Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

Massachusetts Land Use Monitor

Real-Time News & Commentary on Massachusetts Land Use & Real Estate Law

Category Archives: Landlord-Tenant

Subscribe to Landlord-Tenant RSS Feed

Tenant Required to Prove that It Terminated Lease

Posted in Landlord-Tenant
Earlier this week the Appeals Court decided that a tenant has the burden of proving that it properly exercised its option to terminate a written lease.  The commercial lease in Patriot Power, LLC v. New Rounder, LLC,  provided that it would renew automatically each  year unless one of the parties timely notified the other that it wished… Continue Reading

Breaking: SJC Rules That Candidate Can’t Be Barred From Soliciting Signatures At Private, Stand-Alone Supermarket

Posted in Landlord-Tenant, Miscellaneous, Policy
In a closely-watched case affecting hundreds of stores and other commercial establishments across Massachusetts, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) today ruled that Article 9 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights – which protects the right of equal access to ballots – trumps the right of private property owners to bar individuals from soliciting signatures in support of a candidate’s nomination to public office.  Here is a full… Continue Reading

Breaking: SJC Upholds Statutory Form of Foreclosure Affidavit

Posted in Foreclosure, Landlord-Tenant
This morning the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued its decision in Fannie Mae v. Hendricks (pdf), a summary process case that raised the issue of whether the Massachusetts statutory form of foreclosure affidavit – which has been in use for 100 years – is sufficient to show compliance with a power of sale, thereby entitling a foreclosing mortgagee to possession of the premises.  The SJC held that,… Continue Reading

Commercial Landlords: Corporate Changes On Tenant’s Side Could Leave You Holding The Bag

Posted in Landlord-Tenant
A commercial landlord might assume it has recourse to recover unpaid rent from the parent company of a tenant/subsidiary when (1) during the lease term, the tenant is acquired by another company which converts the tenant into its subsidiary, (2) the parent moves into the leased space with its new subsidiary, (3) the parent commingles corporate funds with the subsidiary, (4) the parent and the subsidiary have… Continue Reading

Innovation in Allston: Nation’s First Green District Takes Root

Posted in Boston Development, Environmental, Landlord-Tenant, Zoning
In 2007, Boston was the first city in the nation to adopt Green Building provisions, known as Article 37 (pdf).  Those provisions require reduced emissions from privately-owned buildings, and require all buildings over 50,000 square feet to comply with LEED certification standards.  Now, Boston’s Allston neighborhood is home to the nation’s first Green District.  The 500 sustainable rental units are spread across seven distinct… Continue Reading

Rental Managers Beware!

Posted in Landlord-Tenant
A trend to hold managers of residential real estate responsible for dangerous conditions seems to be in the making.  The Worcester Superior Court’s decision earlier this year in Goodman v. First Horizon Loans (WOCV2011-2221) denied SingleSource Property Solutions, LLC’s motion to dismiss claims filed by a tenant at property managed – but not owned – by SingleSource.  The… Continue Reading

But Wait . . . The SJC Has More To Say On Foreclosures

Posted in Foreclosure, Landlord-Tenant
Just when we thought the Supreme Judicial Court’s Eaton decision (see our post here) had resolved the last big question regarding foreclosure requirements, another case is providing new foreclosure fodder.  Recently, the SJC requested amicus briefs in Federal National Mortgage Association v. Hendricks, SJC-11234.  In this case a mortgagor, Hendricks, was evicted after his home was foreclosed.  He appealed, arguing that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS)… Continue Reading

SJC Splits Baby on New Statute’s Effect on Post-Foreclosure Evictions

Posted in Foreclosure, Landlord-Tenant, Legislation
Last month the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) decided Federal National Mortgage Association v. Nunez  (pdf).  We discussed the oral argument of that appeal in this earlier post.  Nunez concerned a summary process (i.e. eviction) action filed by Fannie Mae against a tenant living in a foreclosed residential property.  That action was pending, but not completed, before the effective date of M.G.L. c. 186A. … Continue Reading

Can Foreclosure Be Erased Because Mortgagee Doesn’t Hold The Note?

Posted in Foreclosure, Landlord-Tenant, Title
On October 3, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) heard oral argument in yet another case involving a foreclosure – Eaton v. Federal National Mortgage Association.  Eaton raises the important question of whether, to properly foreclose, a mortgagee must hold the underlying, defaulted promissory note.  Interestingly, about a week before the argument in Eaton, the federal district court in Massachusetts issued a decision… Continue Reading

SJC Hears Argument in Bevilacqua and Nunez Appeals

Posted in Foreclosure, Landlord-Tenant, Title
Last week the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) heard oral argument in the Bevilacqua and Nunez appeals (see our prior comment here).  In a measure of its interest in Ibanez-related issues, the court permitted amici on both sides of Bevilacqua – the Mortgage Bankers Association and the Massachusetts Attorney General, respectively – to participate in the argument. A few observations… Continue Reading

Does Housing Court Have Authority, in Eviction Proceeding, to Decide Validity of Foreclosure?

Posted in Foreclosure, Landlord-Tenant, Title
On April 4, 2011, the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) heard argument in Bank of New York v. Bailey, another case arising from the foreclosure crisis.  Unlike some of the other recent cases, this one does not involve an Ibanez question. Following a foreclosure, the foreclosed mortgagor sought to stop the bank’s follow-on eviction action.  The mortgagor claimed that the… Continue Reading

SJC to Follow Up on Ibanez and Also Address Rights of Tenants in Foreclosed Properties

Posted in Foreclosure, Landlord-Tenant, Title
Another case arising from a premature foreclosure is headed to the SJC.  Judge Keith Long, whose Land Court decision was affirmed in U.S. Bank National Association v. Ibanez (see related commentary here), also decided Bevilacqua v. Rodriguez (pdf).  The plaintiff in Bevilacqua was an innocent third-party buyer of a property foreclosed by a bank before the bank had received… Continue Reading

Appeals Court Rules That Summary Process Can Only Be Used Against Parties In Possession

Posted in Landlord-Tenant
In Massachusetts, the legal process for evicting commercial and residential tenants is governed not by the common law but by a statute (a very old statute – parts of it date from the 1700s), M.G.L. c. 239.  Chapter 239 gives a landlord an expedited judicial procedure, called summary process, to recover possession of its property from… Continue Reading