Legal Question in Landlord & Tenant Law in Massachusetts


I'm currently living in an apartment with another co-tenant. We have signed the standard Boston RHA Fixed Term Lease. There is no roommate agreement signed. When the other tenant signed the lease, I offered to allow the individual to use my property (kitchenware, TV, vacuum, etc..). Since this time, the co-tenant has caused minor damage to some property. I instructed the co-tenant that I would no longer permit them to use my personal property. They continued to use my property despite this, so I locked some of the kitchen cabinets until I am able to finish moving everything into my bedroom. I left access to all cabinetry that contained the co-tenant's property, as I did not want to prevent access to their personal property. Since then, I've received text messages from their parent demanding I "allow them the quiet enjoyment of the property as the lease states."

Am I violating my lease by preventing access to my personal property? And could I be held liable for 'interfering with quiet enjoyment' with my actions? The wording in the RHA made it seem as though that references the tenant/landlord and not tenant/tenant relationship.

It is important to note that the co-tenant still has access to all common areas, and can freely access the installed appliances, egresses, bathroom and common areas.


Asked on 12/16/15, 8:20 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

Jonas Jacobson Law Offices of Jonas Jacobson

Look, practically speaking, if you're at this level of animosity with your co-tenant, one or both of you should discuss the options for moving out with your landlord. Since it sounds like you're more annoyed than your co-tenant, and since it is far easier to move yourself, than to try and force someone to do something they may not want to do - perhaps you should ask your landlord and co-tenant if they would consider a subletter, and start looking for an alternative arrangement.

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Answered on 1/04/16, 2:09 pm

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