Joann, a single mother of a teenage daughter, used her Section 8 subsidy through a local housing authority to rent a private apartment in a tiny MetroWest suburb. Without any warning, her landlord changed the terms of her lease and began to charge Joann extraneous fees- one for owning a dog and another for the use of the garage. The landlord did not seek permission from the housing authority to amend the lease before instituting these charges, and Joann could not afford to pay the fees. Joann had also fallen $300 behind in her rent due to an unforeseen car repair. The landlord brought an eviction action against her for non-payment of rent. It was then that she was referred to MWLS for assistance.

MWLS represented Joann in the eviction action against her landlord. MWLS was able to establish that the landlord illegally assessed the extra fees. Both the landlord and Joann entered into an agreement where the landlord waived all of the past fees assessed, gave Joann time to pay the $300 she owed, and ensured that no illegal fees would be charged going forward. Joann’s housing is once again secure and she and her daughter can go about their daily routines without fear of becoming homeless.