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I'm a landlord an Massachusetts and trying to figure out…

Customer Question
I'm a landlord an...

I'm a landlord an Massachusetts and trying to figure out snow removal. it seems the law basically says there can never be snow anywhere on my property but obviously that's not feasible

Lawyer's Assistant: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Massachusetts

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

Its a 2 family and just me and the tenant. We share a driveway with another home. He has complained multiple times about not being able to get his car out of the garage (no matter what I do when it snows a lot). He ran his truck into the garage and dinged a fender Jan 2015. I stated I wouldnt reimburse him and he never filed a complaint. I dont think i'm responsible for someone not being able to assess whether they can get out of a garage...

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 10 minutes by:
3/14/2018
Lawyer: Bill Attorney, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Bill Attorney
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Satisfied Customers: 2,644
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Dear Customer ,

Thank You for posting your landlord-tenant question this evening. I'm attorney Bill assisting you with your request.

Snow removal is going to be within the habitability covenant that a landlord is required to keep with the tenant so if you can no longer access part of the property because of a snow build up this is something the landlord is usually responsible unless it is minimal and expressed otherwise in the lease.

(105 CMR 410

Set out in tenant rights handbook the landlord has the following obligation:

"Snow Removal: Every exit used or intended for use by occupants of more than one dwelling unit or rooming unit shall be maintained free from obstruction."

"(A) No person shall occupy as owner-occupant or let to another for occupancy any dwelling, dwelling unit, mobile dwelling unit, or rooming unit for the purpose of living, sleeping, cooking or eating therein, which does not comply with the requirements of 105 CMR 410.000. "

Hence , your landlord needs to clear the snow from entrances and exits.

Once you put this request in writing tot he landlord you can start deducting rent for his non-compliance and your loss of habitability.

We are here to help, so please follow up with me as required.

In return remember to rate positively today.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Hi Bill, I'm the landlord not the tenant. How is it possible to do this when over 18 hours we get 20 inches of snow? Nobody is clearing the snow every hour, that's ludicrous.And what is my responsibility for his vehicle damage?
Lawyer: Bill Attorney, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

You wouldn't be required to do it on the spot but would need to arrange a convenient time to clear it up with the tenant unless the tenant has agreed to assist.

Vehicle damage from the mother nature isn't going to be your liability as he should insure his own property and you the building; there is a caveat that if the damage was due to some of your property or negligent roofing maintenance.

We are here to help, so please follow up with me as required.

In return remember to rate positively today.

You do this by rating 5*****, 4**** or better.

FIVE STARS or your rating is much appreciated.

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Attorney Bill

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
The tenant works different shifts and has an expectation that he can always jump into his truck and leave even if there is a blizzard where we are getting 3 inches an hour. For example, we got 8 inches of snow here last Thursday and the tenant persists threatening me and giving me a ration of shit about the snow removal. It was all gone within 3 hours of it ending.1. Am I correct in thinking that this is reasonable?
2. Am I outside of the statute of limitations for an event that occurred Jan 2015? (he claims he damaged his truck and fell and hurt himself but never provided any bills for any of these things)
3. Am I legally good saying that I will remove snow within 24 hours of a storm and that he can feel free to remove snow himself at his own cost and risk?
Lawyer: Bill Attorney, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

You would have to agree a time as I stated and the tenant cannot unreasonable demand you come to the property on short notice; your obligation is to make a genuine effort and don't have to be amenable on immediate notice of a difficulty.

The tenant needs to put in writing to you any difficulty he is having in relation to your maintenance of the property. Otherwise he has no legal ground to terminate or deduct rent.

You might come to an agreement in relation to putting down salt or other chemicals on the areas he is complaining about.

We are here to help, so please follow up with me as required.

In return remember to rate positively today.

You do this by rating 5*****, 4**** or better.

FIVE STARS or your rating is much appreciated.

Best

Attorney Bill

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Does a text message constitute putting something in writing?
Lawyer: Bill Attorney, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

No it should be a written notice by letter or in person:

"

Landlord—Failure to perform duties—Notice from tenant—Contents—Time limits for landlord's remedial action.

If at any time during the tenancy the landlord fails to carry out the duties required by RCW 59.18.060 or by the rental agreement, the tenant may, in addition to pursuit of remedies otherwise provided him or her by law, deliver written notice to the person designated in *RCW59.18.060(14), or to the person who collects the rent, which notice shall specify the premises involved, the name of the owner, if known, and the nature of the defective condition. The landlord shall commence remedial action after receipt of such notice by the tenant as soon as possible but not later than the following time periods, except where circumstances are beyond the landlord's control:

(1) Not more than twenty-four hours, where the defective condition deprives the tenant of hot or cold water, heat, or electricity, or is imminently hazardous to life;

(2) Not more than seventy-two hours, where the defective condition deprives the tenant of the use of a refrigerator, range and oven, or a major plumbing fixture supplied by the landlord; and

(3) Not more than ten days in all other cases.

In each instance the burden shall be on the landlord to see that remedial work under this section is completed promptly. If completion is delayed due to circumstances beyond the landlord's control, including the unavailability of financing, the landlord shall remedy the defective condition as soon as possible."

We are here to help, so please follow up with me as required.

In return remember to rate positively today.

You do this by rating 5*****, 4**** or better.

FIVE STARS or your rating is much appreciated.

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Attorney Bill

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
Am I outside of the statute of limitations for the event that occurred Jan 2015? The tenant claims he damaged his truck and fell and hurt himself but never provided any bills for any of these things, and that it was due to snow being inadequately removed.
Lawyer: Bill Attorney, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Yes it appears so, three years is the SOL.

"section 2A. Except as otherwise provided, actions of tort, actions of contract to recover for personal injuries, and actions of replevin, shall be commenced only within three years next after the cause of action accrues.

I see you have yet to rate positively.

You do this by rating 5*****, 4**** or better.

FIVE STARS or your rating is much appreciated.

Best

Attorney Bill

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