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Hi,

 

My roommate and I just had the unpleasant experience of receiving a letter stating we must vacate our building by March 31 for the landlord to sell.

So, I am looking for one bedroom in a 2-bed in JP, near a T, preferably with laundry in building

OR I am looking for an empty 2-bed in JP that I could move into with my current roommate and her (large) dog.


More about me and what I'm looking for: 

I am a mid-20s female, and I work in graphic design and communications for a non-profit. I stay fairly busy during the week between work, going to the gym and being with friends or my sister and her kids who also live in JP. I stay pretty quiet when I'm home (but also enjoy a friendly post-work chat when roommates are around). I like things to stay pretty neat (but nothing obsessive) and definitely like roommates who pitch in, do dishes, etc. I am very responsible and not at all passive aggressive (and want a roommate who is also not). I am generally an easy-going roommate.

Please let me know if you have a room or a whole apartment available!

 

Thanks!

Laurie

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Laurie, I think this is probably illegal (I am not a lawyer, yadda yadda), unless your lease is already ending. Even if you are a tenant-at-will, you are entitled to a minimum 30 days notice and the notice must be rendered when the rent is due; if you pay your rent on the 1st, you have to be given written notice on the 1st.

 

One cover-your-ass move I suggest immediately: make copies of ALL your apartment-related paperwork; your lease, deposit and rent receipts, apartment-condition-report (required if you give a security deposit), and a recent copy of your utility bills and give them to a friend who does not live in the unit.  I've read stories of people's landlords entering the unit and stealing paperwork before filing court eviction proceedings.  Set computers to require a password when waking up/starting up, etc (this is not foolproof, but will stop a techno-clueless landlord.)

 

If the landlord is selling the building, the sale includes existing obligations in terms of leases and tenancy at will. See the Somerville Handbook For Renters, which references M.G.L. c.186, §13, though (and I'm not a lawyer) I couldn't make heads or tails of it.  Note the handbook does include some Somerville-specific ordinances and such, so be careful reading sections.


If the landlord is converting the building into condos or selling them to a developer who will do so, you have protections there as well.

If the landlord is being foreclosed on, you have a bunch of rights granted to you under the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act of 2009, and I think M.G.L. c.186, §13A. Possibly some Boston ordinances as well.  See: http://www.massresources.org/pages.cfm?contentID=22&pageID=2&am...

 

Lastly: if your landlord tries to evict you or your belongings, changes the locks, turns off services to the apartment, harasses you, etc: that is a criminal offense (a lot of police departments don't think this is the case, be persistent!) Call 9-1-1 and request immediate police assistance. Only a judge can evict you.

Again, I am not a lawyer, blah blah blah.  I would strongly urge you to immediately call one of the lawyer hotlines in the area; be aware, however, that a number of JP lawyers do NOT handle landlord-tenant issues, so be sure to ask for lawyers who do handle landlord-tenant issues.  The hotline referrals usually entitle you to a free or inexpensive initial consultation.  If your non-profit has an employee assistance program, that EAP hotline may offer a discount of some sort for referrals to an attorney they partner with.

 

I strongly recommend reading How To Be A Tenant And Avoid Getting Ripped Off (free, HTML doc) top to bottom, as there are a number of sections that are probably relevant, especially if the landlord gets nasty.  There are a number of other informative documents if you google "Massachusetts tenants rights".

 

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