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Did my landlord violate my rights?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute with assistance from legal services offices in Massachusetts
Created May 2017

Did my landlord violate my rights?

If your landlord is evicting you for nonpayment of rent or for a reason that is not your fault and they did something wrong, you may have a “legal claim” against them. A legal claim means your landlord violated your rights.

Before you negotiate, identify your legal claims - things your landlord did that violated your rights. Then bring these legal claims up during your negotiation. Your agreement should address legal claims you have against the landlord, not just legal claims your landlord has against you.

For example, if you lived with bad conditions, ask your landlord to fix them by a certain date. Your landlord may also owe you money because of the bad conditions. Ask your landlord to lower the amount of rent you owe. If the conditions were very bad, your landlord may owe you at least 3 months’ rent.

If the court has a Lawyer for the Day, they can help you identify your legal claims. For more, see When to Take Your Landlord to Court.


Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

Get Negotiating a Settlement (Booklet 10)

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