New Sanitary Code Effective April 2023

For the first time since 2007, the State Sanitary Code has been amended and will take effect next month.  I can’t speak to previous versions, but it looks like the Sanitary Code has received a major overhaul with these amendments.  As an attorney who regularly represents both landlords and tenants, there are certain issues that Read More

Owners of Condominiums Do Not Have Same Protections as Single Family Owners in Construction

If you are a homeowner in Massachusetts, and you want to undertake a renovation, you should make sure that the contractor you hire has both a construction supervisor license, and a registration under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 142A. However, the statute has a gap that leaves certain homeowners unprotected. The statute applies only to owners Read More

Happy Anniversary to Tanowitz Law

When I think back twenty years ago, I had a three month old and a three year old and a desire not to return to my firm after maternity leave.  So, I decided to do it on my own terms and started Tanowitz Law.  In hindsight, returning to my old job probably would have been Read More

Ten Things a Homeowner Must Know Before Starting a Home Improvement Project – part 1

For many people, their home is their largest asset.  If you are thinking of undertaking a renovation project, the next few posts will explore things you need to know and consider before you start. First, do your homework before you hire someone.  Don’t just ask a potential contractor for references – of course he or Read More

A Corporate Entity Does not Completely Shield Corporate Officers from Tort Liability

Many people set up corporations or limited liability companies so that they can limit their personal liability.  While having a properly run corporation or LLC, can limit liability, the limits are not absolute.  There are at least three ways an individual can be personally liable, even if acting on behalf of their company.  First, under Read More

Breaching an Offer to Purchase Real Estate

Last week, I received a call from an unhappy prospective buyer. He had offered to purchase the house and the seller agreed to sell the house. The parties had agreed on a price and a standard contract to purchase real estate was signed by both parties.  Just two days later, the seller emailed saying that Read More

Arbitration Through the Office of Consumer Affairs – Home Improvement Contractor Program

Last week, I posted about arbitration in general.  Today, I want to focus on a specific program offered by the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.  Among other things, this office oversees the Home Improvement Contractor Arbitration Program or HICARB.  As part of HICARB, homeowner can take a home improvement contractor to arbitration Read More

Amazon Changes Course on Arbitration

According to various news sources, last month, Amazon changed its requirement that those having a dispute with the company take the claim to arbitration.  One reason is the expense. For years, I have been telling clients to avoid agreeing to arbitration clauses when possible.   First, as Amazon discovered, arbitration is expenses.  Places like the American Read More

Damages in a Construction Dispute

Let me present you with a scenario that I have now heard at least dozens of times and maybe more than a hundred at this point.  A homeowner hires a contractor do perform renovation work at their home.  Let’s say, that the project is to renovate the kitchen for $100,000.  The contractor starts the job Read More

Seven Things to Know about the Massachusetts Security Deposit Law

I receive a lot of calls from clients with questions about security deposits that their landlord has taken. The security deposit law in Massachusetts is not overly complex, it just requires precision. Here are some things that both landlords and tenants should know about the rules regarding security deposits on residential properties. A landlord may not take Read More