Real Estate

Ask Toni & Maria – Real Estate Column #8

“Ask Toni & Maria” is a real estate column written by Toni Gilardi and Maria DiTullio from Elite Boston Landmark Realty. Have them answer your questions in an upcoming column by emailing

1)     Dear Toni and Maria,

It has come to my attention that the rents in the North End and surrounding areas have gone up and availability has gone down.  I need an apartment starting in April and can’t find one …  HELP!             

Thank you,

Hello Monica,

This is not new.  We have been experiencing low inventory and high prices for a couple of years with no end in sight.  We suggest finding a local Real Estate agent and have them put you on their  “high priority list”.  Or you may want to consider buying since the interest rate are the lowest they have been in 30 years.

Good luck,
Toni and Maria

2)  Hello Toni and Maria,

I remembered a few months back you sent out a flier “My house is worth, What?” in Italian.  My mother loved it! My family was wondering if you would still come to our property with the Italian Attorney/ Translator to give us an opinion of value?    This way my mother will understand what is going on.

Thank you,

Hello Angela,

Saremmo lieti di.  Yes, this offer still stands. Please feel free to call us anytime with the details of your property so we can prepare an evaluation. Tell your mom to start the gravy!!! We look forward to meeting your family.

3)    Hello Toni and Maria,

My boyfriend and I broke up recently. We both signed a year lease which ends in September. I really don’t feel comfortable living in the apartment.  I was wondering if it is possible to leave without having to continue to pay my portion of the rent?

Thanks, Elizabeth

Hi Elizabeth,

The answer to your question is “No”. When you sign a lease you are responsible jointly and severely. However, we advise you ask him to leave and get a roommate because finding an apartment is difficult.

Don’t be shy…We would love to hear from you! Send in your real estate questions to: And don’t forget to check out our website at or call 617-227-1000 or 617 523-5400.

One Reply to “Ask Toni & Maria – Real Estate Column #8

  1. Elizabeth,

    While Tony and Maria are correct that you cannot simply stop paying your portion of the rent if you are on the lease… you do have another option. In Massachusetts, landlords have a “duty to mitigate” when a tenant breaches their lease early. So if you and your ex boyfriend both agree that you would both like to move out of the apartment before your lease ends, your landlord has a good faith obligation to try to rent the place out to someone else. That said, if your landlord does not find someone, you and your ex would still be responsible for the rent. You can also try to find someone to take over your lease, but if so your landlord does have the right to say no for legitimate reasons (i.e. they cannot just say no because they are mad you want to move out, and want to stick you with the rent.) First, I would see if your ex would be agreeable to trying to break the lease early and moving out, then I would talk to your landlord and explain how the situation is uncomfortable and you would like to move out early. Ask your landlord to start showing the apartment, and be helpful about letting people view it. After all, you do want the landlord to find someone. One last thing, if your landlord fails to make any efforts to find new tenants, he has breached the “duty to mitigate” under MA law, and you should not be responsible for any rent remaining on the lease after you both move out.

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