If my tenant has not paid rent for6 months can I put a lien on their possessions?

UPDATED: Jan 9, 2012

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If my tenant has not paid rent for6 months can I put a lien on their possessions?

Asked on January 9, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No. If the tenant has failed to pay you rent for the past six months, you cannot legally lien the tenant's possessions. If you do, you could very well find yourself subject to a lawsuit from the tenant.

If you have not been paid for the time period you have written about, your options are as follows:

1. serve the tensnt with a 3 day notice to pay or quit. If not complied with, your recourse is to file an unlawful detainer action.

2. serve the tenant with a 30 day notice of termination. Assuming the tenant vacates, you then have the option to sue the tenant for the amount owed.

3. try and work out a payment arrangement with the tenant.

4. do nothing and let the tenant continue taking advantage of you.

I suggest that you consult with a landlord tenant attorney about your situation.

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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