MANDATORY RENT ESCROW BILL (# S779)
Petitioners: Jennifer L. Flanagan , Elmir Simov
SECTION 1. Section 8A of chapter 239 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the second paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following: “Whenever any counterclaim or claim of defense under this section is based on any allegation concerning the condition of the premises or the services or equipment provided therein, the tenant or occupant shall not be entitled to relief under this section unless: (1) the owner or his agents, servants, or employees, or the person to whom the tenant or occupant customarily paid his rent was given in writing a notice of such conditions before the tenant or occupant was in arrears in his rent; (2) the plaintiff does not show that such conditions were caused by the tenant or occupant or any other person acting under his control; except that the defendant shall have the burden of proving that any violation appearing solely within that portion of the premises under his control and not by its nature reasonably attributable to any action or failure to act of the plaintiff was not so caused; (3) the premises are not situated in a hotel or motel, nor in a lodging house or rooming house wherein the occupant has maintained such occupancy for less than three consecutive months; (4) the plaintiff does not show that the conditions complained of cannot be remedied without the premises being vacated and (5) the tenant or occupant deposits with the clerk all rent due prior to asserting a defense of rent withholding and counterclaims against landlord using code violations and then continues to pay the contractual amount of rent into escrow with the clerk for each month until final disposition provided, however, that nothing in this clause shall be construed to deprive the tenant or occupant of relief under this section when the premises are temporarily vacated for purposes of removal or covering of paint, plaster, soil or other accessible materials containing dangerous levels of lead pursuant to section one hundred and ninety-seven of chapter one hundred and eleven and nothing in this clause shall be construed to deprive the tenant or occupant of relief per MGL 111, 127L.”
SECTION 2. Section 8A of chapter 239 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out the fourth paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following:“The escrowed rent may be expended for the repair of the premises by such persons as the court after a hearing may direct, including if appropriate a receiver appointed as provided in section one hundred and twenty-seven H of chapter one hundred and eleven. When all of the conditions found by the court have been corrected, the court shall direct that the balance of funds, if any, remaining with the clerk be paid to the landlord.”
RIGHT TO A JURY AND ACTUAL INJURY REQUIREMENT UNDER 93A (Bill # H489)
Petitioners: Dennis A. Rosa , Elmir Simov
Section 1. Section 2 of chapter 93A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:- (d) All legal claims including but not limited to double and triple damages and attorney fees under this chapter shall come with a right to a jury trial.
Section 2. Paragraph (a) of section 9 of chapter 93A of the General Laws as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following sentence:- A technical violation of a legally protected interest alone without an actual and not future or perceived injury would be insufficient to bring an action under this section.