuit against you before he could force you to leave. But he can't do that until the 30 days expires..

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That is what Legal Aid meant... once the landlord files the eviction action the beginning of October, then they can help.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
O my gosh
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
At this point I font want to lose my voucher over fowel play
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

You haven't done anything wrong..it is the landlord who is violating the law by illegally retaliating against you for asking for a clean and safe place to live..

Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

Did you have any further questions I can help with?

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
But I went to housing and they want proof of payment,I'm screwed and I just want to give him the money hand in hand to avoid any issues, but he is just being dirty.
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
What about my housing voucher will I lose it
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

That does present a problem if you can't prove you paid... I realize it is to little too late, but always...always...always...keep your receipts in one place every month for as long as you live somewhere..

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I think that you will have a better shot at staying and defending if you claim illegal retaliation by the landlord and make sure housing knows that he only did this once you started asking for repairs..

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But if you are evicted, I don't know if you would lose your voucher.. If they know that the landlord is acting illegally but you just can't prove it, I can't see them pulling your voucher..

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If you feel your original question and any related follow ups have been answered, I would very much appreciate a positive rating on the answer I have provided as that is the only way I receive credit for my work. If you have a new question the JustAnswer folks require that you start a new question page, but you can request me by putting "For Barrister" in the caption and they will get it to me.

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thanks much

Barrister