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Commercial lease terms and security deposit

Additional Info: I’ve recently exited a commercial lease in Brookline in good standing, however the landlord has sent a letter indicating there are deficiency repairs that I deem unreasonable (amount ~$10k) for an 1 year lease of monthly rent $2.3k. I find that unreasonable and would like to know what consequences I would face if I decide simply not to comply.  Would I need to hire an attorney to represent me? Attorney Answer: In virtually

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Can a new owner of a commercial property break a lease of a current tenant once the sale is final?

Additional Info: We are looking into purchasing a building in Newton that is zoned commercial to use for our business. The current owner just signed a 3-year lease with the lessee that is currently occupying the building. Can we make an offer on the property contingent upon negotiating to have the current tenants vacate? Or do the current tenants have legal rights to stay through their lease term? Attorney Answer: A purchaser of commercial real

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We’d like to convert a Chestnut Hill property to condominiums.

Additional Information: Do I need a special permit to convert a 4 unit apartment building in Chestnut Hill into condos? ATTORNEY ANSWER: No – but if you are in Brookline you need to file a copy of the Master Deed with the Town – assessor and Building Department and complete a condominium conversion certificate.  

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Property zoned as 3 unit multi family dwelling, can we convert to 4 condos?

Additional Information: My wife and I are considering buying an investment property in Newton.  It is zoned as a multi family dwelling with 3 separate units.  We are considering buying it and building out the fourth floor to create 4 units, and then converting into 4 condominiums.  Is this doable? ATTORNEY ANSWER: The first step is to check with the Newton Building Department to determine if the specific property can be converted into 4 units. 

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Can a divorce agreement be modified? What is the process?

Additional Information: I had been living with my parents while we were separated and just moved into an apartment in Newton with our 18 month old son and am finding that the alimony and child support are insufficient. I’ve been divorced from my husband for 4 months.  Can the divorce settlement agreement be changed after finalization?  What is the process and is it difficult? ATTORNEY ANSWER: It depends, and I would have to read the

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What is the best way to handle financial matters in a divorce?

Additional Information: What is the best way to handle finances and separation of assets in a divorce?  My wife and I just separated and she is currently an at home mom in Brookline. We’ve figured out a schedule in regard to the children but don’t know how to handle expenses and splitting assets. ATTORNEY ANSWER: The best method is for both you and your wife to fill out a court financial form (I can send

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We’re going to get divorced, and husband has been spending lavishly.

Additional Information: My husband married me for my family’s money.  We’ve been married for 5 years, have 3 kids and a house worth $2.5 M in Brookline, MA.  He always took care of the finances and I just found out that he has been spending lavishly, bought himself a new sports car and essentially has depleted our checking accounts.  Will his behavior be considered as we figure out how to divide our property and remaining

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Does it seem like his divorce lawyer is going to seek sole custody of our daughter?

Additional Information: My husband and I are getting divorced. We’ve been amicable toward one another, he is even still living in our home in West Roxbury, so I was surprised when I received papers from his attorney stating negative things about me that my spouse denies.  We have a 7 year old daughter and we agreed to be respectful of one another as we go through the divorce for her sake. Does it seems like

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My ex husband has been in contempt of divorce decree for years.

Additional Information: He has never paid for medical insurance, alimony or child support.  He has the means to pay and has finally been paying child support of $500 a month and ignoring the rest saying “oh, well she’s almost 18.”  We live in MA, and in the Fall she will be attending an expensive college in Chestnut Hill, and the money would allow her to focus on school and her studies instead of having to

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We’re considering converting Watertown duplex into condos.

Additional  Information: What are some of the benefits of converting to condos?  My brother and I inherited a duplex in Watertown and we’re considering converting them to condos.  We may or may not move into the respective units and wondering if the benefits outweigh the expense.  ATTORNEY ANSWER: It depends upon the real estate market in your area –  in some places conversion into condos is a good economic move and in others it is

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How do you go about converting apartment building in Cambridge into condos?

Additional Information: I currently live in an apartment in Cambridge.  The apartment is in my grandmother’s 4 unit building where I pay rent. If she wanted to convert the units to condos, what are the steps she would need to take? Can she convert one at a time or is it best to convert all 4 at once? ATTORNEY ANSWER: You cannot convert a building into condominiums without converting all apartments.  The first step in

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Difference between real estate attorney and commercial real estate attorney?

Additional Information: My business partner and I are about to buy a commercial office building in Roslindale and I’d like to use a friend who is a real estate closing attorney.  Are there really that many differences between a commercial real estate deal and buying a house? ATTORNEY ANSWER: Yes there are differences –  If the attorney in question, no matter how much of a friend,  is not generally familiar with commercial transactions, I would

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What are some common challenges in a commercial real estate deal?

Additional Information: I am about to sign a P & S for commercial property in the South End.  What are some of the common pitfalls involving a commercial real estate deal? ATTORNEY ANSWER: First thing I suggest is the buyer find out if there are existing tenants in the building, if so are they subject to lease agreements and for how long and of course what is the rent being collected.  A review of all

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Can I get my restaurant back and void the purchase and sale agreement?

Additional Information: I sold my Watertown restaurant for $25k (building not included) and have a signed sales agreement showing the purchaser agreed to pay $1000 per month. So far, the purchaser has only paid $800 and refuses to pay anymore. They are not doing well with the business and are saying I misrepresented what the restaurant was worth.  It kills me to see the restaurant not doing well, when it was thriving when my family

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Should I hire my own attorney for a restaurant purchase?

Additional Information: I am about to purchase a restaurant in Jamaica Plain from real estate brokers and they are proposing to be the agents for the restaurant sale transaction.  They’ve presented the restaurant’s operating expenses and income and positive cash flow.  Should I bring in my own attorney to help me purchase this restaurant? ATTORNEY ANSWER: I would strongly recommend hiring an attorney to assist you.  For starters you want to have someone review the

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In a restaurant lease, what is a typical permit contingency clause?

Additional Information: I’m about to open a restaurant and will do some renovations before opening.  In a standard restaurant lease, what is a typical permit contingency clause?   If I’m unable to get permits to do the necessary renovations, what kind of notice would I need to give in order to get out of the lease?   I am working with a well regarded Boston restaurant architect and he has great ideas, just not sure the permits

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Does the restaurant owner or landlord provide liability insurance?

Additional Information: I am hopefully going to open my first restaurant in the Greater Boston area and have just reviewed the lease. Who typically covers liability insurance? The restaurant owner or the landlord, or both?  If a customer falls and injures him/herself, and I don’t have my own liability insurance, wouldn’t I be at risk if the restaurant got sued for personal injury? ATTORNEY ANSWER: The landlord typically insures the commercial property for loss due

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Can we get out of selling our condo in Newton?

Additional Information: My husband and I have already signed a contract to sell our condo in Newton.  However, we have since changed our minds and no longer want to sell. What can we do to get out of selling our home? ATTORNEY ANSWER: Having signed a valid contract, your options may be limited.  The sooner you approach a buyer or buyers the better.  Some sellers approach a prospective buyer with the truth, offer to reimburse

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Can I record a declaration of Homestead for my 3 family in Brookline?

Additional Information: I own a three family home in Brookline, Massachusetts and I want to record a declaration of homestead. I live in one of the units and rent out the other two. Can I do that? Will the declaration of homestead be effective? Does it matter that I live in the home? ATTORNEY ANSWER: As an owner occupant you may file a declaration of homestead, which will provide protection from creditors.  The declaration of

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I live in a condo in the Greater Boston area and my unit has been damaged.

Additional Information: There was a fire in a neighbor’s condo unit and there was resulting water damage to my unit.  I received an estimate from the Association’s Insurance company and am not satisfied with the estimate since it does not provide adequate compensation to cover expenses for necessary repairs.  What should I do to get better settlements? ATTORNEY ANSWER: First review the condominium documents and the insurance policy.  If possible, you may need to make

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