Building Permits and Local Ordinances

We recently touched on the issue of obtaining building permits in home improvement work.  In addition to state requirements, most cities and towns have their own local ordinances that govern home construction.  You are likely aware that cities and towns dictate zoning and setback requirements, but did you also know that local ordinances can also put further Read More

Another Trap for the Unwary – Building Permits

On this blog we previously discussed what to look for when hiring a home improvement contractor.  But what about after you hire that contractor?  Another trap for the unwary is during the process to obtain the building permit.  Under the Massachusetts Home Improvement Contractor statute, in order to avail yourself of some of the statutory benefits available to homeowners, the contractor Read More

Requirements for a Home Improvement Contract

As we have posted before, when you undertake a home improvement project — a renovation, an addition, finishing a basement — the contract between the homeowner and the contractor is likely covered by Chapter 142A.  Chapter 142A has some specific requirements for contracts.  In this post, we are going to focus on the requirement that the Read More

Are Housemates the Solution to Lowering Your Housing Costs?

Massachusetts housing costs are very expensive — rent is expensive and the prospect of buying a home may seem completely out of bounds if you are single or on a limited income. Lately, we’ve been working with people who have tried to manage their housing costs by purchasing a property and renting rooms in their Read More

What is cross-metering?

In Massachusetts, in general, a landlord is required to pay for a tenant’s electric and gas utilities unless, there is a separate meter which serves only the dwelling unit or other areas that a tenant uses exclusively and a written lease which states that the tenant is responsible for those utilities. If a tenant is Read More

Chapter 142A — the Home Improvement Contractor Act

Massachusetts requires contractors who perform home renovation work not only to have a Construction Supervisor License, but also require him or her to have a Home Improvement Contractor Registration under Chapter 142A. The Home Improvement Contractor registration is only required for contractors who do renovation work — additions, renovations, demolitions — changes to the existing Read More

How to Evict Someone Who Pays No Rent

When you read this title, it may make no sense — who would rent to someone and not charge them rent? Our office has run into this situation in a number of ways most of them involve family relationships or romantic relationships which have turned sour. The individual usually has resided at the premises for Read More

Help us, help you

We get many calls a week at our office from potential clients. We want to help you, either by representing you, or at least by pointing you in the correct direction. Here are some suggestions to make the most out of your call with us. If your claim involves a contract or a lease, please Read More