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Boston Eviction Attorney – Residential Evictions
Evicting a residential tenant is never an easy or pleasant undertaking. However, a property owner may occasionally be forced to take this course of action. While the most common reason for evicting a tenant is the nonpayment of rent, a landlord may also seek to end a tenancy due to other breaches of the lease such as excessive noise or damage to the property.
If you are a landlord looking to evict a tenant we recommend that you first consult an experienced residential eviction lawyer. The eviction process can be complicated and you need to ensure that you are taking the appropriate steps under the law. The Law Offices of Shaun A. Hannafin is a Boston area law firm that focuses on resolving landlord-tenant issues as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Attorney Hannafin has an intimate knowledge of Massachusetts landlord-tenant laws and will help you successfully navigate the legal process.
The Process for Evicting a Tenant
Below is a brief outline of the eviction process in Massachusetts. For assistance with your situation, contact our law firm for guidance and advice.
Notice to Quit
In the state of Massachusetts the first step in the residential eviction process is to end the tenancy. In order to terminate the tenancy, the landlord must serve a written “Notice to Quit” on the tenant and the tenant must actually receive the notice. The Notice to Quit is a letter that sets forth the reasons for the eviction and the date that the tenancy will end. Under Massachusetts law if the landlord is evicting the tenant for the non-payment of rent, the notice to quit must be served on the tenant 14 days before the landlord commences an action in court. The tenant can prevent the eviction action by paying all of the money due before the 14 day period ends. If the tenant is being evicted for breaching another condition of the lease, the language of the lease will typically set forth the number of days notice the tenant must receive. If you have questions, an eviction attorney will carefully review your situation to determine the amount of notice required under the law.
If the notice period has ended and the tenant has failed to pay the money due or has not moved out, the landlord will be permitted to file a summary process action in court. These types of actions are designed to proceed far more quickly than traditional litigation matters. The court will schedule a trial during which the landlord must prove that the tenancy was terminated properly under the law. During the trial the tenant will have the right to raise defenses and to assert counterclaims against you, so it is important to seek representation by a Boston attorney who is familiar with eviction actions.
If the court finds in favor of the landlord, the court will issue an “Execution of Possession” and may also award the landlord monetary damages for back rent and court costs. The Execution of Possession is a legal document that grants the landlord the right to have a constable or sheriff remove the tenant and his or her possessions from the apartment. Should the court find in favor of the tenant, the court may permit the tenant to remain on the property and may award monetary damages if the tenant’s counterclaim is successful.
Consult an Experienced Eviction Attorney
If you are in the process of evicting a tenant it is important to discuss your situation with an experienced eviction attorney. In Massachusetts, property owners must follow strict procedures in order to properly evict a tenant. If you fail to comply with these legal rules or miss a deadline, you could lose your case. When you are filing an eviction action your attorney can make certain that you are meeting all of the requirements under the law. Your attorney can also advise on whether it may be better to mediate your dispute, rather than taking the matter to trial.
The Law Offices of Shaun A. Hannafin is dedicated to protecting the legal rights of landlords and tenants. Our firm has extensive experience representing clients involved in eviction actions across the Boston region. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation by calling 617-848-4572.