Thank you for your kind patience, Pat,
I understand your frustration completely because I have been in that position myself. The problem that I encounter is that the nicer and more considerate I try to be of a tenant, the worse they treat me and the more they threaten that they will do this or they will do that. I can assure you that this is nothing more than hot air and scare tactics and you must show them that you are not afraid of them. If it turns out that you must evict them, well you will evict them and it is not a big deal and neither do you need an Attorney. So, you will not be incurring legal fees.
Do not worry about their threats regarding the lead paint. You cannot be held responsible if you never used lead based paint and have no knowledge of what type of paint the previous owners of the property used. As I said, these are all intimidation tactics by the tenants,
1. First, try to get them to notify you in writing that they will not leave within the time frame you gave them. If they will not notifyyou in writing, no problem; just write them a letter along the following lines,
Address it to their individual names, and at the tope center of the page type: "NOTICE TO QUIT"
(Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 239 only requires the landlord to give the tenant 14 days notice)
Mr. XXXXX XXXXX
Mrs. XXXXX XXXXX
As you know, your lease expired __________ , 2013 and you are presently "Month to Month" tenants.
This shall confirm our telephone conversation of _______________ , 2013 during which you informed me that I despite my giving you the courtesy of Ninety (90) days written notice to vacate the above captioned property so that I could occupy it, , you will not be vacating the property. As a result of your declining to accept the terms of the aforesaid Notice to Vacate by December 1, 2013, I am hereby retracting and rescinding the 90 written Notice and replacing it with Thirty (30) days Notice to vacate. Please be advised that you must vacate the property not later than November 1, 2013 and return the keys and possession to me at that time.
Your failure to cooperate will seriously inconvenience me and cause me to incur unnecessary expenses in locating a place to rent temporarily, moving costs, and Court costs, Attorneys' fees and other expenses related to recovering possession of my property for which I will ask the Court for reimbursement from you and as provided in the original lease whose terms and conditions remain in full force and effect.
I am hoping that this matter can be resolved amicably, but it will require your active cooperation. However, if you choose not to cooperate in an amicable resolution, I am fully prepared to assert and protect my property rights by eliciting the assistance of the Court.
Your name Here
If possible deliver this Notice by hand and have someone with you as a witness. If this is not possible, (a) post the letter on the door of the property and (b) send the letter by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested and (c) send a copy by regular mail, keeping a copy for your files.
2. Then, if the tenants have not vacated by the time period you give them and they are still in possession of the property, you must file an eviction lawsuit against them. This is called a "Summary Process". You will file your case in the Housing Court, or other court that handles evictions in the jurisdiction where the property is located.
Once you file the Summary Process case, the Constable or Sheriff will deliver a Summons and Complaint form to the tenants, telling the tenants the date and time they must appear in Court. If they do not appear, you win by default. If the tenant does show up, then you will tell the Judge your side of the story (regarding giving them Notice, that you need your house to live in, etc.) You should bring copies of the Notices with you, the original lease, your letter to them, any witnesses, etc. to prove your case. When the Judge rules in your favor, the tenants have 10 days to vacate or appeal the Judgment.
Once the 10 day appeal period from the judgment awarding possession to the landlord has expired, if the tenants are still in possession, you will ask the Court for an "Execution". This is the final stage of the eviction process. The Execution is delivered by the Constable or the Sheriff and he informs them that they have 48 hours to leave. If the tenants remain beyond the 48 hours, the Constable or Sheriff returns and removes them physically from your property.
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