Legal questions

Can the Landlord Raise the Rent Any Amount They Want?

This question comes up every summer, as leases are renegotiated for the upcoming year. Most leases in eastern Massachusetts turn over during the summer because the Boston metro area is highly influenced by the academic calendar. If you have an annual lease, the landlord can increase the rent at the end of the annual lease.

By |2022-09-07T10:29:30-04:00September 7th, 2022|Categories: Legal questions|Tags: , , |

Use and Occupancy

Recently, during the most competitive times in the seller-favoring real estate market, more sellers were asking for the right to stay in the home after the closing. This makes life much easier for the seller. Under typical circumstances, the seller and all their possessions must be out of the house before closing. The buyer walks

By |2022-08-18T07:37:43-04:00August 24th, 2022|Categories: buying process, Legal questions|Tags: , , |

Denied a mortgage because you are pregnant?

As a house hunter, you are under no obligation to tell your lender that you are pregnant or plan to be pregnant. Pregnancy is not a legal reason for a lender to deny you a mortgage, unless your income changes in a way that makes you no longer qualified for the mortgage. In 2008, when

By |2022-04-24T19:57:40-04:00April 13th, 2022|Categories: buying process, Fair Housing, Legal questions|Tags: , , , |

What is a Use and Occupancy Agreement?

Question: The listing sheet says: “Seller requires Use and Occupancy until January 7, 2022.” What does that mean? A Use and Occupancy Agreement is a contract that allows a seller to stay in the property after closing. Although there are templates online, my advice is to have an attorney write or review any Use and

By |2021-10-19T19:44:49-04:00October 20th, 2021|Categories: buying process, Legal questions|Tags: , , |

Making Two Offers on the Same Weekend: Bad Ideas in Real Estate

I am starting a new series: Bad Ideas in Real Estate These are ideas that I hear, either socially or from prospects or clients, that do not work. They are usually “tricks” that someone picked up online, or heard from someone they know. I start this series with a tactic that crossed my path this

Bidding Wars and Discrimination

Several times a year, my agents get feedback from the seller’s agent that our client’s offer was similar to another offer, but our clients got the house. Why? Because their letter identified them as the right people for the house. We have been able to tell the story of our clients--without demographic information that could

By |2021-04-25T13:11:46-04:00April 28th, 2021|Categories: House Hunting, Legal questions|Tags: , , , |

Tenants, Discrimination, and Fair Housing

Real estate agents are prohibited from taking any of these discriminatory actions: Refuse to rent, sell, negotiate for housing Make housing unavailable or deny a dwelling Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental Provide different housing services or facilities Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale or rental Make, print,

By |2021-04-09T15:24:59-04:00April 14th, 2021|Categories: Legal questions|Tags: , , , |

Realtors® and Housing Discrimination

National Association of Realtors® Apologizes for Complicity in Discrimination Throughout the 20th Century, Realtors® opposed Fair Housing regulation and participated in discriminatory practices. Since the adoption of the Fair Housing Act (1968), the Association accepted that Fair Housing was the law of the land, required members to follow the law, provided classes to prepare members

By |2021-04-15T15:15:12-04:00April 21st, 2021|Categories: Legal questions|Tags: , , , , |

Realtors® Take Stand on Hate Speech

Is someone who participates in discriminatory speech (or hate speech) in their social settings trustworthy to practice Fair Housing Laws? The National Association of Realtors® says, “No.” There’s a new standard of practice being added to the Fair Housing Section of the Realtor Code of Ethics. It prohibits discriminatory or hate speech by Realtors®. How

By |2020-11-29T08:08:22-05:00December 2nd, 2020|Categories: Legal questions|Tags: , , , , |