When you are done reading about the Massachusetts Eviction Process below, we recommend you purchase the corresponding Massachusetts Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.
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Massachusetts Eviction Laws
The laws in Massachusetts covering evictions are found in Chapter 239 of the Massachusetts General Laws. Although tedious to read, if you are a landlord in Massachusetts it is worth your time to become familiar with these laws.
Massachusetts Eviction Notice
The first step in the Massachusetts Eviction Process is the landlord serving the tenant with a “Notice to Quit.” If the landlord is evicting a tenant for non-payment of rent, the landlord must serve the tenant with a 14 Day Notice to Quit, unless the lease with the tenant provides some other notice period. The Notice must be delivered to the tenant in a way that ensures the tenant receives the notice, and in a way that the landlord can prove it. It is recommended that the landlord hand deliver the notice to the tenant with a witness watching. If that is not possible, the landlord should post the notice on the property, AND mail it certified and regular mail. The landlord should keep copies of it for evidence later.
After the 14 days has expired and the tenant is still in possession of the property, the landlord must file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant, called a Summary Process. This case is filed in the Housing Court, or other court that handles evictions in the jurisdiction where the property sits. The Summary Process suit can award the eviction as well as back rent to the landlord, but it will not award other kinds of damages. Once the Summary Process case is filed, the Constable or Sheriff will deliver a Summons and Complaint form to the tenant. This will tell the tenant when and where they must appear to contest the eviction. If the tenant does not show up to the Summary Process hearing, then the landlord wins by default. If the tenant does show up, then the landlord and tenant will each be able to present their side of the story to the judge. The landlord should bring all evidence, witnesses, documents, etc. to prove their case. If the judge rules for the tenant, the tenant will not be evicted. If the judge rules for the landlord, the tenant will have 10 days to appeal the judgment.
Once the 10 day appeal period from the judgment awarding possession to the landlord has expired, and the tenant is still in possession, then the landlord can ask the court for an “Execution.” This is the final stage of the eviction process. The Execution will be handled by the Constable or Sheriff. The Constable or Sheriff will give the tenant 48 hours to vacate the premises, or else they will physically remove them. It is important to note that the Sheriff cannot “levy” the execution (force the tenants out) on a weekend or when the court is closed.
Next Step: We recommend you purchase the corresponding Massachusetts Eviction Notice to be delivered to your Tenant.
This site strives to have the most current information on state eviction laws and forms, however, legislatures and judges’ rulings are always changing the laws. The information on this site is to be used as a guide, and is not to be used as legal advice, or as a substitute for the advice of an attorney. If you believe any information on this site is incorrect or needs to be updated, please Contact Us immediately.