Eviction Rights and Responsibilities for Landlords
Landlords and property management companies routinely deal with problem tenants who have been given notice of eviction proceedings or lease expiration but refuse to leave. In either case, a Massachusetts landlord tenant attorney can help you enforce your ownership rights and remove the offending tenant. Regardless of the circumstances, it is important for landlords to understand that Massachusetts has robust laws to protect tenants. It is critical to seek the advice of a Massachusetts landlord tenant attorney to ensure that you do not violate the tenant’s rights in your attempts to remove them.
How Do I Evict a Tenant?
The eviction process (also known as summary process) will vary depending on the type of landlord-tenant relationship that is in place.
- Tenancy at will: a month-to-month tenancy where either the landlord or tenant can end the relationship at any time with proper notice. This type of landlord-tenant agreement may be written or oral.
- Tenancy under a lease: this type of tenancy necessarily involves a written contract between the landlord and the tenant. If the lease has expired, then the agreement is over and the tenant is obligated to vacate. If you want to evict a tenant before the lease has expired, you will need a reason for eviction that does not violate the terms of the contract. It is wise to consult a Massachusetts landlord tenant attorney to avoid violating the tenant’s rights.
How Much Notice Must I Give the Tenant?
This can depend on the terms of the particular lease, but in general 30 days of notice is the minimum requirement. If the eviction is based on non-payment of rent, the landlord must give at least 14 days of notice to quit the property.
Do I Have to Go Through the Courts to Evict a Reluctant Tenant?
Yes. If a tenant refuses to vacate voluntarily, landlords are not entitled to take matters into their own hands (self help). You must file in court and receive a summary process judgment. If the tenant still refuses to vacate, a sheriff or constable must assist with removing the tenant. The sheriff must give at least 48 hours prior notice to the tenant before executing the summary process judgment.
Contact a Massachusetts Landlord Tenant Attorney
If you have any questions about evicting tenant, the Massachusetts landlord tenant attorneys at The Law Office of Alan H. Segal can help. We have many years of experience in landlord representation and we can make sure that your problem tenant is removed quickly and efficiently. Call us today for a consultation at (781) 444-9676.