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Landlord Retaliation

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Massachusetts

I called the housing code enforcement to inspect my apartment since the landlord refused to fix damages that occurred when my kitchen ceiling crashed in during a rain storm. He repaired the ceiling and roof (not in a timely fashion) but the kitchen had wall to wall carpeting and he said he didn't have to clean or replace it. The rug smelled really bad. When the code enforcement came they not only said rug in the kitchen is a violation but also found many other violations. Now just a couple months later he is refusing to renew my lease. He still hasn't corrected all the violations, but he did put down some flooring where the rug used to be. When I asked him why he was trying to put me out he said he was moving in another direction with the apartment. Previously he had stated to me that if he changed the rug to floor he could rent the apartment for more. So I think thats what he wants to do. Since the code enforment made him make improvements to the apartment now he wants to rent to someone else and charge more. He is obviously retaliating against me but can he get away with it if he claims its not retaliation, that he is moving in another direction like raising his rent due to recent improvements?What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?


Junior Member
The first time the inspector came was Sept 22nd, Then again in October, Then again November 21st. All violations have not been corrected. The inspector extended it until Jan 9th, but the landlord wants me out by Dec 31st, when my lease expires.


Senior Member
I'm not sure you can claim retaliation , unless say your lease has an auto renew clause .

If the LL is given proper notice , or is following the LL tenant law not to renew the lease , I don't believe that's a retaliatory termination .

Massachusetts law does protect a tenant from retaliation by a landlord if the tenant has exercised their legal rights against the landlord by reporting health code violations or organizing a tenant association. An attempt to change the terms of a tenancy, i.e. increasing rent or taking other legal action against the tenant would be considered retaliatory if it is begun within six months of the tenant exercising their legal rights against a landlord unless the landlord can convince the court that there are sufficient legal grounds to bring an action.
If you are going to be involved in an eviction action as either a landlord or a tenant, it is advisable to consult with legal counsel as soon as you suspect such an action may be necessary.

How to Get Help
If you need a lawyer and don't know how to find one, you may contact the Massachusetts Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service. The number in Boston is (617) 654-0400 or TDD (617) 338-0585. Outside Boston you may call toll-free 1-800-392-6164. There is no charge to call the Lawyer Referral Service, and your first half-hour consultation with an LRS attorney is only $25.

The Massachusetts Bar Association also offers free help through its Dial-a-Lawyer call-in program. On the first Wednesday of each month, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., volunteer lawyers are available to answer your basic legal questions by phone. Dial-a-Lawyer may be reached at (617) 338-0610.

Alaska landlord

Senior Member
To tell you the truth I would not renew your lease, but I would leave you on a month to month agreement with a fair increase in your rent due to the repairs. You really don't have a case unless he gives you an eviction notice. He is not obligated to renew your lease.


Senior Member
I think after this long your better off taking a ton of pics of the unit and get copies of the inspections reports and plan on after moving out and making sure the LL has your new address via certified mail re: your deposit refund then wait and see if the LL follows the law or how he addresses your deposit refund. If you end up challenging amounts held back OR having to ask the court to order a refund due to LL inaction with in the time your state allows to not only bring with to court your pics and your copies of inspections reports BUT also to ask in your filing for the court to decide if your unit had a diminished rental value ? like say 10% ? 15% , 20% of the rent beside your deposit amount. A court might decide that the repairs he was ordered to do should have been done sooner and decide to award you a partial refund of rent beside settling the deposit issue.

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