Is Massachusetts landlord law insane?

8 Replies

Just bought a couple of properties in Pittsfield during another 1031 scramble, looking in 3 different states at 12 different properties, and after some fell through, the two left are what I have.  On top of that, I had a LAME realtor, who I had hoped I could count on.  NO excuses, I didn't do nearly enough due diligence  during the crazy shuffle to identify properties, but I'm learning all kinds of things now, that would have been nice to know before:  On eviction, the landlord is responsible to hire movers to store her stuff for 3 months??? A bid for $2700 is what I'm looking at, and of course there's only one company bonded & insured to make her move a little more comfortable for her.  And that company is a month out, so the Sheriff is ready to go, but she gets another month to live for free!!

What?? What insanity is this that protects an obviously crappy tenant (didn't even show up for her eviction hearing) who only had to pay $250 per month with section 8 and didn't even do that?  And had an illegal live in friend who got busted for selling opiods?  

Who's writing the laws in this state?  

What else am I missing, and is there a landlord's association to change this nonsense?

@Alan Brown   @Dick Stevens is right.  Cash for keys.

The other thing you have to hold over the tenant is that if a Section 8 tenant is evicted, it can make it much harder for them to get another Section 8 rental.

As an aside - and I don't know anyone who has tried this - but I wonder if you can just get a storage container dropped in your driveway and put her stuff in there.  Best to check with an attorney to be sure you're not violating some other obscure portion of the law, but it should be a lot cheaper.

And yes, landlord/tenant laws in MA are just barely this side of actual socialism.

Is the sheriff telling you there is only one licensed and bonded moving company available? I could see if if it was the end of the month and a lot of people were moving and the company had legit customers. Sounds strange to me. Also you do not necessarily need the sheriff. You can use a constable. Perhaps a local constable that is familiar with move outs has a moving company that is not so booked.

Also if she is there under section 8 are they not still paying their share (so you are only losing her $250?)

But yes, cash for keys seems like a possibility

Just my two cents worth

@Charlie MacPherson , Yes, she's dumb enough to have lost her Section 8 over this!  She burned that bridge so I don't have that leverage either.  can you imagine only having to pay $250 per month, and messing up so bad you lose that option?

Also I just used a POD for my mom's estate and it was fantastic--great company... so I was thinking about that, but apparently I'd have to hire someone to MOVE HER STUFF, and if they're not bonded and insured, she could come back and haunt me if she claims something is stolen!  ugh.  I even have a huge dry basement where I would normally consider putting her stuff, but I guess Mass requires you to hire a mover!

@Douglas Snook , My property manager is saying we only have one option for a mover, I haven't spoken to the sheriff-- I live 1.5 hours away, so it's not super easy to get up there.

And yet, section 8 has been very good as far as honoring the lease and trying to reason with the tenant, so I have been getting $500 per month from them--no complaints about that, but the lease ends soon.

Thanks for the help guys!  It'll all be fine soon, but will take a while to recoup unless I can get her to do cash for keys,  assuming that's legal in Mass!

It's crazy how the Mass laws are written.

        I believe the intent and motive of the laws may have been good, in the egg-head minds of those who created them originally.

         But, the laws probably end up hurting the people they were designed to help.   They are a huge disincentive to creating new affordable housing in Mass. 

        Who would want to build or renovate work-force housing, when you have to deal with such one-sided tenant laws?

@David B. exactly right!   It really doesn't make much sense at all.  Anybody know if much has been done to adjust these laws?  

Is it something one bothers to contact representatives about?