Legal Resources for Tenants and Landlords
Information on the law:
- Mass Legal Help Housing and Homelessness is a great all-around site for tenants to educate themselves about laws that regulate the landlord-tenant relationship and eviction process. It contains a number of self-help forms and packets.
- The Massachusetts Trial Court maintains a virtual self-help center for housing matters in the court.
- There is free public law library located at the Hampshire Law Library at 99 Main St., Northampton. You can receive help looking up laws and obtain general information on landlord tenant law.
Where tenants can find a lawyer:
- Massachusetts Legal Resource Finder helps low-income persons and seniors locate programs (such as legal-aid organizations) and other resources for over 600 distinct legal issues including a wide range of housing-related issues.
- Community Legal Aid is the primary provider for legal services to low-income tenants and seniors in western Mass. Information on how to apply for legal help can be found on the website including a simple on-line application for legal help.
Where landlords can find a lawyer:
The Hampshire and Hampden County bar associations both operate lawyer referral services. Residents of Hampshire County should view both sites as Hampden County offers a reduced fee panel and is a regional organization.
- Hampshire County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service Website
- Hampden County Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Website
Drop-in legal services:
Hampden County Bar Association, located in Hampden County Courthouse, 50 State Street, Springfield, runs a drop-in lawyer for the day program every Monday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is primarily geared towards helping landlords. There are no geographic or income restrictions to access this help.
Court Service Centers. The Hampden County Courthouse and Franklin County Courthouse have recently opened court service centers in their buildings. This is a free public service where person can get help completing court forms. The staff at the court service centers cannot give legal advice. Hampshire County Courthouse does have an equivalent service at this time.
Massachusetts Free Legal Answers is part of a national initiative sponsored by the American Bar Association to help low income persons get access to lawyers. Low-income individuals can ask questions through a secure website and get answers from licensed Massachusetts lawyers on a wide range of civil legal topics including landlord tenant law. Users are asked to declare that their household incomes are below 250% of federal poverty guidelines.