Landlord Advocacy

Request a Lawyer Today

  • Step 1: Click here.
  • Step 2: Fill in your info.
  • Step 3: VLP will try to connect you with a lawyer in as little as 15 minutes.

WHAT WE OFFER

  • Free or low-cost legal representation
  • Financial assistance application support
  • Educational materials and resources

Our Services and Programs

Lawyer for the Day (LFD)

  • A free 15-minute consultation

Limited assistance and full representation

  • Intakes on a case-by-case basis

Legal assistance

  • Free through Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP)
  • Low cost through our partnerships with Justice Bridge and Hampden County Legal Clinic

Help process financial assistance applications:

  • Get money to cover your tenant’s unpaid rent
  • Get money to pay for your mortgage payments

Financial assistance through state funded ERAP, RAFT and ERMA programs.

100% free landlord resources regardless of income.

 

Eviction process:

  • Navigating the Notice to Quit
  • Obligations of Being a Landlord

Upcoming Educational Clinics:
TBD

Lawyer for the day

Free 15-minute consultation when you qualify.

Connect with a lawyer conveniently through LegalSquirrel, a software platform.

  • Client and Lawyer collaborate in a virtual secure, workspace in real-time.

To speak to a lawyer now, please fill out the form in the link below.  With your permission, we will reach out to attorneys in our network.  VLP cannot guarantee an attorney will be available, but we will put you in touch if someone is able to discuss your case with you.  

 

Click here to fill out our form on LegalSquirrel.

Community Referral

If you are a community advocate looking to refer a small landlord, please click HERE to completely fill out the CELHP referral form.

 

Make sure to select “Volunteer Lawyers Project (Owner-occupied small properties, statewide).”

WHO WE ARE

The Volunteer Lawyers Project’s COVID Eviction Legal Help Project is a team of attorneys, paralegals, and law students from all segments of the community working together to serve lower income small landlords throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  

WHEN OUR WORK BEGAN

In October 2020, the Volunteer Lawyers Project joined the statewide Eviction Diversion Initiative’s COVID Eviction Legal Help Project (CELHP for short). Our purpose is to help low-income small landlords facing a housing crisis by providing high-quality assistance.  Read more.

Contact Us

  • Would you like to volunteer with CELHP?   Email CELHP Marketing & Education Manager Edo Chorm.
  • Are you a landlord with a question about an ongoing case?  Email CELHP Landlord Project Coordinator Yesenia Carrion.

Success Stories

Read success stories from some of our recent clients below!

Tenant had not paid rent. There were regular visits from police regarding behavior of tenant and tenant’s threats to the landlord that he did not have to leave or pay rent. Meanwhile, Tenant was damaging the property, which was confirmed by the Board of Health. Landlord called VLP. Police told her to keep working with VLP.

 

Outcome: The Board of Health congratulated her when the tenant finally moved out and she was able to make the repairs. All resulted without a need for court action.

Landlord lives in a duplex with her mother and the Tenant and her family live in the other apartment. After Tenant fell behind in rent, she called the Housing Inspection Department and yet refused to permit the landlord access to make repairs, instead announcing that she intended to own the landlord’s home. Tenant made threats to Landlord and to Landlord’s mother. At one point, the police were called and issued an order of protection against the Tenant to protect the Landlord’s mother.  The landlord contacted VLP to seek legal advice.

 

Outcome:  Landlord’s mother has an extended order of protection to protect her from the tenant, the court ordered the tenant to permit access so repairs could be made and landlord received one year’s rent arrearage from the RAFT program. No eviction action was filed.  VLP will continue to represent the Landlord.

Tenant had not paid rent for close to a year. Landlord filed an eviction action based on non payment of rent.

 

Outcome: On the day of trial, with the help of housing court mediation, and the presence of the Wayfinders group, Landlord and Tenant were able to enter into an agreement requiring the Tenant to immediately apply for RAFT/financial assistance to cover the full rental arrearage and the case was continued to allow for the tenant to file. “If I wasn’t represented, all of this would have went over my head”. VLP will continue to represent Landlord for her next two court dates.

Our client is a 48-year old Spanish-speaking landlord. Her husband, who spoke English and handled all communications, recently left the relationship leaving her to deal with the process alone. She felt intimidated, frustrated, and confused.

 

The client’s tenant owed her $14,000 in rent arrears. She had tried unsuccessfully to get her tenant to apply for RAFT. To make matters worse, not only did the tenant smoke inside the unit when they were not supposed to, they would not allow our client access to do repairs. Our client ended up owing over $20,000 on her mortgage payments. She did not know there was assistance for landlords but was relieved when she was put in touch with a VLP bilingual staff member.

 

Outcome: Since VLP began representing the client, she was awarded $10,000 for mortgage payments and $18,000 in rental arrears. The tenant did not abide by the agreement until a call was made to their attorney. The tenant has since allowed our client to make necessary renovations and repairs. The client is relieved, knowing she will not lose her home.

Testimonials

  • “WOW! I had no idea there was help for low-income, small landlords.”
  • “I can’t thank you both enough for your support.  I hope that all of our march is a march for the better.  Love you both!”
  • “Thank you both for being there.  It matters to me like you do not know.”

WHat's New?

More Information

For Landlords

The documents and forms posted are for informational purposes only.  They may change as the law, regulation and requirements can change without notice.  Please make sure to check for the most up to date information.

Learn about filing an eviction and what may happen before and after an eviction court case.

 

Read more here.

 

If the PDF below is not displaying, you can view the file here.

 

Homeowner Responsibilities

Notice to Quit Attestation Form and Submission Information

 

All landlords must give tenants an attestation form and submit a copy of any Notice to Quit for nonpayment of rent given to a residential tenant during the COVID-19 State of Emergency to the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

Training Videos for Landlords

Please click the stillframes below to watch.  If the links below are not working, you may access the videos here: Starting an Eviction, Selected Issues for Massachusetts Landlords, Tier 1 Events, An Overview of Answers and Discovery in Eviction Cases.

EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (ERAP)

The documents and forms posted are for informational purposes only.  They may change as the law, regulation and requirements can change without notice.  Please make sure to check for the most up to date information.

For Volunteers

The documents and forms posted are for informational purposes only.  They may change as the law, regulation and requirements can change without notice.  Please make sure to check for the most up to date information.

The Eviction Process (Online Course)

 

The purpose of this course is to give advocates a basic introduction to the eviction process in light of substantive and procedural changes to court rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. The course is free. It takes about an hour, although you do not need to complete it in one sitting. You can come back to it at any time and find your place by using the course menu. You can also return to the course at any point to refresh your knowledge. Click the link above to take the course.

Notice to Quit Attestation Form and Submission Information

 

All landlords must give tenants an attestation form and submit a copy of any Notice to Quit for nonpayment of rent given to a residential tenant during the COVID-19 State of Emergency to the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.

VLP's CELHP Toolkit

If the PDF below is not displaying properly, you can directly access the toolkit here.

 

CELHP VLP Toolkit

Are you a tenant seeking legal assistance? 

Visit our Get Help page for information on how you can apply for legal aid!