Traps for the Unwary Property Manager
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
8:30 am – 12:00 pm
Location: Granite Links Golf Club ~ The Tavern at Quarry Hills Restaurant ~ Granite Links Banquet Hall ~ GLGC Members Grille
100 Quarry Hills Drive
Quincy, MA 02169
Led by Attorneys Howard S. Goldman and Cameron C. Pease of Goldman & Pease, LLC, this seminar will address common pitfalls that property managers should avoid in managing their properties and suggest helpful ways to avoid and correct these mistakes. The seminar will draw on recent, real-world Massachusetts cases where landlords or property managers have been held liable. Attorneys Goldman and Pease will analyze these cases in an interactive format with the seminar participants and discuss what steps the landlord or property manager could have taken to avoid and/or minimize liability. Moreover, this seminar will help both new and experienced property managers spot key legal issues and protect themselves and their clients.
Here’s a brief snapshot of some topics we’ll cover:
I. MASSACHUSETTS NEW MEDICAL MARIJUANA LAW
A. Since state and federal laws prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities (i.e. medical marijuana patients), can landlords:
- Ask prospective tenants about their use of medical marijuana?
- Refuse to rent to tenants because of their use of medical marijuana?
- Evict tenants because of their use of medical marijuana?
B. Can tenants who are qualifying patients with a hardship in accessing one of 35 marijuana dispensaries to be established in Massachusetts grow medical marijuana in the landlord’s apartment?
C. Can a landlord establish a no smoking policy which includes medical marijuana?
D. Can a tenant deny a landlord or its property manager access to the rental unit if they are growing medical marijuana?
E. Can property owners whose apartments are being used to grow and distribute medical marijuana have their property seized under the federal civil asset forfeiture provisions?
F. Can medical marijuana be grown in a residential apartment?
II. PROPERTY OWNER DUTY OF REASONABLE CARE
A. Can a landlord be held liable for a tenant paralyzed from jumping from a trampoline into a kiddie pool even though it is an open and obvious danger to the tenant?
B. What can I do if the neighbors cut down trees on our property and is it worth pursuing?
C. Can a landlord be held strictly liable for personal injury to tenant who is injured on the property as a result of a building code violation?
D. What was the largest penalty issued to a residential landlord for lead paint violations in Massachusetts?
E. Can a landlord and property manager be held liable for a pit bull attack on a tenant by a neighboring tenant’s pit bull that was being kept on the premises in violation of the lease provisions?
F. Can a landlord or property manager be held liable for failure to perform a criminal background check against a tenant who ends up murdering another tenant?
III. EMOTIONAL SUPPORT DOGS FOR RESIDENTS
A. What protections do federal and Massachusetts law provide with respect to one’s disability?
B. What is the standard of accommodation that landlords must meet to comply with these protections?
C. Are there any permissible limitations on service animals?
D. What about pet restrictions for non-service animals?
IV. SELECTING TENANTS AND RESPECTING THEIR RIGHTS
A. Are there any new technologies out there that can assist property managers in screening potential tenants more efficiently?
B. Can a landlord or property manager be held liable to a prospective tenant for simply asking them “Where are you from?” when the inquiry was found to have no discriminatory animus and did not result in discrimination?
C. Are there restrictions to the number of college students a landlord can rent to in Massachusetts?
D. How far are tenants protected by free speech?
V. MECHANIC’S LIEN STATUTE
A. What is a mechanic’s lien and what are the requirements for filing one?
B. Can a tenant’s contractor file a lien against the landlord’s property?
C. What can landlords do to protect themselves against mechanic’s liens?
D. Can emails count as a “written contract”?
About the Attorneys
The law firm of Goldman & Pease LLC is located at 160 Gould Street, Needham, Massachusetts 02494 (781) 292-1080. The firm concentrates in the areas of real estate, finance, and civil litigation, where it represents property managers, lending institutions, developers, and contractors for more than thirty years. Attorneys Goldman and Pease are active members of the Massachusetts and Norfolk and Bar Associations as well as CAI and IREM, where they frequently lecture and write columns affecting the real estate and finance industries. Attorney Goldman is also a member of the Rhode Island Bar Association and serves as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the Town of Needham and as a court appointed mediator at the Boston Municipal Court and as a pro bono advocate at Federal District Court mediations.