I’m Renting an illegal apartment… what do I do?

By Disgruntled tenant

Well, I moved into the top floor apartment of a house in Sept. I learned about two weeks later that the downstairs apartment had become available, so I immediately contacted the landlord and moved in the following month. As the weeks went by, I began to notice numerous issues with the apartment and attempted to contact my landlord in regards to them. It was extremely difficult to get in touch with her and even when I did, it was usually very brief and her only concern was that she’d be able to pick up the rent. After about a week or so of moving in, I was sitting watching TV with a few friends and suddenly heard a ton of commotion, yelling and screaming from outside my door. I immediately went to investigate only to find the tenant of the house directly behind mine (whom of which is the landlord’s sister) screaming, swearing, accusing me of stealing, and throwing my furniture and grill from my front porch. I called the local authorities and they came and assisted me in dealing with the situation. As the weeks went forward, I found more and more problems, and attempted to set up a meeting with my landlord to discuss them. The only response I received was that "I’ll be in touch with you later". Finally after 2 months, I said enough is enough and informed my landlord that I would be with holding my month’s rent against the much needed repairs. I was immediately contacted with a very witty response saying that I had just given her my 30 day notice. I began to dig a little deeper and discovered that I was in fact renting a single family home that had been illegally converted into 2 separate apartments. I notified the town of such and the proper authorities are coming soon to confirm this and take legal action against it. Now, for my question. If and when we are evicted by the town, what rights do I have financially in regards to relocation? I’m aware that in NJ, you’re entitled to 6x your monthly rent for relocation. What am I entitled to in MA?

Edited on: Saturday, April 27th, 2013 5:41 pm

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