Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Massachusetts

i'm not sure if you can answer this question or not but here it is....we have been renting the same house for 24 & a half years,we have always had access to a piece of property on the lower front of our house..the landlady has never disputed it not to be ours...my husband has always raked,mowed & has always kept up with that part of the yard as well as other parts of the yard.many tenants have come & gone in that peticular house next to us & no one has ever complained about us having ownership of the piece of property..new tenants have moved as of Dec.2012..they have never taken care of their property & they are now complaining to the landlady that they want rights to that peticular property..my question is: Do we have any rights to keep this as our rental property,or does the landlady have a right to take this away from us? thank you for your time to read this

Asked on 6/01/13, 5:07 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Alan Pransky Law Office of Alan J. Pransky
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You have no rights to keep this property. You apparently are thinking of the law of adverse possession where, in some instances, title to land can be established after 20 years of use. However, this does not apply to you. Adverse possession requires a claim of title as a first step. You don't claim ownership of any land. You state that you are a tenant and not an owner. You can't claim adverse possession.

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6/02/13, 7:55 am
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Your rights to the use of that part of the property is dependent on your lease. If the lease is month to month or silent to the area you get as part of your rent, then your landlady has the right to allow someone else access or use or exclusive use.

Your right would be to ask for a reduction of rent or argue you understood the area to be part of your rental area and use. You have no specific right by law except that it has always been part of the area included in your.

I would try to work this out amicably. It is not worth alienating the landlady or neighbors. When you renew your lease I would ask for that area to be included as part of my rental agreement.

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6/02/13, 10:39 am

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