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Hello everyone, this is Arthur Hardy-Doubleday, attorney at law. I’d like to talk to you today about MGL 186 s.15(f). The reason I want to talk to you about this particular subsection of Landlord-Tenant law is it has recently come up in my practice.    Landlords in Massachusetts are prohibited from self-help remedies. This means when a landlord tells you to get out, all they have done is breathed in oxygen and spit out carbons.  You do not have to leave.

You come home one day and the keys to your apartment or the lock to your apartment has been changed.   Specifically MGL 186 s15(f) prohibits that type of behavior. If a landlord wants to get you out, the landlord has to serve you with a notice to quit. That’s either in compliance with the law or with the lease that is compliant to the law.

So if you, if you don’t have a lease, the notice to quit has to either be a 30-day notice which is a no-fault notice to quit, or a 14-day notice to quit, if you owe money.  If you have a lease, the notice to quit will be in compliance with both the law and the least, sometimes in leases rather than 14 days. It can be quicker or longer depending on what the landlord’s preferences for these types of situations. The point in all of this is, is that if your landlord has told you that you have to leave.  That’s all they have done.

That’s all they’ve done. They’ve just took in oxygen and then put out carbons. They haven’t actually done anything. They’ve only told you something. Landlords have to serve tenants with a notice to quit. After that notice quit expires they must have you served with a summons timely.  And lastly file summons in court with in the time period prescribed by law.

So if you’ve received a text message or an email or your landlord shouting at you from the street saying you have to get out, you can just ignore all that. And I’d like you to call me (617) 575-2006.    We can talk about what your rights are and how to respond to the landlord.

Furthermore, if you come home one day and had been changed, Your landlord is in violation of MGL 186 s 15(f), which requires that the landlord changes the locks on you. The landlord will be liable for three times either the rent the damages sustained by you, the tenant, the cost of the suit and attorney’s fees.

In Massachusetts, we do not tolerate landlords that resort to self-help remedies. It is strictly forbidden.

Give me a call. (617) 575 2006.   We can talk about this. I do not charge for the initial consultation. I love talking and helping people. Even times when I’m not able to take your case or I don’t think it’s appropriate and I can at least give you some guidance and some advice and hopefully make you better off for it. (617) 575-2006. Hope all is well and have a great day.

Arthur Hardy-Doubleday

Author Arthur Hardy-Doubleday

Arthur Hardy-Doubleday practices law in Cambridge and Martha's Vineyard Massachusetts. He works in the areas of Real Estate, Personal Injury, and Consumer Protection Law. When not practicing law, Arthur enjoys sailing, hanging out with friends on the beach, and waking his dog "Ridiculous."

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