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I just wanted to get a second opinion on a part of my lease since I'd rather it not come back to bite me.

Basically, I moved in May (set next renew date to September this year). When I looked at the place, it had a back room that was filled with the owners stuff (sort of a hoarder, but it wasn't just trash. Just furniture, tools, etc). In the lease provisions, I added that I wanted him to clear out the back room in August 2018 (signed in May) as well as remove a mounted bed frame that seemed to have been rotted away. He agreed and flew in from his country and took some (albeit not all, and left a lot more of the larger stuff like chairs and couches) and the bed frame still stands.

My rent has the utilities included, however he added an amendment that he wanted me to take on payment for gas in September. I didn't turn the gas on until November, since the neighbors upstairs and I (shared house) were fine with toughing it out for as long as needed. I have yet to receive any gas bill from the landlord, or any other word on this agreement. In my own fault, I also never brought it up.

He still has not brought it up, but he also never fulfilled his provisions. The rent was managed by a leasing agent nearby, however I pay rent to the LL directly. Can he come back and force me for gas payments, months later, even though he never sent me a bill starting in September? Also, will his failing to follow through on his provisions, effectively cancel out my need to follow through on mine?

I know since I didn't reach out about the bills, I most likely don't have moral high ground. However, I'd be interested to know how this could be seen, if I choose to not renew in September. I'm not looking to break my lease or anything, just want to make sure I won't get a huge bill at the end when I decide not to renew.

Edit: some background information -

I am mid-20s, have been renting in various locations since 18. Have never had any issues or evictions from landlords.

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Can he come back and force me for gas payments, months later, even though he never sent me a bill starting in September?

If you accepted the amendment about payment for gas, then yes, the landlord can still come after you for your failure to abide by the amendment.

I am not knowledgeable of MA landlord-tenant legislation (which might be this and perhaps other statutes) and thus whether or not the landlord has a post move-out deadline to send the tenant a bill of damages. Absent such deadline, the applicable deadline would be six years, which is the MA statute of limitations for claims of breach of contract.

will his failing to follow through on his provisions, effectively cancel out my need to follow through on mine?

That is unlikely, since the landlord's breach of contract does not appear to have rendered the unit impermissibly unsafe. Instead, you would have to persuade the court that the damages you endured due to landlord's failure is comparable to his losses for your omission regarding payment of gas.

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    Thanks for the follow up, I'll chat with my parents as well and see what the best way to proceed is. There have been some things that I wouldn't think are up to code (ie: hard wires plugging into outlets). Perhaps I can bring it up with the leasing agency I went through, as they've also mentioned that this LL isn't exactly the most responsive on their end. – Hoder Jan 15 at 21:17

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