Listening - Understanding - Representing
Boston Eviction Defense Lawyer – Explaining Your Legal Rights
If you are a tenant and your landlord is trying to evict you, it is important for you to understand your legal rights. In Massachusetts, landlords must follow strict legal processes and procedures in order to evict a tenant. Landlords are not permitted to evict tenants on their own – they must file a case in court and obtain a court order before they will be permitted to evict the tenant. To secure a court order, the landlord must first serve a “Notice to Quit” the tenancy on the tenant. The Notice to Quit must set forth the reasons why the landlord is evicting the tenant and the specific date upon which the tenancy will end.
If you have received a Notice to Quit from your landlord an experienced landlord-tenant lawyer who can help you understand how the eviction process works and identify any defenses you may have. It is important to know that you do not have to move out of the property by the date set forth in the Notice to Quit; this date merely indicates when the landlord is permitted to start a court action against you, not the date upon which you are required to vacate the premises. If your landlord is taking action against you because you have failed to pay your rent, you can usually prevent the eviction by paying all of the rent due within the time period set forth in the notice.
Identifying Your Defenses
Once the time period in the Notice to Quit has ended, the landlord will be permitted to begin the court process by filling a summary process action against you. When you receive the summary process summons and complaint you should meet with your lawyer so that you can file an Answer with the court. The Answer gives you the chance to explain your side of the story. Your lawyer will review your situation to identify any defenses that you may have to the eviction. Your attorney will also determine whether you may have any actionable counterclaims against your landlord.
When you are preparing your Answer it is important to set forth all of the facts and details necessary to prove your case. An experienced Boston eviction lawyer can help you through the process, making sure that you are taking all of the right steps to support your defense. For example, even if you are withholding rent payments because your landlord is not providing heat, electricity or some other utility, you could still lose your case if you fail to follow the proper procedures.
When your case proceeds to trial, your landlord will have the right to present his case first. Your attorney will then be permitted to present your side of the case and ask the landlord questions. After hearing your case, the judge will enter a decision in the case. The decision will determine if you can remain in the property and whether the landlord owes you any money or if you owe the landlord money.
The Law Offices of Shaun A. Hannafin can Help
Eviction proceedings can be challenging for both tenants and landlords. Even if you are in the right, you could still lose your case.
The Law Offices of Shaun A. Hannafin offers skilled representation to both tenants and landlords in all types of disputes, including eviction matters. We have an in-depth understanding of the complex laws governing landlord-tenant relationships in Massachusetts and we will aggressively advocate for your rights at every step of the process. Call 617-848-4572 today to discuss your case with Attorney Shaun A. Hannafin.