Adventures in Renting: Notice to Quit, Ownership Issues, Inhabitability...

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More adventures in renting in Boston, MA

Ownership of Apartment:
So, I received a notice to quit out of the blue from a realty company who says they own the property I've been living in for the past few years.  Only I have been renting from a different landlord (NOT the company that sent me the notice).  Apparently there is a dispute over the ownership of this property.   I found this apartment through a realtor and signed a lease for my first year with a relative of the previous owner.  The previous owner's name is that is on file in city and county records, namely the assessor's office and county land records, as owning this property even though he is deceased.  I am now a tenant at will, as the lease I signed was only for the first year, and after that I just kept paying rent every month and remained here.  I wonder if I need to honor a notice to quit from someone who is not listed as the property owner in city and county records?

How soon to leave?
On July 5th I received a notice to quit dated June, 30th in a mailed envelope postmarked July 1st.  The letter claims that I need to be out of the apartment by August 1st, which they inaccurately claim was 30 days from my receipt of that letter.  Do I really have to be out in less than 30 days?  Do I need to tell someone that I didn't get the letter by the 1st?  My rent has been due on the 1st of every month.  Return address is the Constable's Office even though the letter makes no mention of a constable and is from a law firm.  There is no mention of execution anywhere.  

When to file a request for a stay of execution?
While I am trying to find a place asap, I have medical circumstances and other problems getting in the way.  I would feel much better, less worried, etc. if I could get the deadline to move pushed back.  Thus, I will want to file a request for a stay of execution.  Should I file my request for a stay of execution now since I've received a notice to quit, or should I wait for an eviction notice or wait for something else to happen (some other form of notice or event)?

Downstairs neighbor's jerry-rigged kitchen range hood is making it difficult for me to move:
The downstairs neighbor apparently jerry-rigged their kitchen range hood so it empties into my apartment.  The air is literally unbreathable up here frequently when they cook, and they cook A LOT!  This makes it difficult to pack my belongings and to sort through things which requires being in the apartment.  I wonder if I should respond to the notice to quit or to some document down the line explaining this problem - or maybe even include it with my reasons for the request for a stay of execution?
 

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Why do you want to stay in that apartment if the air is often unbreathable?

Notice to quit is not filed with the courts. There is no stay of execution for it.

You can simply ask the landlords for more time. But maybe you should just leave ASAP instead.

Are you sure the property is in new ownership? The law office that sent the notice may be acting on behalf of the estate.

jerosen said:   Notice to quit is not filed with the courts. There is no stay of execution for it.

 

  This. it's not a court order, nor filed with the courts. Just a mandatory first step before filing for eviction.

jagec said:   Why do you want to stay in that apartment if the air is often unbreathable?
  
I would actually like to leave, but am having difficulty finding another place in my price range.  I was living in a 1000 sq ft studio and moved (crammed into) this 400 square foot studio.  After months of looking, I have decided that I will just need to move in with housemates which means getting rid of 80 percent of what I own.  It will take time to sort through my belongings in order to downsize this much.  It would be much faster, if I didn't keep having the problem of taking time off to do this, and then finding out that the air is so bad that I have to pack and sort through stuff another day.

jerosen said:   Notice to quit is not filed with the courts. There is no stay of execution for it.

You can simply ask the landlords for more time. But maybe you should just leave ASAP instead.

Are you sure the property is in new ownership? The law office that sent the notice may be acting on behalf of the estate.

  
I am not sure that the property is in new ownership.  How can I find that out?  (Assessor's office and county land records still list the dead guy as the owner.)

rufflesinc said:   
jerosen said:   Notice to quit is not filed with the courts. There is no stay of execution for it.

 

  This. it's not a court order, nor filed with the courts. Just a mandatory first step before filing for eviction.

  
I guess I would wait for the eviction notice before filing for a stay of execution?

So, this will turn into a squatter thread? We haven't had a good one since that trailer thread.

/getting popcorn

http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/docs/tenantsrights.pdf


Theres stuff in there about transfer / sale of property and proper transfer of security deposit.

Did anyone notify you of a sale/transfer? WHo's got your security deposit?

You can call the real estate company that sent you the quit notice and ask them whats going on...

Gauss44 said:   
rufflesinc said:   
jerosen said:   Notice to quit is not filed with the courts. There is no stay of execution for it.

 

  This. it's not a court order, nor filed with the courts. Just a mandatory first step before filing for eviction.

  
I guess I would wait for the eviction notice before filing for a stay of execution?

  

Before you do that, check and make sure an eviction notice isn't going to show up on your record.   You don't want one showing up on your record, thats not worth squatting for a few days cause your house  be stank.

I'm not sure at what point eviction notices do show up in records exactly, and I"m not sure if it varies state to state.

jerosen said:   
Gauss44 said:   
rufflesinc said:   
jerosen said:   Notice to quit is not filed with the courts. There is no stay of execution for it.

 

  This. it's not a court order, nor filed with the courts. Just a mandatory first step before filing for eviction.

  
I guess I would wait for the eviction notice before filing for a stay of execution?

  

Before you do that, check and make sure an eviction notice isn't going to show up on your record.   You don't want one showing up on your record, thats not worth squatting for a few days cause your house  be stank.

I'm not sure at what point eviction notices do show up in records exactly, and I"m not sure if it varies state to state.

  HERE IN michigan, an eviction notice filed with the court will show up, even if the landlord dismisses it before a hearing.

rufflesinc said:   
jerosen said:   
Gauss44 said:   
rufflesinc said:   
jerosen said:   Notice to quit is not filed with the courts. There is no stay of execution for it.

 

  This. it's not a court order, nor filed with the courts. Just a mandatory first step before filing for eviction.

  
I guess I would wait for the eviction notice before filing for a stay of execution?

  

Before you do that, check and make sure an eviction notice isn't going to show up on your record.   You don't want one showing up on your record, thats not worth squatting for a few days cause your house  be stank.

I'm not sure at what point eviction notices do show up in records exactly, and I"m not sure if it varies state to state.
 

  HERE IN michigan, an eviction notice filed with the court will show up, even if the landlord dismisses it before a hearing.

  Same in FL.

City assessor's office is pretty slow to update, so I wouldn't go off of that. However, in my experience, Suffolk county registry of deeds is pretty quick to record any new title/transfer of property though.

If I were you, i'd learn about my tenant rights and then call to ask for more information without revealing anything about yourself.

Good luck with the medical stuff.

I don't know how tenant friendly (or landlord friendly) your state is, but if it were me, I'd call the company up and kindly ask due to the confusion. If they seem like jerks then simply move, or if you feel litigious, find a tenant advocate or lawyer. I would personally move and take the chance to clean out your stuff. I have a family of four in a 900 sq ft house and have more than enough space, even considering all the junk we (mostly me) buy.

Gauss44 said:   
jagec said:   Why do you want to stay in that apartment if the air is often unbreathable?
  
 I have decided that I will just need to move in with housemates which means getting rid of 80 percent of what I own.  It will take time to sort through my belongings in order to downsize this much. 
 

  Hire some kids to move it all to a storage lot, go through it there.....

jerosen said:   http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/docs/tenantsrights.pdf 


Theres stuff in there about transfer / sale of property and proper transfer of security deposit.

Did anyone notify you of a sale/transfer? WHo's got your security deposit?

You can call the real estate company that sent you the quit notice and ask them whats going on...

  
I have received nothing in writing regarding any sale of property.  I also checked the documents on the county's land records website.  They say that they are up to date with all of their scanning, so all documents are on their website, and nothing about a sale or transfer of ownership.  A neighbor of mine told me that the property was auctioned off, per another neighbor... but I don't know if I should trust that.  The neighbor who told me this doesn't get along with the landlord I've been renting from.  I didn't pay a security deposit.  A law firm sent me the notice, but I could google the name of the real estate company mentioned in the notice and get their side of the story.

 

jerosen said:   
Gauss44 said:   
rufflesinc said:   
jerosen said:   Notice to quit is not filed with the courts. There is no stay of execution for it.

 

  This. it's not a court order, nor filed with the courts. Just a mandatory first step before filing for eviction.

  
I guess I would wait for the eviction notice before filing for a stay of execution?

  

Before you do that, check and make sure an eviction notice isn't going to show up on your record.   You don't want one showing up on your record, thats not worth squatting for a few days cause your house  be stank.

I'm not sure at what point eviction notices do show up in records exactly, and I"m not sure if it varies state to state.

  
Just curious, what trouble could an eviction notice in my record possibly cause?  Do you think it would be an issue when I look for apartments in the future?  I'm in the process of applying to graduate school, do you think it would cause problems with that?

Gauss44 said:   
jerosen said:   
Gauss44 said:   
rufflesinc said:   
jerosen said:   Notice to quit is not filed with the courts. There is no stay of execution for it.

 

  This. it's not a court order, nor filed with the courts. Just a mandatory first step before filing for eviction.

  
I guess I would wait for the eviction notice before filing for a stay of execution?

  

Before you do that, check and make sure an eviction notice isn't going to show up on your record.   You don't want one showing up on your record, thats not worth squatting for a few days cause your house  be stank.

I'm not sure at what point eviction notices do show up in records exactly, and I"m not sure if it varies state to state.

  
Just curious, what trouble could an eviction notice in my record possibly cause?  Do you think it would be an issue when I look for apartments in the future?

  Yes. in MI it's not easy for a landlord to determine if an eviction actually went thru without going down to the courthouse records
  I'm in the process of applying to graduate school, do you think it would cause problems with that?
not with grad school, yes if you rent a place

The ownership issue has me wondering if there's a rule about who can send a notice to quit, and how to find out if your landlord really owns the property. If there isn't, people could just send a notice to quit to any neighbor they didn't like, and maybe dishonestly fake that it was from someone else. I'm not saying they should, but you know how some people are...

you could ask for proof that they really owned the property. but by your accounts the apartment is basically uninhabitable. so i would leave as soon as possible.

I've done lots of evictions in MA. He doesn't really need to do anything. I believe you're supposed to get the notice 30 days before the next rental period which is typically the 1st. July has 31 days so if you had gotten it on the 1st, it still would have qualified. Because they don't have any proof of delivery, I think the court would believe that you didn't get proper notice. And they can't really do anything until you're there on August 1st, then you'd get a notice from a constable about a court date. When you go to court, you say you didn't get the notice til the 5th and it gets thrown out. Usually the judge will as for proof of service for the notice and the landlord won't have that. That's why I always use a constable to deliver notices. As it's unclear who the owners are, you could ask the judge to tell them to prove that they're the new owners as your lease says something else. It will take a couple weeks before you're even in court. Also once you get the paperwork, you can file for discovery which automatically delays the court date an extra week. In your discovery request, ask for proof of ownership and a copy of the current lease and proof of service of the notice. Also the landlord pays for the court date, but if they win, they usually require the tenant to pay court costs. Your name does end up in a database of people who have been served in court, but not too many landlords check it, they usually just run a credit check. So it will be mid to late August before you're even in court. At that stage, if you're current on your rent and tell the judge you need a couple months, they'll probably grant it, it's a tenant friendly state. You can also try your luck on those counterclaims about the fumes, but you should have proof that it was mentioned before the eviction began.

Gauss44 said:   
jagec said:   Why do you want to stay in that apartment if the air is often unbreathable?
  
I would actually like to leave, but am having difficulty finding another place in my price range.


That's the discount!

henry33 said:   I've done lots of evictions in MA. He doesn't really need to do anything. I believe you're supposed to get the notice 30 days before the next rental period which is typically the 1st. July has 31 days so if you had gotten it on the 1st, it still would have qualified. Because they don't have any proof of delivery, I think the court would believe that you didn't get proper notice. And they can't really do anything until you're there on August 1st, then you'd get a notice from a constable about a court date. When you go to court, you say you didn't get the notice til the 5th and it gets thrown out. Usually the judge will as for proof of service for the notice and the landlord won't have that. That's why I always use a constable to deliver notices. As it's unclear who the owners are, you could ask the judge to tell them to prove that they're the new owners as your lease says something else. It will take a couple weeks before you're even in court. Also once you get the paperwork, you can file for discovery which automatically delays the court date an extra week. In your discovery request, ask for proof of ownership and a copy of the current lease and proof of service of the notice. Also the landlord pays for the court date, but if they win, they usually require the tenant to pay court costs. Your name does end up in a database of people who have been served in court, but not too many landlords check it, they usually just run a credit check. So it will be mid to late August before you're even in court. At that stage, if you're current on your rent and tell the judge you need a couple months, they'll probably grant it, it's a tenant friendly state. You can also try your luck on those counterclaims about the fumes, but you should have proof that it was mentioned before the eviction began.
 

  

So the notice will show up on his record if he gets one.        Personally I won't rent to someone with a recent eviction notice.

I'm really just curious on this..:  what makes you say that not too many landlords check it?   I'd have thought it would be fairly routine for landlords to do checks on evictions and bankruptcy etc in addition to credit.   IIRC its not much more expensive to do it all and besides I just make applicants pay the fees.    I do imagine a lot of individual landlords don't do it all if anything, but I would have expected property managers for larger units to do it all.
 

Gauss44 said:   The ownership issue has me wondering if there's a rule about who can send a notice to quit, and how to find out if your landlord really owns the property. If there isn't, people could just send a notice to quit to any neighbor they didn't like, and maybe dishonestly fake that it was from someone else. I'm not saying they should, but you know how some people are...
  
I'm sure it would be illegal in some way if someone did it.  

Not sure, it could be mail fraud.  
 

jerosen said:   
henry33 said:   I've done lots of evictions in MA. He doesn't really need to do anything. I believe you're supposed to get the notice 30 days before the next rental period which is typically the 1st. July has 31 days so if you had gotten it on the 1st, it still would have qualified. Because they don't have any proof of delivery, I think the court would believe that you didn't get proper notice. And they can't really do anything until you're there on August 1st, then you'd get a notice from a constable about a court date. When you go to court, you say you didn't get the notice til the 5th and it gets thrown out. Usually the judge will as for proof of service for the notice and the landlord won't have that. That's why I always use a constable to deliver notices. As it's unclear who the owners are, you could ask the judge to tell them to prove that they're the new owners as your lease says something else. It will take a couple weeks before you're even in court. Also once you get the paperwork, you can file for discovery which automatically delays the court date an extra week. In your discovery request, ask for proof of ownership and a copy of the current lease and proof of service of the notice. Also the landlord pays for the court date, but if they win, they usually require the tenant to pay court costs. Your name does end up in a database of people who have been served in court, but not too many landlords check it, they usually just run a credit check. So it will be mid to late August before you're even in court. At that stage, if you're current on your rent and tell the judge you need a couple months, they'll probably grant it, it's a tenant friendly state. You can also try your luck on those counterclaims about the fumes, but you should have proof that it was mentioned before the eviction began.
  

So the notice will show up on his record if he gets one.        Personally I won't rent to someone with a recent eviction notice.

I'm really just curious on this..:  what makes you say that not too many landlords check it?   I'd have thought it would be fairly routine for landlords to do checks on evictions and bankruptcy etc in addition to credit.   IIRC its not much more expensive to do it all and besides I just make applicants pay the fees.    I do imagine a lot of individual landlords don't do it all if anything, but I would have expected property managers for larger units to do it all.

  
I deal with landlords all the time and most of them don't really do it. The database isn't really easy to search, google doesn't keep it Handy and you have to log into each court database to do the search. Not easy. 

woowoo2 said:   
Gauss44 said:   
jagec said:   Why do you want to stay in that apartment if the air is often unbreathable?
  
 I have decided that I will just need to move in with housemates which means getting rid of 80 percent of what I own.  It will take time to sort through my belongings in order to downsize this much. 

  Hire some kids to move it all to a storage lot, go through it there.....

  
You are probably better off selling it super cheap on craigslist or giving it away instead of putting it away into storage, something that you might pay for for a few years because my nice dresser and cabinet is there. Meanwhile when you take it out of storage one of this happens:
1) You are married and the wife hates it
2) Your new place has similar or better stuff already
3) The price of the items is less then the amount you paid to store them.
4) The items weren't as important to keep as you thought.
 

Sounds like retaliation for complaining about the range-hood issue. Ask for cash for keys and an agreement that you won't pursue the retaliation claim.

The Boston assessor website actually says right on it that the listed owners are as of January 1st, at least it does on mine.

How did I know who the OP was before opening this thread?

OP, why haven't you moved already? You are in a condo where each unit is owned by a different owner and have been complaining about this place for years. MOVE NOW!

johnm4 said:   Sounds like retaliation for complaining about the range-hood issue. Ask for cash for keys and an agreement that you won't pursue the retaliation claim.
  
Could be.  The 1st floor neighbors are the ones with the range hood issue and the ones who told me about the alleged auction and new ownership.  They also don't get along with the "landlord" I've been paying rent to.  I almost wonder if they sent that notice, faking it was from a law firm.

psychokids said:   The Boston assessor website actually says right on it that the listed owners are as of January 1st, at least it does on mine.
  
Interesting, I might have missed that.  I will check on it.  (I think I called them anyway and ensured up-to-date information, but it wouldn't hurt to check twice.)

Mickie3 said:   How did I know who the OP was before opening this thread?

OP, why haven't you moved already? You are in a condo where each unit is owned by a different owner and have been complaining about this place for years. MOVE NOW!

  
I'm getting rid of stuff so that I can afford to move.  I cannot afford the same size of place I currently have.  Need to eliminate 80 percent of my belongings.  Plus, I have medical issues that makes it difficult to live with others, but cannot afford to live alone anymore.  Finding a new apartment/room to rent, for me is quite difficult - but I'm working on it.

johnm4 said:   Sounds like retaliation for complaining about the range-hood issue.
Mickie3 said:   How did I know who the OP was before opening this thread? Open a health and safety case with the local housing jurisdiction.

xoneinax said:   
johnm4 said:   Sounds like retaliation for complaining about the range-hood issue.
Mickie3 said:   How did I know who the OP was before opening this thread?
Open a health and safety case with the local housing jurisdiction.

  

There has to be some grounds for that to be done, otherwise they just write OP as just another kook tenant. 

OP:  What was the outcome of the previous thread on the duct?  Did you ever find out or just drop it? 

 

Why drag out a fight over an apartment you don't like anyway?


EradicateSpam said:   When did landlord die?

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1486068/

  
The owner died a few years ago, but his name is still on all of the ownership documents online.  His brother with almost the same full name has been renting it to me.  

Gauss44 said:   
EradicateSpam said:   When did landlord die?

https://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1486068/

  
The owner died a few years ago, but his name is still on all of the ownership documents online. His brother with almost the same full name has been renting it to me.  

  Oh dear, I think the 'brother' has been making a side business on property he doesn't own.

Gauss44 said:   
jagec said:   Why do you want to stay in that apartment if the air is often unbreathable?
  
I would actually like to leave, but am having difficulty finding another place in my price range.  I was living in a 1000 sq ft studio and moved (crammed into) this 400 square foot studio.  After months of looking, I have decided that I will just need to move in with housemates which means getting rid of 80 percent of what I own.  It will take time to sort through my belongings in order to downsize this much.  It would be much faster, if I didn't keep having the problem of taking time off to do this, and then finding out that the air is so bad that I have to pack and sort through stuff another day.

Why not block the vents in the closet and bathroom the night before you take the day off?  

Skipping 46 Messages...
Gauss44 said:   I think I found another place to rent. The catch seems to be that I would have a housemate and the lease is written so that we are both responsible for the full amount of rent. Landlord doesn't want to reword lease to make it so that we (my roommate and me) are not each others guarantors. Landlord says that if it were reworded so that each of us were only responsible for our share of rent, it would become a rooming house. Is that true?

That's how they're normally written, it's pretty standard. That way if your roommate leaves, you have to either decide to find another roommate or move out. Otherwise it'd be up to the landlord to find a roommate and then if you didn't get along, then the fun really starts. Too much liability for the landlord. No reason for the landlord to ever agree to separate leases. It's a rooming house if if there are more than 4 people living together who aren't related. So while that part technically isn't true, there's no reason for the landlord to agree to separate leases, I don't know any who would. And those that have, have learned to regret it. Classic is that one party claims sexual abuse or harassment. When the tenant finds the roommate, it's not the landlord's problem. When the landlord finds the tenant, then it's the landlord's fault.
  



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