Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Massachusetts

Common Area / Quiet Enjoyment

I have a foyer in my apartment that connects my kitchen to my 3 season porch/room. When I moved into the apartment I was told that no one else used the foyer, it was for me, as well as all the cabinets in the room. It has an emergency exit stairway leading up to the apartment upstairs. If the resident in that apartment has to use this emergency exit they would come down and go through my area to get to a door that leads to the outside.

At the moment I have had multiple issues with this neighbor, for numerous things. The latest was when he came down into this room and moved around my personal property in a non-emergency situation. After discussing with my landlord, who seems to understand why I am bothered by the privacy issues of this situation, she tells me that although he shouldn't have a reason to be in that area, he has every right to because it is technically a common area. I feel like I have been led into a situation that is not what I was led to believe and feel uncomfortable .

If I had been told in the beginning that it was a common area and that a neighbor might use it from time, I most likely would have moved some other place. I'm wondering if I actually have any rights to this area, and what I'm able to do

Asked on 6/16/09, 3:01 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Gregory Lee Gregory P. Lee, Attorney at Law

Re: Common Area / Quiet Enjoyment

If it's an obvious common area, you store your property there at risk. I don't think that the landlord or the neighbor violated your legal rights. Store anything that you want to keep private inside the OBVIOUS locked door.

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Answered on 6/17/09, 7:03 am

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