Notice to Quit needed, or just Letter?

10 Replies

Hello everyone. We are buying our second property today! We received the rent roll of the property, and one of the tenants is behind on the rent. We also noticed that every time we visited the unit, we found that several people seemed to be living there, though there was only one person on the lease. Also, the place reeked like Cheech & Chong's apartment. We'd like them gone for several reasons.


We buy the house today, 5/29 at noon. His lease automatically renews July 1. Massachusetts requires a 30 day notice, which would be June 1.


My question is: what kind of notice do I give? Do I actually serve him with a proper 30 day Notice to Quit? Do I inform them with a letter that states his lease will not be renewed? I plan to have a constable serve him the notice, whatever it needs to be.


I'm asking this question because I understand the reasons for the 14 day (non payment) and 30 day notices to quit, but given that we're declining to renew instead of asking them to leave for another reason, I wasn't sure what the proper method was.

None of the replies will be considered legal advice. Thanks!

@Christopher Reynolds if you want them gone, I would proceed with eviction based on non-payment of rent. I don't know MA law, but you may have to post notice to cure the condition before filing paperwork.

If you terminate their lease effective July 1st and they stay, you'll have to start eviction then, and you'll lose at least a month.

Cash for keys, coupled with late rent forgiveness, may work well. I just used a hybrid of this to help a seller get the property vacant before closing. Proceed toward eviction, but give them the option to leave by July 1 or earlier for some financial incentive. Ensure you have proper cash for keys paperwork so they sign and understand they are forfeiting all rights to property.

Congrats on purchase!

@Christopher Reynolds If they are behind on rent you are best to give them a 14 day notice to quit for non-payment. You can do this yourself but be sure you document when and how the form was delivered. I always use a constable to serve notices. The cost for me is $25. If you serve the notice yourself you will have to prove to the judge that they in fact received the notice.

Alternatively you have the option to serve a 30 day notice to quit for cause. You have to show the court a reason why they are being evicted, specifically you have to point to a term of the lease that they violated. If you go the 30 day notice route be sure you serve it before the first of the month or else it won't be valid until the following month so you essentially have given them a 60 day notice.

At closing be sure any last month's rent and security deposit are accounted for and you handle them property. The Sec. Dep needs to go into a separate interest-bearing account. This could come up during the eviction process.

Thanks everyone!

I think I might not have made myself clear in my original post (or I did, and the answer is still the same anyway).

Their lease is up July 1, we don't want to renew. Is this an eviction? If a tenant comes to the end of the lease and owners don't want to renew, is this always a 30 day notice to quit? Thanks very much!

Non payment would be an issue, except we just took ownership of the property 2 hours ago, and they have never been delinquent with us because they have never had to pay us.

We asked our closing attorney today, and he said it's a simple 30 day notice, telling them their lease will not be renewed and they are expected to surrender the property. There's no "eviction" involved because it's not coming to that. They just aren't being renewed.

If they don't surrender the property, you will need to evict.


Joe Gore

@Joe Gore

Right. I'm hoping it doesn't get to that, but as of now, it looks like it won't be an eviction if everything goes smoothly.

And if they decide not to leave, we do have the rent roll from the prior owner showing they failed to pay last month's entire balance. Thanks!

Originally posted by @Christopher Reynolds :
Non payment would be an issue, except we just took ownership of the property 2 hours ago, and they have never been delinquent with us because they have never had to pay us.
We asked our closing attorney today, and he said it's a simple 30 day notice, telling them their lease will not be renewed and they are expected to surrender the property. There's no "eviction" involved because it's not coming to that. They just aren't being renewed.

If I were venture to guess these Tenant's have broken two of the lease agreements. Non payment and if you examine the lease their is probably a section in it describing how many people may occupy the apartment.

As far as the marijuana smoking goes, they may be breaking the law, but proving it would be difficult. If there are a lot of people in the apartment, all the time, perhaps you could park nearby and take pictures of them and note the times and dates.

If they seem like they are going to fight you about non-renewal, I would offer to forgive the past due rent to get them out. This is not intended, or to be construed as legal advice. Last thing you want is for them to trash the place.

Using the Constable to serve the NTQ would be the best way. Perhaps the Constable will walk in on one of their dope smoking parties.


I was able to get rid of my first tenants with a simple notice 30 day notice, though the process took 120 days. I stated that they were being given 30 days notice but did NOT state a reason. It's really quite impossible to argue with "I no longer wish to rent to you".

The tenant was older, thus entitled to free legal aid, and I gave in to every single thing asked for by the tenants free legal aide adviser, but was firm that they had to leave (thus the 120 days). By the end of the process the tenant's legal aide person was beyond frustrated with her client, and seemed to think I was pretty darned OK.

Note; I'm in RURAL Calif -- in some cities (San Fran!) it is virtually impossible to get rid of a tenant. 

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