How does the eviction process work in Massachusetts? How do I evict a tenant that is not paying rent in Massachusetts? What are my rights as a landlord to evict the tenant in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts the eviction process is called Summary Process Eviction. The process begins when you serve on the tenant what is known as a Notice to Quit. There are three types of notice to quit. The 30 day notice to quit is a general notice of the termination of tenancy, as long as the tenant is not under lease or has violated one of the terms of the lease, this is the most commonly used form to begin the eviction process in Massachusetts. The second most used is the 14-Day Notice to Quit for Nonpayment of Rent. The notice to quit for nonpayment of rent is used when rent is not being paid, and can only be served after 15 days. In the final is used in the cases where the tenant is committing criminal activity on your property.
There are service requirements to the notice to quit, as well as serving the actual summary process eviction notice from the courts. It is best to employ the use of an experienced landlord/tenant lawyer to handle the eviction process for you. Most inexperience landlord to attempt this process by themselves usually make a mistake somewhere along the line and you will be forced to start all the way from the beginning.
Once you serve the notice to quit, you must wait until the expiration of time that is dictated by the particular notice you have served. After the statutory amount of time has passed, then you may go to the court with your served notice to quit and file a summary process eviction action. At this point you will get a court date, which is no earlier than two weeks from the time you file and which all must also be served on the tenant. The court will give your particular court date on what court you must show up to and the date time and courtroom.
On the court date you will be asked if you want to speak to a mediator or go in front of the judge. The housing court’s usually push everyone to go through mediation first to attempt to resolve the problem before putting the case before a judge. If you cannot resolve the matter within mediation, then you can stand before the court and plead your case. It is very critical that you employ the use of an experienced lawyer to handle these matters for you, as there are many requirements and guidelines that have to be strictly followed and if even a single one is not follow the letter of the law, you must start the entire process over again.
Due to the fact the entire process usually takes anywhere from 2 to 3 months, is critical that you have an experienced attorney handle this for you, as if you make any mistakes you will need to start the entire process over again, which considering the amount of rent being lost usually runs in the thousands of dollars.
This is a general overview of the eviction process in Massachusetts and is not to be considered a step-by-step guide on how to handle your own eviction. Please seek representation of an experienced attorney to handle this matter for you, as even making one mistake will cost you twice with the attorney’s fees would be.
Joseph F. Botelho, Esq.
BOTELHO LAW GROUP
Attorneys At Law
901 Eastern Ave.
Fall River, MA 02723