Planning for Life

Should Landlord-Tenant Laws Apply to Assisted Living Facilities?

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 1, 2019

By Harry S. Margolis

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A case before the Supreme Judicial Court will either affirm or block the application of landlord-tenant protections to assisted living residents. At immediate issue in the case is whether assisted living facilities can charge so-called "community fees," that are extra payments that don't fall within the limits of landlord-tenant laws on first and last months' rent and security deposits. The lower courts are split on this issue. (Read what we wrote about one of the underlying cases here.)

The Arguments

The assisted living industry argues that landlord-tenant law is preempted by Chapter 19D which provides the rules under which assisted living facilities must comply. Residents' advocates say that there's no preemption because Chapter 19D does not address the rights of facility residents.

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Topics: assisted living regulations, assisted living

Consumer Disclosures Now Mandated for Assisted Living Residents

Posted by Rebecca J Benson on January 14, 2019

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Effective January 1, 2019, the Executive Office of Elder Affairs (EOEA) requires all Massachusetts assisted living providers to provide a standard consumer disclosure statement with each new residency contract.  According to a Memorandum from EOEA, the mandated disclosure is intended to explain issues that are often overlooked or misunderstood when people choose to move into assisted living, particularly issues of fees and services that are included (or not included) in the agreement.  Among other things, the disclosure states that assisted living residences are not the same as nursing homes, cannot provide skilled care and are not required to have nurses on-site. 

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Topics: assisted living regulations, assisted living

Brookline Nursing Home Subject to 93A Claim

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on April 24, 2018

By Harry S. Margolis

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The U.S. District Court for Boston has ruled that the estate of a deceased resident of the Brookline Health Care Center (BHCC) can pursue its claim that the facility violated the Consumer Protection Act, often referred to by its statutory reference, 93A.

Sarah Theresa Libby died after choking at BHCC on May 7, 2014. This occurred "when she was left unsupervised to eat in the dayroom of the nursing home in which she resided." Mrs. Libby's estate brought suit for wrongful death in Estate of Sarah Theresa Libby v. Park Marion and Vernon Streets Operating Company (U.S. Dist. Ct. Boston, C.A. No. 17-10843-JGD) for negligence and violation of the Consumer Protection Act. The 93A claim carries with it the threat of treble damages and the facility being responsible for the plaintiff's legal fees.

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Topics: nursing homes, assisted living

Assisted Living Facilities Are Subject to Landlord Tenant Law

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on October 26, 2017

By Harry S. Margolis

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Assisted living facilities often require that new residents pay a one-time "community fee" as well as last month's rent before moving in. A resident of one of Benchmark Senior Living's 29 facilities in Massachusetts recently sued the company alleging that this practice violates protections for tenants. Benchmark responded that as an assisted living facility it is not subject to the same rules. This has long been a claim of the assisted living industry, and it was refuted by the judge in this case.

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Topics: assisted living regulations, assisted living

6 Stories Tell the Unpredictability and Challenges of Aging

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on August 4, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

John Leland, reporter for The New York Times has been following six elderly New Yorkers this year as they face the challenges of aging. In some ways, New York is an ideal place to get old since services are easy to come by -- for instance, groceries and restaurants deliver. But in others, we learn, New York creates its own difficulties. Let's meet the six older New Yorkers.

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Topics: long-term care planning, growth of elderly population, assisted living

Assisted Living Keeps Growing in Massachusetts

Posted by Harry S. Margolis on May 5, 2015

By Harry S. Margolis

I recently heard a presentation by Michael Banville, acting president of the Massachusetts Assisted Living Facilities Association (MassALFA), in which he provided information about trends in the assisted living industry in Massachusetts, including the following:

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Topics: assisted living

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