Posts tagged "Aviksis"

Aviksis, et al. v. Murray, et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-021-15)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   13-P-1718                                   Appeals Court   FELIX AVIKSIS & another[1]  vs.  KEVIN MURRAY & others.[2] No. 13-P-1718. Suffolk.     November 24, 2014. – March 6, 2015.   Present:  Meade, Hanlon, & Carhart, JJ.     Landlord and Tenant, Attorney’s fees.  Contract, To guarantee rent payments.  Practice, Civil, Attorney’s fees.       Civil actions commenced in the Boston Division of the Housing Court Department on September 26, 2008 and November 14, 2008.   After consolidation, the cases were heard by MaryLou Muirhead, J., and a motion for attorney’s fees and costs was heard by her.     Hans R. Hailey for the plaintiffs. Joseph Lichtblau for the defendants.   CARHART, J.  Felix Aviksis appeals from a Boston Housing Court judgment awarding attorney’s fees pursuant to G. L. c. 186, § 20, to Kevin Murray (Murray).  The award followed a bench trial and a finding in favor of Murray on a complaint by Aviksis, which alleged that Murray was liable as guarantor for damage to a leased premises caused by Murray’s son while a tenant.  We reverse the award. Background.  On September 1, 2007, several young men, including Murray’s son Rick Murray (Rick), began a one-year residential lease as the tenants of 29 Sutherland Road, Unit 1, in Brighton.  The property is owned by 27-29 Sutherland Road, LLC; Aviksis is a manager of the LLC and property manager of the leased unit.  The lease provided that the tenants were responsible for all separately metered utilities.  Murray executed a guarantee, agreeing, as relevant here, to be responsible for any damage to the property caused by Rick.[3]  The lease provided for the landlord’s recovery of attorney’s fees from the tenants in the event of litigation, but the guarantee contract was silent as to attorney’s fees. Unit 1, apparently along with other units on the property, was heated by natural gas, which was separately metered.  The tenants did not ask the gas company to put the utility account in their names after they began occupying the unit.  Nor did they pay the bill and, eventually, the gas company turned off the gas service to Unit 1, apparently during a period when the tenants were away from the apartment.  It was during this time, in early January, 2008, that Unit 1 was damaged when water infiltrated the property.  Aviksis alleged that the damage resulted because water pipes froze and […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - March 6, 2015 at 6:03 pm

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