If a tenant does not leave at the end of their lease what happens?

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If a tenant does not leave at the end of their lease what happens?

If I will not leave at the end of my lease, which is the end of next month. Does the landlord have the right to evict me at the next day or he can do it only through lawsuit (and the lawsuit procedure probably takes some time)?

Asked on July 25, 2011 Massachusetts

Answers:

Stan Helinski / McKinley Law Group

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

File a summary process action in the housing court for the county in which the property is located.  

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If a tenant remains after the expiration of their lease, then they become what is known as a "holdover tenant". At that point the landlord will serve them with a notice to vacate (typically between 3 - 10 days depending on state law). If the tenant still fails to leave, then the landlord must file an "unlawful detainer" with court. This is a formal eviction proceeding. It on average takes about 2 weeks or so for the hearing to be scheduled. The court will then issue an order to vacate. If the tenant is still on the premises at that time the landlord had the right to contact the sheriff who will physically remove the tenant if necessary. It generally takes them about 3-5 days to actually appear. So from the last day of the lease to when the sheriff comes to a property to evict, minimally 3 weeks will elapse and generally 4-5 weeks.

Note:  A landlord can obtain a judgment against the tenant for all court and related costs of an eviction, plus "holdover" rent. Additionally, wages, etc can be seized by the landlord to collect on the judgment.And finally, a notation of the judgement can appear on their credit report. 


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