Legal Resources: Articles

Airbnb Legislative Update: Massachusetts’ New Rules

By: Howard S. Goldman, Esq.* – Airbnb – you either love it or you hate it. With roughly 1 in 10 U.S. adults using short-term accommodations, their popularity is undeniable. And for the millions who vacation in Massachusetts each year, short-term rental sites offer a wide range of price points in a state notorious for its lack of mid-priced accommodations at premier tourist draws: Boston, Cape Cod, and the Berkshires. But other populations are decidedly less enamored by the ascent of

Read More »

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 – Legal Marijuana Update

Current State 33 states, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands have legalized medical marijuana 11 states and D.C. have legalized recreational use October 2018 Canada legalized marijuana federally, being the first G7 country to do so Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled marijuana prohibition unconstitutional, paving the way for federal legalization Recent Pew Poll shows that 67% of Americans think all marijuana use should be legalized, 91% support legalizing medical marijuana Farm Bill signed in 2018 legalizes hemp production in

Read More »

Evicting a Problem Tenant

By: Howard S. Goldman and Eric T. Thulin Most residential landlord/tenant relationships begin and end without any problems or concerns. However, when landlords find themselves dealing with a tenant who continuously violates the terms and conditions of the tenancy, the landlord often feels like they are without recourse. Massachusetts is an extremely tenant-friendly state with a long history of statutes and case precedent which has enhanced the rights of tenants and made it very difficult for landlords to sustain and succeed

Read More »

Appeals Court Holds Condominium Developer’s Lender Cannot Foreclose on Common Areas

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Appeals Court held that a bank that loaned money to a condominium developer and gave each unit buyer a partial mortgage discharge upon purchase did not have a remaining mortgage interest in undeveloped common areas of the Condominium. Specifically, in Trustees of the Beechwood Village Condominium Trust vs. USAlliance Federal Credit Union, No. 18-P-89, the Massachusetts Appeals Court stated: “We conclude that all of the land associated with the condominium development, including the common area, was

Read More »

Mechanic’s Liens Provide Great Leverage For Creditors

By Howard Goldman Mechanic’s liens are a powerful, effective, and efficient tool for creditors.  Unlike mortgages and other real estate encumbrances, mechanic’s liens are involuntary.  This means that a mechanic’s lien does not require court approval before it is perfected.  Accordingly, creditors can put a cloud on the title of real estate where their work, material, or services were provided, without having to first navigate expensive and time-consuming court processes. Using the Massachusetts mechanic’s lien Statute, M.G.L. c. 254 (“Statute”), contractors,

Read More »

As a landlord, am I able to reinvest a tenant’s security deposit into my property?

No, residential landlords are not allowed to use any portion of a tenant’s security deposit during the term of the tenancy. After the tenancy has ended, the landlord can only apply the security deposit to damages to the apartment caused by the tenant (more than wear and tear) and unpaid rent. In Massachusetts, residential landlord’s duties and responsibilities for holding/applying security deposits are governed by M.G.L. c. 186 §15B. Upon inception of a tenancy, landlords are only allowed to accept the

Read More »

NEWS ALERT FOR AIR BNB RENTALS

On June 13, 2018, the Boston City Council passed a new Ordinance that will prohibit investors from engaging in short-term rentals of their units. Homeowners, on the other hand, will still be allowed to rent out their homes by the night, and owner-occupants of two-family and three-family houses will be permitted to rent out one unit. The short-term rental business is rapidly growing in Boston, and websites such as Airbnb are becoming increasingly popular. As a result, more and more homes

Read More »

Shared Living in the Small Condominium Setting: Rights and Obligations of Unit Owners and Trustees

By Howard Goldman – With the rising cost of real estate and lack of affordable housing in many communities, people are searching for ways to maximize their investment through shared living. Whether it be by including an in-law suite for an aging parent, a basement apartment for a long-term tenant or sprucing up a guest room to rent via AirBnB, many homeowners are embracing shared living as the way of the future. Shared living arrangements provide many benefits to individual homeowners

Read More »

Condominium Meeting Minute Guidelines

This article will discuss policies and protocol for taking and retaining board meeting minutes. It will explain what must be included, what can be included, and what should not be included in minutes. Included should be information on who has access to full minutes, where and for how long records should be stored, etc. Questions to answer: Who should be taking minutes at Board meetings? Does it always work out that way, or does someone else (like the manager) end up

Read More »

Real Estate Legal Update 2018

By Howard Goldman –       I.            Introduction Changes resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018, may make this new tax year a true game changer for the real estate market.  Our update prepares you with an understanding of the key changes and how they affect the real estate market. Looking at buying a new property?  In the digital age, emails and texts can blur the lines between informal communications and a formal contract.  Follow the Five Commandments of

Read More »

Airbnb Legislative Update: Massachusetts’ New Rules

By: Howard S. Goldman, Esq.* – Airbnb – you either love it or you hate it. With roughly 1 in 10 U.S. adults using short-term accommodations, their popularity is undeniable. And for the millions who vacation in Massachusetts each year, short-term rental sites offer a wide range of price points in a state notorious for its lack of mid-priced accommodations at premier tourist draws: Boston, Cape Cod, and the Berkshires. But other populations are decidedly less enamored by the ascent of

Read More »

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 – Legal Marijuana Update

Current State 33 states, D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands have legalized medical marijuana 11 states and D.C. have legalized recreational use October 2018 Canada legalized marijuana federally, being the first G7 country to do so Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled marijuana prohibition unconstitutional, paving the way for federal legalization Recent Pew Poll shows that 67% of Americans think all marijuana use should be legalized, 91% support legalizing medical marijuana Farm Bill signed in 2018 legalizes hemp production in

Read More »

Evicting a Problem Tenant

By: Howard S. Goldman and Eric T. Thulin Most residential landlord/tenant relationships begin and end without any problems or concerns. However, when landlords find themselves dealing with a tenant who continuously violates the terms and conditions of the tenancy, the landlord often feels like they are without recourse. Massachusetts is an extremely tenant-friendly state with a long history of statutes and case precedent which has enhanced the rights of tenants and made it very difficult for landlords to sustain and succeed

Read More »

Appeals Court Holds Condominium Developer’s Lender Cannot Foreclose on Common Areas

Earlier this month, the Massachusetts Appeals Court held that a bank that loaned money to a condominium developer and gave each unit buyer a partial mortgage discharge upon purchase did not have a remaining mortgage interest in undeveloped common areas of the Condominium. Specifically, in Trustees of the Beechwood Village Condominium Trust vs. USAlliance Federal Credit Union, No. 18-P-89, the Massachusetts Appeals Court stated: “We conclude that all of the land associated with the condominium development, including the common area, was

Read More »

Mechanic’s Liens Provide Great Leverage For Creditors

By Howard Goldman Mechanic’s liens are a powerful, effective, and efficient tool for creditors.  Unlike mortgages and other real estate encumbrances, mechanic’s liens are involuntary.  This means that a mechanic’s lien does not require court approval before it is perfected.  Accordingly, creditors can put a cloud on the title of real estate where their work, material, or services were provided, without having to first navigate expensive and time-consuming court processes. Using the Massachusetts mechanic’s lien Statute, M.G.L. c. 254 (“Statute”), contractors,

Read More »

As a landlord, am I able to reinvest a tenant’s security deposit into my property?

No, residential landlords are not allowed to use any portion of a tenant’s security deposit during the term of the tenancy. After the tenancy has ended, the landlord can only apply the security deposit to damages to the apartment caused by the tenant (more than wear and tear) and unpaid rent. In Massachusetts, residential landlord’s duties and responsibilities for holding/applying security deposits are governed by M.G.L. c. 186 §15B. Upon inception of a tenancy, landlords are only allowed to accept the

Read More »

NEWS ALERT FOR AIR BNB RENTALS

On June 13, 2018, the Boston City Council passed a new Ordinance that will prohibit investors from engaging in short-term rentals of their units. Homeowners, on the other hand, will still be allowed to rent out their homes by the night, and owner-occupants of two-family and three-family houses will be permitted to rent out one unit. The short-term rental business is rapidly growing in Boston, and websites such as Airbnb are becoming increasingly popular. As a result, more and more homes

Read More »

Shared Living in the Small Condominium Setting: Rights and Obligations of Unit Owners and Trustees

By Howard Goldman – With the rising cost of real estate and lack of affordable housing in many communities, people are searching for ways to maximize their investment through shared living. Whether it be by including an in-law suite for an aging parent, a basement apartment for a long-term tenant or sprucing up a guest room to rent via AirBnB, many homeowners are embracing shared living as the way of the future. Shared living arrangements provide many benefits to individual homeowners

Read More »

Condominium Meeting Minute Guidelines

This article will discuss policies and protocol for taking and retaining board meeting minutes. It will explain what must be included, what can be included, and what should not be included in minutes. Included should be information on who has access to full minutes, where and for how long records should be stored, etc. Questions to answer: Who should be taking minutes at Board meetings? Does it always work out that way, or does someone else (like the manager) end up

Read More »

Real Estate Legal Update 2018

By Howard Goldman –       I.            Introduction Changes resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2018, may make this new tax year a true game changer for the real estate market.  Our update prepares you with an understanding of the key changes and how they affect the real estate market. Looking at buying a new property?  In the digital age, emails and texts can blur the lines between informal communications and a formal contract.  Follow the Five Commandments of

Read More »
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