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gauriagrawal

Junior Member
Hello,

State: Massachusetts
Issues
1. My basement had some water issues which fixed but tenant wanted to put the floor back. Moreover property was not advertised as finished.
2. Basement problem was known prior to signing the lease and water was fixed after two days of starting the lease. New lease was signed.
3. We used the same security deposit for the second lease and provide all the escrow account detail with in 30 days of signing second lease.

Now he demanded the security deposit back with in the first month of starting the lease through his lawyer. We returned the deposit as there were conflict of views among attorneys that we may or may not compliance with 186 15b or returning deposit with in 30 days.

Now his attorney filed the law suit against us which is totally baseless and I know he can't win but we are outside the country so he wants to take advantage of our situation.

What is in the Law suit :
1. We didn't return the deposit immediately when it is demanded by the tenant. We returned only when lawyer asked for it.
2. basement is inhabitable . Though we checked with the town and he has no complain from this address.
3. Tenant send me a very big list of repairs and we completed with in 15 days of his move but he is mentioning we took very long.

I have a few questions below
1. How do I know this is small claim case. The name of the court mentioned on the letter is "Metro south Housing Court civil action No"
2. How do we know what proofs tenant's lawyer has submit to the court?
3. We got this through his attorney and not yet through the court. So when can we write the answer to this letter
4. We have all the proof of his false laws suits so do we need to attach all the proofs with the answer letter?? or it will be used only at the time of trial
5. Can we present through video calling when we are out of the county ??
6. We have given a local address of our friend and they are also outside the state for a few weeks so what will happened if they are unable to received this court letter.

Trust me I have all the proofs against this bad tenant so I feel If I come at the trial date, I will win the case and only expanses are my ticket. Still seek the advise from senior members of this group how to proceed.

Thanks
 
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LdiJ

Senior Member
Hello,

State: Massachusetts
Issues
1. My basement had some water issues which fixed but tenant wanted to put the floor back. Moreover property was not advertised as finished.
2. Basement problem was known prior to signing the lease and water was fixed after two days of starting the lease. New lease was signed.
3. We used the same security deposit for the second lease and provide all the escrow account detail with in 30 days of signing second lease.

Now he demanded the security deposit back with in the first month of starting the lease through his lawyer. We returned the deposit as there were conflict of views among attorneys that we may or may not compliance with 186 15b or returning deposit with in 30 days.

Now his attorney filed the law suit against us which is totally baseless and I know he can't win but we are outside the country so he wants to take advantage of our situation.

What is in the Law suit :
1. We didn't return the deposit immediately when it is demanded by the tenant. We returned only when lawyer asked for it.
2. basement is inhabitable . Though we checked with the town and he has no complain from this address.
3. Tenant send me a very big list of repairs and we completed with in 15 days of his move but he is mentioning we took very long.

I have a few questions below
1. How do I know this is small claim case. The name of the court mentioned on the letter is "Metro south Housing Court civil action No"
2. How do we know what proofs tenant's lawyer has submit to the court?
3. We got this through his attorney and not yet through the court. So when can we write the answer to this letter
4. We have all the proof of his false laws suits so do we need to attach all the proofs with the answer letter?? or it will be used only at the time of trial
5. Can we present through video calling when we are out of the county ??
6. We have given a local address of our friend and they are also outside the state for a few weeks so what will happened if they are unable to received this court letter.

Trust me I have all the proofs against this bad tenant so I feel If I come at the trial date, I will win the case and only expanses are my ticket. Still seek the advise from senior members of this group how to proceed.

Thanks
If you are not in the country the it really would be in your best interest to hire an attorney to represent you.
 

adjusterjack

Senior Member
I don't understand why you would return a security deposit while the tenant is still living there?

You might consider getting out of the landlord business if you are unable to stand up to tenants and their lawyers.
 

gauriagrawal

Junior Member
I don't understand why you would return a security deposit while the tenant is still living there?
Security deposit is something is very scary in Massachusetts. Technically we did everything right , we gave the tenant receipt of his money within 30 days of signing the second lease. But his lawyer was arguing 30 days time start from the day money was given to us. Different judges see this differently. There is law to return the money but no specific law about the 30 days time period. Now when we are sued , it will be seen as a good faith.
You might consider getting out of the landlord business if you are unable to stand up to tenants and their lawyers.
We are outside the country for the two year assignment...we need to come back.
 

gauriagrawal

Junior Member
since the document says civil action so that means its not a small claim where he can get only $7000. Please confirm ?? Attorneys are asking 5k to 8k to handle this case. we have all chronological documentation of everything happened and anyone can make out easily who is at fault. So not sure if we give that much money to an attorney or do it by our self. Another option is to give that money to my bad tenant after all he is doing all this for money only. Any suggestion
 

Taxing Matters

Overtaxed Member
since the document says civil action so that means its not a small claim where he can get only $7000. Please confirm ??
Small claims cases are civil actions. You need to look at the information on the complaint to see if it is a small claims court action or not. If they used the court provided form for a small claims court case you will see it states right on it "small claims session." A similar reference should appear on a complaint they drafted from scratch themselves.
 

Mass_Shyster

Senior Member
1. How do I know this is small claim case. The name of the court mentioned on the letter is "Metro south Housing Court civil action No"
go to www.masscourts.org and search for the your name or the docket number
2. How do we know what proofs tenant's lawyer has submit to the court?
A complaint does not contain any evidence. The complaint is an allegation. Nothing would be submitted to the court unless it was also sent to you
3. We got this through his attorney and not yet through the court. So when can we write the answer to this letter
You need to file an answer with the court and send a copy to the attorney for the plaintiff
4. We have all the proof of his false laws suits so do we need to attach all the proofs with the answer letter?? or it will be used only at the time of trial
You don't include evidence with an answer.
5. Can we present through video calling when we are out of the county ??
Probably not. I tried once in Worcester and was denied
6. We have given a local address of our friend and they are also outside the state for a few weeks so what will happened if they are unable to received this court letter.
Then you'll default.
 

quincy

Senior Member
since the document says civil action so that means its not a small claim where he can get only $7000. Please confirm ?? Attorneys are asking 5k to 8k to handle this case. we have all chronological documentation of everything happened and anyone can make out easily who is at fault. So not sure if we give that much money to an attorney or do it by our self. Another option is to give that money to my bad tenant after all he is doing all this for money only. Any suggestion
The Housing Court hears eviction cases, small claims cases and civil actions that involve breach of contract, property damage, personal injury, discrimination, code enforcement actions and zoning board appeals.

If you cannot determine from the complaint what action is being pursued against you, a call to the court could clear it up.

That said, it seems to me that you would be foolish to try to handle this from out of the country. You should have an attorney in Massachusetts assisting.
 

Mass_Shyster

Senior Member
As an update, I found a complaint with your name in masscourts. It appears the complaint was filed 11/4/19. Plaintiffs are J.M. and K.M. Attorney is A.S. It does not appear to be in small claims.

I suggest you hire an attorney.
 
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quincy

Senior Member
As an update, I found a complaint with a name very similar to your username in masscourts. It appears the complaint was filed 11/4/19. Plaintiffs are J.M. and K.M. Attorney is A.S. It does not appear to be in small claims.

I suggest you hire an attorney.
Small claims?

I agree that having an attorney in Massachusetts seems necessary.

Thanks for the edit, Shyster. If this is NOT small claims, it appears there might be more to the story.
 
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Mass_Shyster

Senior Member
Or, there is a reason why OP is getting $5K-$8K quotes from lawyers for guesstimated fees to represent OP.
Fighting an aggressive tenant's rights attorney will get expensive fast. If the tenant's lawyer thinks he'll prevail, there's no reason to hold down billable hours. The landlord will end up paying the tenant's lawyer in most cases.
 

Mass_Shyster

Senior Member
If the case you located is in fact gauriagrawal’s, then, this really requires an attorney’s attention.
There's no doubt in my mind that it's gauriagrawal's case. I edited post #15, as the names are not similar. They are identical.

Unfortunately, the Metro South Housing Court does not scan in the complaint, otherwise I could tell what it was all about. the Central Housing Court scans in the complaints, so I can read them (and "borrow" from them)
 

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