Download Massachusetts Eviction Notice Templates [PDF]

Read this article to learn all the steps of the eviction procedure in Massachusetts and download the Massachusetts eviction notice template.

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eviction-notice

The Massachusetts eviction notice is a letter the landlord uses to inform the tenant that they want to terminate the lease agreement. The landlord should name the reasons for the eviction and, for minor violations, give the tenant the option to remedy the violation and stop the eviction.

The landlord should also give the tenant a certain number of days to vacate the property, as provided by the Massachusetts landlord-tenant law, according to the type of violation.

Types of Eviction Notices in Massachusetts

The type of eviction notice the landlord should use depends primarily on the type of lease and the reasons for the eviction.

Notice to Pay Rent or Quit

If the tenant fails to pay the rent on time, the landlord can issue an eviction notice, giving them 14 days to pay the rent or vacate the property. If the tenant does neither, the landlord can initiate the eviction process before the court.

Notice for Non-Compliance

This type of eviction notice can be used if the tenant violates the lease agreement or the landlord-tenant law. There is no specified minimum notice period the landlord must give to the tenant, but it is customary to give the tenant at least 30 days to vacate the property.

Notice to Terminate the Month-to-Month Lease

If the tenant remains at the leased property after the lease term is over (holdover tenant), or there is no set lease term (week-to-week or month-to-month lease), the landlord can use this type of notice to terminate the lease. For a month-to-month lease, the landlord must give the tenant at least 30 days advance notice to leave the property.

Eviction Laws and Requirements in Massachusetts

Laws & Requirements

When is Rent Late in Massachusetts?

The rent in Massachusetts is considered late from the moment the due date is over. For example, if the rent is due on the 15th of the month, it is considered late on the 16th of the month.

There is no legal grace period provided in the Massachusetts Statute, and there is no payment delay on weekends and court-observed holidays.

Grounds for Eviction in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, the landlord can evict the tenant in the following cases:

Grounds for Eviction

  • If the tenant fails to pay the rent on time.

  • In case the tenant violates some of the clauses of the lease agreement or the landlord-tenant law.

  • When the landlord wants to terminate the periodic lease (week-to-week or month-to-month).

  • If the landlord wants to terminate the lease after the lease term is over (holdover tenancy or tenancy at will).

Eviction Process in Massachusetts

Before the eviction process starts, the landlord must issue the eviction notice to the tenant, informing them of their intention to terminate the lease. If the tenant doesn’t follow the instructions from the eviction notice, the landlord can initiate the eviction procedure before the court.

#1. Write a Notice

The landlord will first write the eviction notice, providing the tenant with information about the reasons for eviction, ways to remedy the violation (optional), and the deadline by which the tenant must leave the property.

The landlord can deliver this notice to the tenant in person or via certified mail. However, the landlord must have proof that they’ve delivered the eviction notice to the tenant.

#2. File the Complaint

If the tenant doesn’t act upon the request in the eviction notice, the landlord can file a complaint with the court. The landlord submits the claim to the local court according to the location of the property.

When filing the eviction lawsuit, the landlord must submit the complaint form and attach a copy of the eviction notice and proof that the tenant received the notice.

#3. Serve the Tenant

The sheriff, deputy sheriff, or other person appointed by the court will serve the complaint and summons on the tenant by:

  • Giving the documents to the tenant in person

  • Leaving them at the tenant’s residence

  • Sending documents via mail

The tenant must then submit the Answer to the court, stating their arguments against the eviction or admitting the landlord's claims. Additionally, they can file a Discovery and require the landlord to provide certain answers regarding the case.

#4. Wait for Court’s Judgment

If the tenant fails to submit the Answer or doesn’t appear before the court on the hearing day, the court will issue a default judgment in the landlord's favor. Otherwise, both parties will present their arguments at the hearing, and the court will issue a final decision.

Each party will have 10 days to appeal the judgment, after which the judgment will be final and enforceable.

#5. Court Issues the Execution Order

After the judgment becomes enforceable, the landlord can request that the court issue the Execution Order. This document gives the tenant 48 hours to vacate the property. After this period, the sheriff or constable can forcefully remove the tenant from the property.

Other Eviction-Related Forms in Massachusetts

Other Eviction-Related Forms

  • Complaint and Summons. The landlord uses this form to initiate the eviction procedure before the court. This form is later served to the tenant to inform them about the eviction procedure and the date of the court hearing.

  • Answer Form. The tenant uses this form to provide the court with their arguments against the landlord’s claims.

  • Discovery. Both the landlord and the tenant can use this form to request that the court sees the relevant documents during the eviction procedure or to request that the other party provide certain information.

Eviction Information for Landlords in Massachusetts

The landlord in Massachusetts cannot use any of the following actions to evict the tenant:

Eviction Information for Landlords

  • Change the locks at the leased unit.

  • Shut off the essential utilities, such as electricity, water, and heating.

  • Remove the tenant’s belongings from the leased unit.

The landlords are also prohibited from initiating the eviction process as a retaliatory measure against the tenant or discriminating against the tenant based on their ethnicity, religion, race, etc.

Eviction Information for Tenants in Massachusetts

The tenant can use the following arguments to fight the eviction in Massachusetts:

Eviction Information for Tenants

  • They haven’t received the eviction notice

  • The eviction notice didn’t provide the reason for the eviction

  • The reason the landlord provided for the eviction isn’t provided as a valid reason for the eviction in the Massachusetts landlord-tenant law

  • The landlord didn’t provide them with a deadline to vacate the property

  • The landlord used illegal methods of evicting the tenant

  • The tenant remedied the violation the landlord mentioned as the reason for the eviction

How to Write an Eviction Notice in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Eviction Notice Checklist

Massachusetts Eviction Notice FAQ

  • In Massachusetts, you can file an eviction notice for the following reasons:

    • If the tenant fails to pay the rent on time

    • In case the tenant violates the lease agreement or the Massachusetts landlord-tenant law

    • If the landlord wants to terminate the periodic tenancy (week-to-week or month-to-month)

  • To initiate the eviction process before the court, the landlord must first issue the eviction notice to the tenant and allow them to voluntarily leave the property. When filing a complaint with the court, the landlord will have to submit a copy of the eviction notice and proof of service.

  • In Massachusetts, this process can take between 4 and 16 weeks, depending on the following:

    • Type of lease

    • Reason for the eviction

    • Tenant’s actions in the eviction process (are they fighting the eviction or not)

  • No, depending on the reason for the eviction, there are different deadlines the landlord must give the tenant to leave the property. The shortest period provided is 14 days for rent non-payment.

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