On January 26, 2012, the Boston Housing Court issued its decision in favor of Attorney Murphy’s landlord client in the Summary Process matter of Changeau v. Freeman, Docket No. 11H84SP004814. Attorney Murphy’s client, Mr. Changeau, sought eviction of his tenant for nonpayment of rent. The tenant withheld rent because she believed Mr. Changeau failed to make necessary repairs to the residence after heavy rains allegedly caused mold to appear in the basement. Attorney Murphy argued at trial that there was no evidence of mold, and that his client’s corrective actions to appease the tenant’s concerns were in compliance with both Massachusetts Housing Law and Sanitary Code. The Court appointed an inspector to visit the premises in question. The inspector reported no presence of mold, but noted other questionable conditions. In his closing argument, Attorney Murphy reminded the court that regardless of other questionable conditions, any minor defects in this case would not amount to a material breach of the warranty of habitability or violation of the sanitary code. The Court agreed with Attorney Murphy, ruling that no rent abatement is applicable and that the tenant shall pay the back rent in full.
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