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Aug 12 2011

We are buying a house in Quincy, MA.

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We are buying a house in Quincy, MA and the seller didn’t provide the Property Transfer Lead Paint Notification form before signing the Purchase and Sale Agreement. This is a clear violation of MA law and Federal law. Can this be used as a negotiating point to lower the sale price?

ATTORNEY ANSWER:
It depends upon whether or not the seller knowingly violated the law. If you are unable to prove that the seller knew of the lead paint and knowingly violated MA and federal law by not providing the Property Transfer Lead Paint Notification, then you will not have a cause of action as the seller must be aware of his violation to be found liable. However, on the other hand, if you are able to prove that the seller violated MA and federal law by having knowledge of the lead paint and not providing the Property Transfer Lead Paint Notification, then yes, you may use this as a negotiating point.

A seller who knowingly violates the law shall be jointly and severally liable to the buyer in an amount equal to 3 times the amount of damages incurred by the buyer under federal law. Also under federal law, a court may award court costs to the buyer, together with reasonable attorney fees and any expert witness fees, if the buyer prevails. Under MA state law, real estate agents, property managers and certain landlords and sellers, where applicable, may be subject to civil liability under the Consumer Protection Statute, M.G.L. c. 93A, which allows award of up to two or three times actual damages and attorneys fees.

Quincy MA Real Estate lawyer Attorney Alan Segal serves the Greater Boston region and all of Massachusetts in real estate law, business law, and estate planning including Acton Agawam Amherst Andover Arlington Attleboro Barnstable Belmont Beverly Billercia Boston Braintree Bridgewater Brockton Brookline Burlington Cambridge Canton Chelmsford Chelsea Chicopee Danvers Dartmouth Dedham Dracut Easton Everett Fall River Falmouth Fitchburg Framingham Gloucester Haverhill Holyoke Lawrence Leominster Lexington Lowell Lynn Malden Marlborough Medford Melrose Metheun Milford Milton Natick Needham New Bedford Newton North Andover North Attleboro North Reading Norwood Peabody Pittsfield Plymouth Quincy Randolph Revere Salem Saugus Shrewsbury Somerville Springfield Stoughton Taunton Tewksbury Waltham Watertown Wellesley Westfield West Springfield Weymouth Woburn Worcester.

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