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Civil Lawsuits and Your Rights in a Rental Apartment


A civil lawsuit is any lawsuit that isn’t about a criminal case. So, if you’re trying to sue the owner of a company for leaving ice on his business’ sidewalks, you’ll be filing a civil lawsuit alleging personal injury. Generally speaking, any time your case involves $7,000 or less in damages, you’ll head to small claims court to try to get back your compensation.

Civil Lawsuits & Getting a Lawyer

Now, if your case involves much more complex information and higher bills, like medical bills, which can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, you’ll need to file a civil lawsuit with your district court. In Massachusetts, if you’ve been injured in a home you’re renting, there are a few times you can file a lawsuit. For instance, if you enter a property that is in disrepair and get injured immediately, then you may be able to show that the landlord didn’t keep up his or her obligation to keep the home in good condition.

Apartments & Civil Lawsuits

If you have lived in a property for a while and let the landlord know about a problem, in most cases, the landlord is required to repair those issues. For example, if a washer and dryer are provided by contract, then you should receive a repaired washer and dryer shortly after making a complaint.

If you don’t receive repairs or new replacement items following a complaint and appropriate amount of time, the landlord may be able to be found in breach of contract, and you could be owed some compensation for not having everything you were expecting through your lease. You should always keep track of issues like this and make sure you have records to prove that they were brought to the attention of the landlord.

Source: Mass Legal Help, “Grounds for Filing a Civil Lawsuit,” Faye B. Rachlin, accessed June 24, 2015

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