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March 30, 2018 |

What if a Tenant Won't Leave After Eviction?

Evicting a tenant can be a complicated prospect in Boston because you have to follow Massachusetts laws that protect tenants. This means you cannot just lock a tenant out of his or her apartment if the tenant stops paying the rent or violates the terms of the lease.  You need to go to court and go through the formal eviction process. A Boston eviction attorney can help.

Unfortunately, there are sometimes circumstances where you will do everything right, get an order of eviction, and the tenant still will not pack up and go voluntarily. Even in these circumstances, there is a specific protocol that has to be followed so you can avoid getting into legal trouble yourself just for trying to take back your rental property.

What if the Tenant Won't Leave?

Once you have gone to court and gotten an order of eviction, the tenant is provided with some time to move out voluntarily. If the tenant does not leave, you can move forward with executing the eviction order. To execute an eviction order in Massachusetts, you have to hire either a constable or a sheriff with the authority to force the tenant to move from the property. 

Constables or sheriffs need to provide 48 hours notice to a tenant of intent to evict. Tenants can be formally evicted only during weekdays and only on certain hours – between the hours of 9:00 and 5:00 PM. You cannot get a constable or a sheriff to carry out an eviction order on a weekend or a holiday to remove the tenant from the space.

Tenants who do not want to be evicted from their space can try to fight the eviction on appeal or can simply ask the court to postpone the eviction.  The court can do this by granting a stay. As long as the stay remains in effect, the eviction order remains frozen and the landlord cannot move forward with the eviction.

It is more common for courts to order stays of eviction in circumstances where an elderly or disabled person is a tenant and is being evicted. Tenants can also pursue temporary restraining orders to request that the eviction be suspended for a limited period of time. Because the law is very favorable to tenants in Massachusetts, landlords need to ensure they're doing everything by-the-book when it comes to having a tenant removed from a rental property.

A Boston eviction attorney can provide assistance throughout the eviction process, from filing notice of your intent to evict the tenant to going to court to get an order of eviction to responding to tenants who refuse to vacate the premises. To find out more about the ways in which our legal team can assist you with evicting a tenant so you can get your property back, give us a call today.

Posted in Landlord-Tenant Information

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