What are a holdover tenant’s rights in a retaliatory eviction?

UPDATED: Oct 22, 2010

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What are a holdover tenant’s rights in a retaliatory eviction?

I gave a 60 day notice of intention to vacate my apartment, unfortunately, I had to stay an extra month and a half. 1 month after my lease expired, I was served a summons for eviction for staying beyond my lease term. Was I supposed to get any type of Notice to Quit? Can the Landlord legally raise my rent after holding over by more than 50% without giving me any notice? And finally, can the landlord seek payment of this premium of more than 50%, whereby I am taking this matter to court, and threaten me to pay up, or my account will be sent to a collections agency?

Asked on October 22, 2010 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

1) There is no right to stay after a lease expires--period. It doesn't matter whether you "had to."

2) If someone is staying without a lease, including as a holdover tenant, they don't need to first get a notice to quit; that because they have no right to be there to begin with. Without a lease, they have no right to possession and may be evicted.

3) Most commonly, holdovers are charged at their previous rent. However, since there is no lease, the landlord is not obligated to do so. I believe, though, that without notice that the rent would go up, the landlord cannot charge you at higher rate (while if you had received notice that the rent on the apartment for whomever rented it next would be X and you still stayed, then you could be charged more even as a holdever, especially if that rent could be substantiated as market rate).

4) If you and the landlord can't settle, he can certainly ask for more in court; the court will determine what is the fair amount you owe. He can also send the matter to a collections agency and if you disagree, you can challenge the matter or the debt, again in court.

5) It is not clear why you asked the question in the context of a retalitory eviction; it is not a retalitory eviction to evict someone without a lease who has no legal right to stay there.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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