• What does the Burnett v. NAR et al. Verdict mean for Massachusetts REALTORS®?

    November 2, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    On October 31 the jury in the Burnett v. NAR et al, class action lawsuit reached its verdict, finding that NAR and the co-defendants participated in a conspiracy to enforce the cooperative compensation rule ultimately leading sellers to pay more than they would have otherwise. The jury awarded $1.785 billion in damages to the Plaintiff class, which by law will be automatically trebled to roughly $5.4 billion. NAR President Kasper…
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  • Notes From the Legal Hotline: October 2023

    October 5, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    Q: Must a REALTOR® affirmatively disclose whether a listed property is haunted? A: No, psychological impacts on a property, such as hauntings, are not required to be affirmatively disclosed to a prospective buyer and are, in fact, specifically exempted from affirmative disclosure under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 93, Section 114, commonly referred to as the Stigmatized Property Law. In 1998, the Stigmatized Property Law was enacted, which specifically states that…
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  • Protecting REALTOR® Liability

    September 25, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    On August 16th, the highest court in Massachusetts issued its ruling in Hill-Junious vs. UTP Realty LLC. In the case, a patron was murdered outside of a nightclub shortly after a new owner purchased the property and there had been several incidents at the club under the prior owner. The plaintiff argued that a commercial landlord’s duty to prevent reasonably foreseeable criminal acts encompassed a duty to learn of criminal…
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  • FY24 Budget Supports Housing

    September 25, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    We’re pleased to share that the Legislature has passed, and the Governor has signed, a budget for fiscal year 2024. Here are some items for which we successfully advocated:  Crumbling concrete foundation prevention – Helping homeowners afflicted with crumbling concrete foundations was one of MAR’s priority issues for last month’s REALTOR® Day on Beacon Hill. The budget does that in two ways, by increasing funding for the state’s foundation testing…
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  • Rent Control and Other Tenant Protections Ballot Question Certified

    September 7, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    On August 6th, Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell certified the initiative petition on rent control over MAR’s legal objection. Read more about the petition here.  The Attorney General’s certification will set in motion a path for supporters to follow and a path for MAR and our partners to oppose rent control.   Rent control supporters have from now until November 22nd to collect just under 75,000 certified signatures. This is…
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  • Notes From the Legal Hotline: September 2023

    September 7, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    Q: Is completing an MLS Status Change form sufficient to alter the terms of the Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement? A: No, the Status Change Form is an MLS form and is not a contract. Any changes to the terms of the original listing agreement, such as marketing terms, listing price, or length of the agreement, should be addressed in an addendum to the listing agreement, and signed and…
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  • Open Houses Could Draw Out More Thieves

    September 1, 2023

    - By NAR Contributing Article

    This is a contributing article from REALTOR® Magazine At open houses, thieves disguised as home buyers may swipe jewelry, prescription drugs, and other valuables from homes, real estate pros warn in a recent article in The New York Times. Some experts are predicting open house thefts could get worse this spring, too. “People tend to pick up little things: frames, silver pieces, Limoges boxes,” said Harriet Norris, a real estate pro…
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  • FY24 Budget Supports Housing

    August 3, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    We’re pleased to share that the Legislature has passed a budget for fiscal year 2024. Here are some items for which we successfully advocated:  Crumbling concrete foundation prevention – Helping homeowners afflicted with crumbling concrete foundations was one of MAR’s priority issues for the 2023 REALTOR® Day on Beacon Hill. The budget does that in two ways, by increasing funding for the state’s foundation testing program and, most importantly, creating…
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  • Rent Control Ballot Question Filed

    August 3, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    On August 2nd, Massachusetts State Representative Mike Connolly announced his filing of an initiative petition on rent control. MAR has long anticipated and been preparing for this situation. The petition is the first step (of many) to getting a question on the ballot for the 2024 election. It requires only gathering ten signatures and filing language with the Attorney General’s office.   Process  Here’s what happens next:  The Attorney General will…
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  • Notes From the Legal Hotline: August 2023

    August 1, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    Q: A prospective tenant has poor credit and offered to pay the full year’s rent up front – is that allowed? A: No, rentals for 100 days or more are governed by Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 186, Sec. 15b, which prohibits a landlord from collecting any funds in excess of: First month’s rent, Last month’s rent, Security deposit not to exceed first month’s rent, and The cost to change the…
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