1. Do I need a reason to evict my tenant?
Yes and no. It depends on what type of tenancy you have with your tenant. With a tenant at will no specific reason is needed. If it is a tenant under lease then your tenant must have violated a specific term of the lease and the lease must state that the landlord may initiate the eviction process for such a violation, i.e. tenant has dog when no pets are allowed per lease.
2. What if my tenant refuses to accept service?
SCCO makes every effort to serve your tenant in-hand, but some tenants believe that if they don’t receive service in-hand then they can not be evicted. This is not true. If we are unable to serve the tenant in-hand, we leave a true attested copy at the last and usual place of abode then mail a true attested copy the same day via first class mail to the tenant. We then complete a return of service stating the date, time and manner in which the tenant was served. This return of service is then signed by the effectuating officer.
3. What is a TRO?
Temporary Restraining Order. This can be sought by the tenant or landlord. The tenant typically requests a TRO to halt the eviction process, having the case be heard again by the court. This is usually sought after the tenant receives a 48 Hour Notice for Physical Eviction. The Landlord commonly requests a TRO to gain access to the tenants apartment when the tenant refuses to allow access.
4. What happens if my tenant gets arrested inside my property?
You may be entitled to a speedy eviction. Consult with an attorney or housing court regarding your specific situation.
14 DAY NOTICE TO QUIT FAQs
5. What happens if after service of the 14 Day Notice to Quit my tenant tries to pay me a portion of the amount owed?
Your tenant must pay the full amount of rent owed (and other costs depending on the type of tenancy) to cure. If a portion is paid, or they make payment after the notice has expired, make sure to give the tenant a receipt stating for “use and occupancy only” to ensure that a new tenancy is not created.
6. How long does my tenant have to cure the non-payment of rent?
It depends on which type of tenancy you have. A tenant at will has 10 days to pay the full amount of rent owed. A tenant under lease has until the answer date listed on the summary process summons and complaint. The tenant under lease must pay all the back owed rent, interest on the amount owed, plus the landlord’s cost of filing an eviction case (if paid after landlord files a summary process).
7. Can I remove my tenants from the property once my notice to quit expires?
NO! A notice to quit does not determine who has legal possession of your apartment. After your notice has expired you must move to the next step, the Summary Process Summons and Complaint.
8. Can I deliver my own notice to quit?
Yes. The landlord may deliver their own notice to quit. The problem can come when your tenant denies having received that notice. Since your only proof is your word against theirs it may not hold up in court. When SCCO effectuates service one of our sworn officers completes a return of service on the back of the notice served stating the date, time, and manner in which we served the notice upon your tenant.
9. My tenant isn’t paying the new rent increase; can I serve them a 14 day notice to quit for non-payment of rent?
Even if you have properly notified your tenant about a rent increase, but they have neither accepted or paid the new amount, but are still paying the old rent, you can not evict your tenant due to non-payment of rent.
30 DAY NOTICE TO QUIT FAQs
10. Does a 30 day notice take effect from the day it was served?
Unlike a 14 day notice to quit, a 30 day notice to quit must give the tenant either 30 days or one full rental cycle, whichever is greater. So if your tenant pays his rent every month on the 1st, and your tenant is being served on June 6th, your tenant will have until the expiration of August 1 to vacate the apartment.
11. Can I keep accepting rent from my tenant after I serve them a 30 day notice to quit?
Yes. You are not evicting your tenant due to non-payment of rent. The rent is still owed regardless of whether you are going through the eviction process. Just be sure that when you receive the rent, a receipt is given to the tenant that states, “for use and occupancy only”. You want to ensure that the acceptance of rent does not create a new tenancy.
12. Do I have to have a reason to serve my tenant a 30 day notice to quit?
That depends on what type of tenancy you have with your tenant. If it is a tenant at will then you do not need to state a reason to initiate the eviction process. If it is a tenant under lease then your tenant must have violated a term of the lease, and the lease must state that the landlord may evict for such a violation.
SUMMARY PROCESS SUMMONS & COMPLAINT FAQs
13. How long does it take to get a court date?
That depends on a number of different factors. Courts follow a strict timeline when it comes to the summary process step. In Boston Courts, Mondays are the last day to serve your tenant to get the next available court date. So if your tenant were served on Monday, June 13 then your court date would be Thursday, June 30. Court dates are always on a Thursday, typically 17 days from the last day service can be completed upon your tenant (Mondays).
14. Can the landlord serve the Summary Process Summons & Complaint themselves?
No. This is required to be served by a Constable or Sheriff.
15. What happens if I miss the entry date?
If you miss the entry date (date by which completed summary process has to be filed at court) then you will have to start the summary process step completely over. The same rules are followed and your tenant is served again.
16. What happens if my tenant does not show up to court?
You could win by default. Typically the court would enter the judgment in your favor and in 10 days you would be mailed the Execution for Possession. This court paper gives you the right to have a Constable physically evict your tenant.
17. I won my court case, what next?
Typically you will be awarded Execution for Possession. This now gives you the right to have a Constable physically evict your tenant. The Execution for Possession usually takes 10 days to receive from the court via the mail.
18. Does the court charge me any fees when I bring my Summary Process Summons and Complaint in to file?
Yes. Typically $135 at Housing Courts and $195 at District Courts. This is the cost for the court to hear your case. Please check with your court to see what types of payments they accept
48 HOUR NOTICE/PHYSICAL EVICTION FAQs
19. Does the 48 Hour Notice count weekends?
No. You must give the tenant a full 48 hour notice not including weekends or holidays. So if your tenant was served the 48 hour notice Friday at 1:00 PM, then the earliest the eviction could not take place is Tuesday at 1:00PM.
20. Is the landlord responsible for paying the fees for Physical Eviction?
Yes. The cost of the Constable and movers are paid upfront by the landlord prior to service of the 48 hour notice. Many times mover prices are based on a per room basis. For a breakdown of total cost please contact our office.
21. What happens after they are evicted?
We complete a return of service for the court stating the manner in which the tenant was evicted and the total cost of the physical eviction.
22. How do I get that money back after I evict my tenants?
All back owed rent and cost of eviction is the responsibility of the tenant if awarded to you at court. After the Execution for Possession and our return of service has been returned to the court, the landlord can then file for Supplementary Process to include the cost of the physical eviction. There are a number of ways to recover that money with each case being different. Visit our Judgment Recovery page to get an idea of what options are available.
23. What happens if my tenant leaves before the 48 hour notice expires?
Depending on the manner in which they left, determines whether you have to go through with the physical eviction. Please contact our office so we may guide you in the best direction.
24. Does the landlord need to be there for the physical eviction?
You are not required to be there, but we do need somebody that has access to the property so we can gain entry.
25. Why does it take 10 days for the court to send me the Execution for Possession?
The tenant has the right to appeal the courts ruling during those 10 days.