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Real Estate Law Archives

BOUNDARY LINE DISPUTES: A RECENT CASE

To the unwary, it might be surprising that property dating back to the 1870s could, almost 150 years later, fall prey to a boundary line dispute. But it does happen, as the recent case, Bernier v. Fredette, 85 Mass. App. Ct. 265 (2014), reminds us.

A Hidden Burden of Property Ownership: Illegal Fees for Municipal Services

Real estate taxes, insurance and utilities comprise expenses that we all have come to expect as necessary incidents of property ownership. Many cities and towns in Massachusetts, however, also impose user fees for municipal services, as part of the development process, or on an ongoing basis once properties have been developed. These fees are not always legal.

A WORD OF CAUTION FOR TWO-TRUSTEE CONDOMINIUM TRUSTS

A recent (unpublished) Rule 1:28 decision, Hancock v. Chambers, 85 Mass. App. Ct. 1106 (2014), reminds both condominium owners and trustees and attorneys of the care that needs to be taken when drafting-and attempting to enforce-condominium trust documents so that they ultimately make operative sense.

COUNTEROFFERS, CONDITIONAL ACCEPTANCES & REJECTIONS, OH MY!

A recent Land Court case, while not binding authority, reminds us yet again of how much the forming of a valid contract for the sale of land hinges on the language communicated by and between the parties during the offer and acceptance phase.

Forensics at the Land Court

When most people think about the kinds of cases that are litigated at the Land Court, forensic analysis of evidence is not likely at the forefront of their minds. Most people likely think that those kinds of juicy cases are reserved for criminal trials in Superior Court.

A Case Worth Sharing: Sullivan v. O'Connor

Sometimes you just run across decided cases that are so full of concise, black letter law, well-reasoned issues of first impression and multiple, alternate law-based rationales supporting the decision (read: iron-clad), that you have to share them. Sullivan v. O'Connor, 81 Mass. App. Ct. 200 (2012), decided almost a year ago in January, is one of those cases.

BEHIND THE SCENES: LAND COURT-APPROVED TITLE EXAMINERS

In many real estate cases, a thorough title search is often necessary to understand the nature of the interests held in the property in question. A title search will also help identify any encumbrances and/or interested parties that may affect the outcome of the pending matter.

Partition of Land

In real estate law, the partition of land (and buildings thereon) is a useful, and often necessary tool , that can be used to divide property when the land is owned by two or more individuals holding undivided interests. The right to partition is an absolute right and does not require the consent of other co-tenants. Notably, partition is not available in those cases where the land is held by husband and wife as tenants by the entirety.

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