I have tennants that are behind 3 months in rent. they have a 3 year old child. can i evict them in a timely manner.

UPDATED: Jun 15, 2009

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I have tennants that are behind 3 months in rent. they have a 3 year old child. can i evict them in a timely manner.

how dose this work and if possible what will it cost me. how long dose a eviction take. the tennants having a child is it going to be harder to get them out.

Asked on June 15, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 13 years ago | Contributor

There are two main types of tenancies; one at will and one under a lease.  You did not specify what the case is here.

If a tenancy is oral (ie at will) the landlord or tenant can terminate the relationship by giving a notice that is equal to the interval between the days of payment or 30 days, whichever is longer.  One can easily obtain this Notice to Quit from a legal stationery store, a constable, or a rental housing association.

Most evictions are brought for non-payment of rent.  If a tenancy at will is being terminated for nonpayment of rent, the landlord must give a written 14 days Notice to Quit to the tenant.  Again, one can easily obtain this notice from a legal stationery store, Rental Housing Association, or from a Constable.  Note: do not utilize a 14 days notice to quit which is designed for a tenant under a lease, as there are distinct differences.

If the tenant is under a lease, you must first examine the lease to determine how much time is required.  If the reason is nonpayment of rent, by statute, you must give a written 14 days Notice to Quit.

After the notice to quit has run its course, the landlord can now proceed to serve a Summary Process Summons and Complaint form upon the tenant.  Only an authorized Constable or Sheriff can serve this process.  The Summary Process Summons and Complaint form is first obtained from the court.  The Constable or Sheriff generally will assist the landlord in helping to fill out the Complaint form.

For an explanation of the rest of the process please refer to: http://www.mass.gov/courts/courtsandjudges/courts/housingcourt/housingquestions.html

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