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Founder of MassCops
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question on trespassing:

Here is the situation:

You respond to a three family apartment building, the landlord states that he has someone he wants removed from the property.

The landlord informs you that he had someone that was going to move into a vacant apartment. The new tenant gave the landlord a money order for first moths rent to secure the apartment and was going to pay the balance of the security when they signed the lease the next day.

In good faith the landlord gives the keys to the new tenant and states that he will return the following day to collect the remaining balance and take care of the lease agreement.

When the landlord returns the next day he finds that the tenant is all moved in but informs the landlord that he in unable to pay the balance of the security. The landlord then calls the police, no lease was ever signed, the new tenants are not receiving mail at the residence so in fact have not really established residence.

Are the new tenants trespassing? Will the landlord have to go through the courts or can the local pd give these freeloaders the boot provided that the landlord gives them back their money order for the first months rent?
 

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Czar of Cyncism and Satire
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Tell that landlord he is shit out of luck. He shouldn't give the keys to anybody unless he has all his ducks in a row, checks cashed and collecting interest in a bank account. "Good Faith" only gets you so far in life. There is alot of case law on this and it happens quite frequently. Squatters rights trump landlords rights all day long in liberal Massachusetts I am afraid.

Tell him to go to Housing Court to have this problem resolved. It'll probably take months of lost rent to do this and have a Constable serve him. Yup, thats right, here we go again. They do have LE responsabilities, albeit minor ones. Let's see the "supers" do that!

Don't throw them out or they'll sue for false arrest / imprisonment etc.... They'll get Hrones saying you violated them in unimaginable & unspeakable ways. You'll get ulcers, go bald, lose your marriage, kids, house. All this before it even gets to trial! Your city appointed lawyer (dope) will settle it for a gajillion dollars with you being the bad guy. Stay away from this one & let the Black Robe decide
 

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Once landlord and tenant make any arrangement, it is now in the civil side, and only the court can compel them to leave.

It's better that way anyway. I have had several calls in Boston where the landlords felt the housing courts weren't moving fast enough, and call us with tall stories about tenants tresspassing, and violating vacate orders they suddenly couldn't produce. ect.
 

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I know that Constables are universally despised on this forum, but we (yes, I am one of "those") deal with these situations on a regular basis as part of our work.

Once ANY adult moves into a place, lease or not, to get them out is STRICTLY a civil matter and something that the police are PROHIBITED from getting involved with by law (check MGL Ch. 41 S. 98 ). This process in MA is very cumbersome, time consuming and expensive (to the landlord) and if someone "knows how to play the game" it will take 6 months to 1 year to legally evict them. The landlord will bear ALL the eviction costs (lawyer's fees, Constable fees, mover and storage for x months, locksmith, court costs and lost rent) . . . essentially it is unheard of for the landlord to ever get back any of these costs. Also, to be a legal eviction, EVERY adult living in the unit MUST be evicted (named on the court documents and served individually with each court document) . . . this means that if John Smith is the deadbeat and you start eviction proceedings against him AND he invites his girlfriend Mary Jones to move in with him (but you don't know about it OR don't know her name) John Smith can get the eviction proceedings overturned (delayed) because you didn't also name Mary Jones as a tenant . . . this would start the legal clock back at square one and you'd go thru the whole process again!

A couple of evictions that I've been involved with involved the following pertinent factoids:
- One tenant was able to skip out on 10 months rent ($1K/month) before the eviction was executed.
- Another eviction was of a woman who didn't pay the mortgage for >14 months on her house, she told the judge that it was "her house and nobody was going to remove her" and she told us the same. Thus, I gave a "heads up" to our Lt and Dispatcher that would be on duty at the PD in case I needed them to prevent a "breach of the peace". When I showed up to execute the eviction, she refused to open the door and SHE called the police. The Lt. took a copy of the court-issued execution and explained to her that now she WAS Trespassing if she didn't leave. She refused to leave and the Lt. took her out in silver bracelets on a charge of Trespassing. So, the only time the police can get involved legally is for a breach of the peace or trespassing (once the court issued execution is served and she refuses to leave), because the tenant had just stepped "over the line", making it into a criminal offense.

A Constable that I know in the Springfield area has evicted a large number of people that he's actually evicted four or five times previously over his 14 years as a Constable! [In other words, there are plenty of folks out there that make a "profession" of taking landlords to the cleaners!]

Here's my advice:
- Tell the landlord to sit down with this person and offer to PAY HIM to leave! If he vacates the apartment totally and hands back the keys (with no damage to the apartment) . . . and ONLY AFTER he has left, if the landlord offered to give him a few thousand dollars to go, he might just leave and save the landlord a lot more money and aggravation.
- If that fails, find a good attorney who specializes in landlord (NOT Tenant) issues and be prepared for a long and expensive battle.

Good luck to the landlord, he's going to need it!
 

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Founder of MassCops
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys, and Len there is only one Constable I can think of that I despise, and here we are almost a year later (jackgate) and he is still being a pain in the ass.

As far as the rent issue the tenant came up with the rest of the money but I have a feeling this is going to be a monthly problem.
 

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Gil,

Re Tenant: They don't usually get any better! Keep the info I provided in your hip pocket, in case you/landlord need it. It's frequently better to "buy someone out" than fight the battles in court.

As for Constables: Every time the title is mentioned on this forum, the venom starts flowing. Just like any profession, there are the good, the bad and the ugly! I wish that there was a uniform way to get rid of the bad guys and REQUIRE state-approved training (MPTC) prior to pinning the badge on . . . but I don't see it happening anytime in the near future (current leadership-EOPS, budgetary issues-although it could be self-sustaining, etc.).

If all you know is one PITA Constable, consider yourself lucky! I know of a number of them including a very scary recent appointment (a person who considers ALL POLICE to be JBTs and advocates shooting it out with the Police!) . . . I had heard a rumor he was appointed in a small town, and recently confirmed it when I checked that town's website. I belong to one of the state-wide associations and know of a number of incidents where Constables have acted outside the law. In fact I have a MetroWest area attorney upset with me because she asked me to do some work that was illegal for a Constable to do and I refused her! :roll:
 

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How about doing a credit check on these shitbirds along with a background check, previous places they lived, etc. It would save a lot of time. If these scumbags went to court for failing to pay the rent, there will be a civil judgement filed against them and it will show up in teh credit report. Just mak e sure you have the right person's credit report checked. Small investment,big savings in a hassle..
 

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Once the landlord accepted the first months rent in his hand via cash or check he was agreeing to accept the terms of good faith on the tenants delivering of the rest of the money. The issue of transfer of appartment keys to the tenant would imply the tenant was allowed to move into the appartment. If the landlord feels the tenant should have paid the rest of the money before moving in, he (The Landlord) should not have transferred custody of the keys to the tenant until said money is/was paid.


In other words Landlord can go pound sand!


Gill I will send you my legal bill of $100 hour to your station :smokin:
 

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CHAPTER 266. CRIMES AGAINST PROPERTY

Chapter 266: Section 120 Entry upon private property after being forbidden as trespass; prima facie evidence; penalties; arrest; tenants or occupants excepted

Section 120. ..... This section shall not apply to tenants or occupants of residential premises who, having rightfully entered said premises at the commencement of the tenancy or occupancy, remain therein after such tenancy or occupancy has been or is alleged to have been terminated. The owner or landlord of said premises may recover possession thereof only through appropriate civil proceedings.
 
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