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Tenant Evictions – Losing an Eviction Trial

If you are tenant who has lost a summary eviction trial, you may be wondering what happens next. When a court finds in favor of the landlord, the tenant has ten days to file an appeal of the case. If the tenant does not appeal, the court will legally authorize the eviction by issuing an “execution of possession” order to the landlord on or about the 11th day after the judgment has been entered.   In Massachusetts, landlords are not permitted to evict tenants on their own. Landlords must be assisted by a constable or sheriff who must give the tenant 48 hours written notice before the eviction may take place.

Requesting Emergency Relief

It is important to understand that even if you are tenant who has lost an eviction case, you still have legal rights. You should review your eviction case with a Boston tenant lawyer to determine all legal options that may be available to you. For instance, you may be able to request an emergency hearing before a judge so that you can have more time before you are required to move out.

In Massachusetts, Housing Court judges have the power of equity. If a judge determines that a tenant is facing a particularly difficult situation or extreme hardship and needs more time to vacate the premises, the judge will use its equitable powers to postpone the eviction. For example, if a judge finds that a tenant needs an additional month to move out of an apartment and find new housing, the judge can enter a stay of execution allowing the tenant to remain in the apartment for an additional month.

If you are dealing with a hardship situation you should work with your attorney to file a motion for a stay of execution. While you can generally request a maximum stay of six months (12 months if you or someone who lives with you has a disability or is over the age of 60), it will ultimately be up to the judge to determine the length of the stay. It is important to understand that the judge will not only consider your hardship, but will also consider any hardship the postponement of the eviction will have upon your landlord. Additionally, if you are granted a stay of execution you will typically be required to pay your landlord rent for the period of time you remain in the property.

A Boston Tenant Eviction Lawyer can Help

The eviction process can be scary and confusing. If you are tenant facing an eviction, the Law Offices of Shaun A. Hannafin can help. Our firm represents tenants and landlords throughout the Boston area in all types of landlord-tenant disputes.   When you meet with our firm, we will carefully review your situation and answer any questions you may have. Attorney Hannifin will explain your legal options and help you to determine the best course of action to take in your case. Call us today to schedule your free consultation: 617-848-4572.


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