March 3, 2020

Housing Court, Southeast Division

Joseph L. Michaud, Associate Justice


This is a summary process action brought to recover possession of the subject rental premises via a 30 day Notice to Quit for cause to wit breach of quiet enjoyment. Plaintiff represented by counsel and the Defendant Russin pro se. The Defendant did not file an answer but testified at trial without objection. Plaintiff provided testimony and documentary evidence through their property manager and building maintenance person. Based on the credible evidence at trial the following findings, rulings and orders are to enter: 1. Plaintiff is the owner of the subject rental premises located at 311 Jencks Street, Apt. 2 in Fall River, Massachusetts where the Defendant currently resides;

2. The parties entered into a subsidized agreement with the Fall River Housing Authority concerning rental of the premises;

3. The monthly rent total is $895.00, of which the Defendant's portion is $217.00. This is due and payable on the first of each month;

4. At the time of trial, the Plaintiff claimed the amount past due was $00.00;

5. On December 20, 2019 the Plaintiff served and the Defendant received a legally sufficient 30 day notice to quit along with notice to the subsidiary agent;

6. A legally sufficient Summary Process Summons and Complaint was served to the Defendant on February 4, 2020;

7. On February 27, 2020 the parties appeared and after attempts at mediation failed, the matter proceeded to trial;

At trial, Plaintiff's counsel submitted the Notice to Quit and informed the Court that they had also notified the subsidiary manager. Plaintiff testified through Mira Sharap that the odor and smells eminating from the Defendant's apartment was affecting the well being of other residents. The Court credits this testimony. The Plaintiff then presented the testimony and several photographs through Donald Handy the maintenance supervisor of the premises. Mr. Handy testified that there appeared to be 20+ rabbits loose inside the apartment and that he obseved rabbit feces on the floor and that the cages for some of the rabbits blocked access to the unit via windows making a fire hazard. Finally he testified that the stench of the apartment was overwhelming and that others had complained to him about the smell. He proceeded to authenticate the photos submitted and finally testified that the Board of Health was demanding that immediate action be taken concerning the situation in the Defendant's apartment. I find his testimony and the photograpphs to be credible.

The Defendant then testified that the situation wasn't “that bad” and that yes she had several rabbits but that they were caged and used a litter box otherwise. She presented no other defenses to the actions of the Plaintiff. The Court did credit this testimony but finds that it does not present a viable defense to the actions of Plaintiff.

Order and Entry of Judgment. For the above-stated reasons,

1. Judgment shall enter for the Plaintiff for possession of the subject rental premises and the costs related to the prosecution of this matter.

2. Execution shall issue in due course.