HOUSING LAW GUIDE
This guide was prepared for students working in the Suffolk University Law School Pro Bono Program although some of the resources may be useful to others doing housing law research.
Housing law covers many areas including landlord/tenant, evictions, public housing, and foreclosure. Many areas of housing law are governed by state law but areas of public housing and discrimination are also impacted by federal law. This guide introduces some important resources for housing law and information on how to find additional materials particular to the legal problem you are researching. Where appropriate this guide links to other guides prepared for the Suffolk University Law School Pro Bono Program or by the Moakley Law Library.
Moakley Law Library Catalog
For additional information on finding general resources, see the General Resources Guide.
Restatement of the Law [Second] Property, Landlord and Tenant: as Adopted and Promulgated by the American Law Institute
(Law Reserve KF590.R47 1977; updated with pocket parts.)
Foreclosures: Defenses, Workouts, and Mortgage Servicing / John Rao [et. al.]
Landlord and Tenant Law: With Forms / E. George Daher
Massachusetts Practice Series Vols. 33, 33A, 34
(Law Reserve and Reading Room Floor 5 KFM 2480.M3 1993; updated with pocket parts; and available on Westlaw - database identifier: MAPRAC)
Massachusetts Practice provides thorough coverage of landlord tenant law with citations to prevailing cases and forms. This set includes topics such as Summary Process, Tenant's Special Remedies, and Housing Courts.
Lease Drafting in Massachusetts / Edward M. Bloom, editor
Boston, MA: MCLE
(Law Reserve KFM2517 .L43 - recent supplements; and also available on MCLE Library; Lexis: Legal > States Legal - U.S. > Massachusetts > Search Analysis & CLE Materials > Real Estate > Lease Drafting in Massachusetts; and Westlaw - database identifier: MA-CLE)
Legal Tactics: Tenants' Rights in Massachusetts Private Housing / editor, Annette R. Duke; authors, Dick Bauer ... [et al.]
(Law Reserve KFM2517.Z9 L44 2008)
Geared to tenants; chapters cover topics such as Security Deposits, Taking your Landlord to Court, and Evictions; includes checklists, forms, letters, and text of applicable Massachusetts laws. Directory with a wide range of resources for tenants; available online at: http://www.masslegalhelp.org/housing/legal-tactics1
Legal Tactics: Finding Public and Subsidized Housing, Public Housing / editors, Amy E. Cooperman & Annette R. Duke
Massachusetts Landlord-Tenant Law / George Warshaw
(Law Reserve KFM2517 .W37 2001; updated with supplements; and also available on Lexis: Legal > States Legal - U.S. > Massachusetts > Search Analysis & CLE Materials > Real Estate > Massachusetts Landlord-Tenant Law)
Includes chapters on Terminations, Claims and Defenses for Rent, Summary Process Procedure, Defenses to Eviction, Trial and Judgment, Consumer Protection, Warranty of Habitability and other issues. This treatise also contains forms.
Massachusetts Landlord-Tenant Practice: Law and Forms / G. Emil Ward
(Law Reserve KFM 2517.W375 1996 and updated in 2002)
Chapters cover topics such as Defending Against Eviction and Claims for Rent, Chapter 93a-Consumer Protection and Subsidized Housing (Federal and MHFA). Includes footnotes to statutes and leading cases.
Massachusetts Mortgages, Foreclosures, and Workouts / editor, Arthur D. Brecher
Residential Landlord/Tenant Benchbook / editor, Wayne E. Hartwell; contributors, David D. Kerman
Very practical treatise that gives an overview of residential summary process. This treatise also includes applicable case law with a helpful subject index and a bibliography with additional resources.
Residential and Commercial Landlord-Tenant Practice in Massachusetts / Catherine F. Dowling
List of resources, forms, and a database of questions related to landlord-tenant law with footnoted answers.
Massachusetts Trial Court Libraries:
The Massachusetts Trial Court Libraries have guides in many areas of law that include online resources, links to forms, and other helpful sources. The following guides cover a number of areas of interest:
Mass Legal Help - Housing
This web site includes self-help forms, sample letters, booklets, handbooks, and a FAQ section.
HDR Handbook of Housing and Development Law / Barry G. Jacobs
Housing Discrimination Practice Manual
(Available on Westlaw Only: HDISPRMAN)
This manual is designed to assist private attorneys who are bringing private fair housing suits in federal court.
HUD Housing Programs: Tenants' Rights / The National Housing Law Project
(Law Treatises Fl 5 KF5729.H83 2004)
This valuable resource is an issue-oriented guide for advocates representing publicly subsidized housing clients. This treatise covers many areas including the various public housing programs, admission and tenant selection, individual tenant rents, security deposits, maintenance, evictions and subsidy terminations, and a very helpful chapter on common legal issues.
National Fair Housing Advocate Online
National Housing Law Project
Lots of great resources including links to information packets, recent regulations affecting federal housing, and HUD notices, cases, and regulations by topic.
HUDCLIPS (HUD Client Information and Policy System) contains full text searchable databases of the following: ALL HUD handbooks, ALL HUD notices, United States Code Titles 12 and 42, Code of Federal Regulations Title 24, Federal Register notices, and more.
Links to Massachusetts and Federal statutes and regulations are to free sources of law. These sources may not be updated frequently and are unannotated.
Gen. Laws Mass. Ch. 93A Consumer Protection
Gen. Laws Mass. Ch. 111 Public Health
Gen. Laws Mass. Ch. 185C Housing Court
Gen. Laws Mass. Ch. 186 Estates for Years and At Will (Landlord-Tenant law)
105 CMR 400.000 State Sanitary Code
780 CMR State Building Code (Law Reserve KFM2859.A1 A29)
Landlord-Tenant matters are heard by the Massachusetts Housing Court; however other courts may hear Summary Process complaints, including the District Courts, Boston Municipal Court, and Superior Courts.
Housing Court Decisions
Select Housing Court decisions are available through the Social Law Databases. To access these decisions, using the Law School Legal Databases. Once on the Legal Databases web page, select Social Law Databases. Consult the Housing Court web site for information about bringing a claim in the Housing Court http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/housingcourt/index.html.
For more information on the Massachusetts Courts see the Massachusetts Case Finding Guide.
The Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601-3631 (prohibits discrimination in housing rentals)
42 U.S.C. 1404a-1440 (Low Income Housing)
24 C.F.R. Housing and Urban Development (Fair Housing regulations)
Fair Housing Administrative Decisions
(Also available on Westlaw: FAIRHOUS)
*Note: Westlaw and Lexis are subscription databases with limited availability. Other databases or resources may only be available to members of the Suffolk community or from computers at the Law Library.
If you have questions or comments, please email: Rick Buckingham, Reference Librarian.
Created: November 19, 2009. Last Updated October 20, 2010.
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