Protect Yourself: Boston Owners Rights During the Eviction Process

Every rental property owner must be ready for the chance they will have to evict a tenant from a rental property at some point. While you probably often hear about renter's rights and protections from bad landlords, there are also laws in place to protect property owners during the eviction process.

Lynnfield property managers can help you avoid the eviction process, but it's still a good idea to know what you can legally do to protect yourself if it's time to remove a renter from a property. This blog post discusses some of the rights and responsibilities owners have concerning eviction procedures in Massachusetts.

When Can a Landlord Start the Eviction Process?

Rental property owners can legally evict their tenants when they have a legitimate cause. One of the most common reasons landlords evict is when a resident fails to pay rent. When this happens, the property owner typically gives the tenant notice before starting the eviction process.

A landlord can also evict a tenant if they violate the terms of the lease agreement. For example, if a tenant frequently houses guests who become violent or if a tenant continues to violate the pet rule even after being warned, it is appropriate for the landlord to file an eviction notice. No matter the reason, it is essential for landlords to understand their rights and responsibilities.

One of the best ways for real estate investors to protect themselves is by following Massachusetts law and keeping detailed records of interactions with tenants so that they have proof of their claims.

What Are the Types of Eviction Notices?

What types of eviction notices must property owners consider to start the removal process? Depending on the situation, a property manager and your eviction attorney can help you deliver the appropriate notice. 

Pay Rent or Quit Notices

The Pay Rent or Quit Notice tells a resident that if they don't pay the rent within a reasonable period (often three days), the owner can begin eviction proceedings. This notice is based on nonpayment and cannot be used if there are other issues, such as lease violations or damages to the property.

Cure or Quit Notice

The Cure or Quit Notice is typically handed to a renter that violates a term of their lease or rental agreement. Some violations could include owning a dog in a property with a no-pet clause or making excessive noise. The notice requires the tenant to remedy the violation within a certain amount of time. If they fail to do so, then eviction proceedings will begin.

Unconditional Quit Notices

This type of order means the resident has to move out with no chance to pay the rent or correct a lease or rental agreement violation. In most states, unconditional quit notices are allowed only when the tenant has committed any of these offenses:

  • Repeatedly violated a significant lease or rental agreement clause
  • Paid rent late on more than one occasion
  • Seriously damaged the rental unit or engaged in illegal activity, such as drug dealing on the premises

In Massachusetts, rental property owners must give tenants at least 14 days to move out of the property after receiving an unconditional quit notice.

How Much Does the Eviction Process Cost?

Many property owners wonder what does it cost to evict a tenant? Unfortunately, however, this question is difficult to answer.

There is no standard cost to evict a tenant. However, evictions can be expensive and time-consuming. Eviction costs can include:

  • Lost rent
  • Attorney fees
  • Court costs
  • Damage to the property
  • Long vacancy times

If you plan to hire a lawyer for this process, your expenses could range from $1,500-$3,000 or more, depending on how complicated the case is. 

How long does it take to evict a tenant? Again there are no hard and fast rules for the eviction process, but it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months


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How Can Boston Landlords Avoid Eviction Lawsuits?

Property owners can avoid the eviction process by implementing a system to find the best tenants (and avoid the bad ones). 

Property owners should maintain good relationships with current renters and communicate regularly about any issues that may come up, including maintenance requests and repairs. Investors also need a solid tenant screening process in place to avoid renting a property to high-risk tenants who might cause eviction problems down the road.


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Navigate (or Avoid) Eviction With a Boston Property Management Company

When it comes down to it, most property owners would rather avoid eviction altogether by working with professionals who know how to screen potential renters to weed out those who might cause problems after moving into a property. This gives investors peace of mind and helps them maintain better returns!

The team at CHARLESGATE Property Management has the experience property owners need to find and screen excellent tenants. We can also help you navigate the legal eviction process if necessary. Our team is standing by to talk more about how our property management services can help protect your rentals and income! 

For information about what eviction looks like, download our free resource, the Tenant Eviction Checklist.

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