I need help. I have a tenant in Massachusetts that is a tenant at will. I gave them 30 days notice to vacate and they hired Mass legal aid and have stopped all communication with me which tells me that they won’t move. I have talked to several attorneys and they all told me the cost could be up to $10,000 since Massachusetts is an extremely tenant friendly state. Apparently one lawyer told me I could run into difficulty because I didn’t send them notice of the bank account to which I kept their security deposit. I’m upset that the law is not on my side when contractually I could give them 30 days notice to vacate. Has anyone done the eviction process on their own? As a side note, how do you keep calm and not get swept up with anger over this? Thank you in advance.
Hi @Christine Tran what county are you in? We own / manage quite a few properties in middlesex and Worcester county. We hire an attorney to represent us but it’s WAY cheaper than that per eviction. I’d be happy to introduce you to our attorney if you want?
Quick question why are you evicting them? If it’s for non-payment of rent the court will make you try to Remediate it and tell you and the tenant to apply to RCAP who will most likely pay the tenants past due amount in full, negating the eviction. So if that’s the case skip the process and apply to RCAP immediately to get the past due amount. If they deny assistance you’ll have a chance of getting your eviction.
If you are evicting for some other reason I would go ahead and offer the tenant something like $1000 + 100% of their m security deposit (+interest) back to help with moving expenses if they’re out by 7/1. If you avoid going to court you win and offering to help them with moving expenses + refund the security will look good in court.
As far as not notifying the tenant about the security deposit I wouldn’t worry too much about that but absolutely offer give them 100% of deposit back no questions asked. Don’t try to grab it for past due rent or damage to the unit since if you lose you could be facing triple damages + legal fees, and technically you violated the state’s policy by not notifying them of the accounts location. Fighting a battle over the security deposit is just not worth the risk when the tenant has an attorney involved.
Best of luck,
@Jonathan Bombaci : Hi Jonathan, I want them out of my house so I can sell it. They have been the worst tenants. They have been constantly late in paying rent to a point that I had wanted to evict them in the past for late rent payment. I have tried to offer cash for keys to get them out and they wouldn’t accept it since they really like where they live. Given the cost, I think I may truly to do this myself and am not sure if the court can allow them to extend their stay since they are a tenant at will.
Hello @Christine Tran , If the tenants are as bad as you say they are and they refuse to leave on their own, then it might be in your best interest to pay the cost of eviction. You will need to follow all eviction guidelines by the book to get them out. Like Jonathan, I retain an attorney for any legalities that may arise with tenants so this may be your best bet. As a side note, try your best to not let it get to you. Treat it as a business, look at it as a hurdle you need to jump.
Hire an attorney. Do a Google search for "eviction attorney [city name]" and you'll find some. Have the details written out so you don't forget something important, then interview a few of them. I'll bet denarii to donuts it doesn't cost $10,000 to evict someone but you don't want to get to court and lose your case because of some stupid clerical error or failing to meet some ridiculous Landlord-Tenant law.
Hire an attorney, save your sanity.
You're going to be, and potentially already are, go about this eviction in an emotional way so it's better to hire a professional since your tenants are already uncooperative of your other negotiating strategies. I would advise you against being penny wise and pound foolish, you will save yourself time, aggravation, and additional distress by hiring a professional to represent you. A search on AVOO.com should yield some reasonable attorneys to help.
@Howard Herrington : Thanks for that reminder that this is business even though it affects you emotionally! 😊
@Nathan G. : That’s what I’m afraid of with the technicality. I did go to court today to pick up the eviction paperwork and was surprised hat they couldn’t give me guidance on how to do this myself. The system is rigged. It shouldn’t be so complicated if they signed a contract and don’t follow it. I guess that’s what attorneys are for.
@Lien Vuong : Thank you!
Get an attorney. It should not cost you $10,000.00, maybe $5000 at most. Have the attorney review EVERYTHING starting with the lease, if any and your notice to quit. The attorney can also advise you about the security deposit issue - if you are in compliance or not and what to do about it.
I don;t know how they already hired Mass Legal Aid. Usually those agencies are free and only get involved once a court case has been filed. You will find it easier to deal with them when it is your lawyer that is actually dealing with their lawyer.
If you gave them proper to vacate you should be able to get them out at some point through the court.