The Massachusetts eviction notice forms are used by a landlord to let a tenant know that the lease is terminating and that they have to move out. It is very important that the landlord provide requisite notice before commencing an action in court to have the tenant evicted. Once the notice period has ended, a landlord will have to choose the court in which to file. A landlord can file a Summons and Complaint in either the local housing court or the Boston Municipal Court or the District Court that covers the city or town where the property is located. The landlord must obtain the form from the court for a small fee. After filling out the form, but before it is filed, it must be served on the tenant by a sheriff or constable. The Sheriff or Constable will then provide a return of service, which must be filed with the summons and complaint and a copy of the notice provided to tenant.
Notices By Type
14-Day Notice to Quit (Non-Payment) – This form of notice is used when a tenant has not paid rent when it is due. Landlord must make sure it is received by the tenant.
30-Day Notice to Quit (Month to Month) – This form is used for any other legal reason to end a tenancy including informing the tenant of the end of a month-to-month tenancy.
30-Day Notice Non-Compliance – There is no State statute in regards to notice provided to a tenant for violating a portion of the lease. Although the Housing Court accepts a 30-day notice violations in the event of a lease violation by the tenant.
When is Rent Due
Rent is due in Massachusetts on the due date set forth in the lease. Once the tenant receives notice from landlord, he or she will have fourteen days to cure before the landlord can begin eviction proceedings.
How to Evict (Process)
Step 1 – A landlord must first have the correct notice delivered to the tenant. It is important that the tenant receives the notice and that landlord has evidence that the tenant received the notice. Otherwise a tenant can use not receiving notice as a defense against eviction. A landlord can use the following forms depending on the situation:
Step 2 – Once the requisite notice period has passed without a response from tenant, landlord may begin proceedings by going to the local court in the area of the leased premises, either Housing Court, Boston Municipal Court or District Court to obtain a Summons and Complaint. The landlord must use the form provided by the court and must pay a fee for the form.
Step 3 – The landlord fills out the forms and then makes a copy and gives them to a constable or sheriff to serve on the tenant. Once the tenant is served, the sheriff or constable will provide a return of service. Landlord then takes the return of service, the summons and complaint and a copy of the original notice and files them with the court. The filing date is very important. It must be on a Monday – at least seven days but no more than thirty days after the date of service.
Step 4 – The tenant has seven days to answer after filing. If tenant doesn’t answer and/or landlord receives a judgment in his or her favor, the landlord may obtain an execution eleven days after the judgment which he would bring to the sheriff or constable the next day. Sheriff serves the execution on tenant which gives them 48 hours to move out before the sheriff come in to evict.