Evict a tenant

capeside Jan 14, 2008 Legal
Learn how to evict a tenant

You first must determine what type of relationship you have with your tenant. The rules of the game change with this determination. There are two main types of tenancies; one at will and one under a lease. Traditionally, tenancies at will were oral. This is no longer the case. In general, if a tenancy is oral or even if it is in writing, with the provision that either the landlord or tenant can terminate the relationship by giving a notice that is equal to the interval between the days of payment or thirty (30) days, whichever is longer, it is a tenancy at will. One can easily obtain this Notice to Quit from a legal stationery store, a constable, or a rental housing association.

Most evictions are brought for non-payment of rent. If a tenancy at will is being terminated for nonpayment of rent, the landlord must give a written fourteen (14) days Notice to Quit to the tenant. Again, one can easily obtain this notice from a legal stationery store, Rental Housing Association, or from a Constable. Do not utilize a fourteen (14) days notice to quit which is designed for a tenant under a lease, as there are distinct differences.

If the tenant is under a lease, you must first examine the lease to determine how much time is required. If the reason is nonpayment of rent, by statute, you must give a written fourteen (14) days Notice to Quit.

After the notice to quit has run its course, the landlord can now proceed to serve a Summary Process Summons and Complaint form upon the tenant. Only an authorized Constable or Sheriff can serve this process. The Summary Process Summons and Complaint form is first obtained from the court. The Constable or Sheriff generally will assist the landlord in helping to fill out the Complaint form. 

What is the purpose of the Notice to Quit?

The purpose of the Notice to Quit is to terminate the tenancy. Thus, if a lease by its own terms is terminated, no further notice to quit is needed. But if notice is required, and in most cases it is mandated, then the notice to quit must be given to the tenant. Indeed, the essence of giving the notice to quit is not service, but that the other party shall have notice. Unlike the Summary Process Summons and Complaint form which has to be served by a Constable or Sheriff, there is no one designated way of giving the notice to the tenant. If the tenant gets the notice in any way, then that is sufficient. On the other hand, if the landlord sends the notice by registered or certified mail, and the tenant refuses to pick it up, the tenant does not have notice. If a Constable or Sheriff serves the notice by last and usual, and the tenant denies receiving the notice, if the judge believes that testimony, then the tenant does not have notice. A landlord can give the notice directly to the tenant in hand, but it is always advisable to have a disinterested person witness this event. You may hire a lawyer if needed

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  • Last Updated : Jan 14, 2008