Last week we covered the process for nonpayment of rent evictions. This week we'll cover the basics of what to expect in an eviction for reasons other than nonpayment of rent, also known as a "no fault eviction."
Similar to in an eviction for nonpayment of rent, a notice to quit is required in an eviction for reasons other than nonpayment of rent. However, instead of the fourteen days for nonpayment, the notice period for evictions of tenants at will for reasons other than nonpayment of rent is thirty days or a full rental period, whichever is longer. (If you have a lease your landlord must follow the eviction procedure that is included in the lease.)
A full rental period is the time period in which you pay rent. For instance, if you pay rent on the first of each month, your full rental period is the time from the first of one month to the first of the next month (i.e. March 1 to April 1). However, your landlord has the burden to establish that your rent was owed at a period of under three months, otherwise a three month notice period may apply.
The tenancy must also terminate on a rent day (i.e. if you pay rent on the first of the month, the tenancy must terminate on the first of the month).
Moreover, this type of eviction is often referred to as a "no fault" eviction because your landlord does not need to have a reason to terminate your tenancy.
As with the 14-day notice to quit, the 30-day/rental period notice to quit must also comply with the procedural requirements of correctly stating the tenant's and landlord's names, address, termination date, and more.
You may be able to raise defenses and/or counterclaims to an eviction and these defenses/counterclaims may include:
Poor conditions in your apartment that your landlord failed to remedy
Procedural defects in the notice to quit and/or summons and complaint
Because the notice period is the longer of the rental period or thirty days, the calculation of when the tenancy actually terminates is a little bit trickier than with a 14-day nonpayment notice to quit. One thing to look out for is that February has only 28 days.
Jane is a tenant at will and she pays her landlord, Lou, rent on the first of each month. Lou sends Jane a notice to quit, which Jane receives on March 9, 2018.
Jane's tenancy terminates on May 1, 2018. This is because the full rental period (the longer of the rental period vs. thirty day period) after March 9, 2018 is April 1 to May 1, 2018. Therefore, Lou may not commence his summary process action until May 1, 2018, the first time Jane's rent is due after the expiration of the rental period.
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If you have a housing issue, the Law Office of Thomas R. Davis is here to help.
Call us any time at (617) 431-3887 for a free, no obligation attorney consultation. You can also schedule a free 60 minute consultation online at www.thomasdavislaw.com. We are here to provide you with the quality representation you deserve.