5 Steps On How To Evict Troubled Tenants In Boston
Massachusetts is a very “tenant-friendly” state. If you need to evict a troubled tenant in Boston, the process will likely be quite long and difficult. However, you can get started with this quick guide. 5 steps on how to evict troubled tenants in Boston.
We’ll discuss 5 steps on how to evict troubled tenants (Boston), and talk about some of your other options, such as selling your property for cash while allowing your residents to keep their lease. Let’s get started.
1. Determine Grounds For Eviction
There are 3 basic grounds for eviction in Boston.
- Non-payment of rent – If a tenant is late on rent, you must send a statutory 14-day “notice to quit” before you can start the eviction process. If the tenant pays, you cannot evict them. It’s best to have this notice drafted professionally by an attorney, and served by either a sheriff or a constable, to ensure your case will hold up in court.
- No-fault – Landlords can serve a 30 day, no-fault notice of termination of tenancy at will. Again, this notice must be served in person before eviction proceedings can commence.
- For cause – “For cause” evictions encompass bad behavior and violation of lease terms. Excessive noise complaints, drug activity, non-approved “roommates” and violating pet agreements. You must issue a notice to quit to the tenant, stating the specifics of offenses. Not only that, you must have a “live testimony” at your eviction hearing, to prove the offenses of the tenant.
2. File For Eviction At The Local Court And Issue A Summons
If you send an official notice for eviction, based on any of the above grounds for eviction, and your tenant does not comply, it’s time to take further legal action.
You will need to go to the courthouse and file a Summary Process Summons and Complaint. You can do this at a specialized housing court, or the local District Court.
This form can be complex to fill out, and it must be served by either a constable or sheriff to the tenant. It may be a good idea to hire an eviction attorney to handle the paperwork.
No less than 7 days after the summons is issued, it must be filed with the court, and a hearing will be set – usually on a Thursday morning. You and your tenant both must show up at this court date.
3. Agree To Mediation (Optional, But Preferred)
Mediation is almost always recommended for landlords in Boston and Massachusetts. In mediation, you and your tenant can work out a reasonable plan for them to move out, or for them to agree to lease terms, or even structure a payment plan for rent non-payment.
The benefit of doing this, for a landlord, is that you avoid a court judgment. Also, the agreement to which you and your tenant come is fully legally binding. It is a court order, and you can quickly enforce eviction proceedings in case it is violated again.
You may also be able to get a tenant to waive their rights to an appeal or right to delay if the case comes to court again – meaning they will not be able to delay eviction proceedings if they violate your agreement.
4. Present Case In Court And Receive Judgment
If mediation fails, or your tenant does not agree to mediation, you will go to court. Here, you must make your case. Provide proof of all violations a tenant’s lease agreement, or a refusal to pay after rent is due, as well as all other official documentation, notes, letters, and other paperwork related to your case.
The judge will hear both your side of the case, and the side of the tenant, and issue a judgment. You may be entitled to back rent, court fees, and damages if you win. If the tenant wins, they may win the right to stay on the property until their lease expires.
5. The Appeals Process
Tenants have a robust right to appeal. Even if a judge finds in your favor, tenants can delay the resolution of the case by filing multiple appeals – and in rare cases, judgment can even be reversed.
To avoid appeals that simply delay eviction, you can ask the court to place an “appeal bond”. This bond requires the tenant to pay the full amount of due rent – in court – to continue the appeal process. Most tenants are not willing to (or do not have the financial ability to) do that, so their appeals will be terminated.
Cash Sales – An Alternative To Eviction In Boston
If your lease agreement lets you sell your property while allowing tenants to remain in residence, the best way to avoid eviction proceedings is to simply sell your property for cash.
A cash home buying company may give you an offer for an apartment or house while a tenant is still living in it. You can accept the offer and sell the property – and from then on, the tenant is not your problem. You can also sell a property immediately after eviction, if you no longer wish to rent it.
Selling your property is the best way to avoid the entire eviction process in Boston. So if you’re dreading eviction court, consider selling your property for cash!
Use This Guide – Know What To Expect When Evicting Tenants In Boston
The strong tenant protections of Boston are a double-edged sword. Obviously, it’s good to protect renters from landlords who are abusing their power, but it also makes it hard to get rid of tenants who are violating their leases, or participating in criminal activity.
But using this guide, you’ll know what to expect when evicting a tenant in Boston – and if you decide to sell your property for cash, you may be able to avoid the entire eviction process.
Max Cash Home Offers offers instant cash offers on houses nationwide. We do not provide legal or financial advice. For information on foreclosure, eviction or any other legal situation make sure you contact a local attorney.
Author: Ryan Cruz
Ryan received his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from the University of La Verne. Ryan has a strong passion for marketing and the real estate industry while leading and managing all online marketing efforts for Max Cash Home Offers.