You’re a landlord in Massachusetts and you are dealing with a tenant who is defaulting on their rent and you want to know your options.
This is Justin Dion realtor with eXp Realty & investor with Homepoint and from my experience in MA, I’ll give you some insight and some tips but you should consult an attorney to find the best course of action for you.
The first step to remove a bad tenant in Massachusetts is to issue a Notice to Quit order. This legal document both formally notifies the tenant that their tenancy is over and informs them of your intent to start the eviction process. The Notice to Quit should include the reasons for the termination and the date upon which the tenant must move out. This Notice to quit must also be proven that it was delivered to the tenet so court officials recommend service by a constable rather than by mail.
If the tenant refuses to relocate on time, the landlord must then file the eviction case in the local district court or the housing court.
This now is in the courts hands with potential of back and forth for months upon months. Both landlord and tenants should be prepared to prove their case with hard evidence: documents, records, and testimonies from witnesses who can be cross-examined by the opposing counsel.
This option of going to court is not a landlord’s only option. The best policy is to encourage the tenant to move out voluntarily. Although counterintuitive, helping a struggling tenant move out (or through a rough patch) is usually a much cheaper way to get your property back than dive into the litigation process.
Offering ‘cash for key’ is a popular option among landlords attempting to get rid of bad tenants with minimum hassle. Tenants are often as eager as the landlord to avoid court and the emotional burden as well as financial implications—like a lower credit score—that may affect their chances of finding another place to live.
Being a landlord is not for everyone. In Massachusetts, getting rid of a bad tenant can be a lengthy, costly, and emotionally taxing process. A nuisance renter can quickly transform a profitable investment property into a financial nightmare. If the tenant is particularly aggressive and they may cause significant damage to your property, tackling the eviction process may be an additional burden that can go on for years. Besides the potential loss of income, you will be responsible for maintenance, property taxes, and any other damage caused by the tenant.
Selling (or buying) property with a bad tenant in place can be a challenge for the seller and buyer. However, it can be worth investing in an alternative solution provided by real estate investors specializing in handling problem tenants. If this sounds like you, get in touch with the HomePoint Team as this is one of our specialities as we consider ourselves as complete real estate solution providers! You can get a free consultation by going to selltohomepoint.com