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I received a 30-day notice to quit. Do I continue to pay the rent or put the rent in escrow?

Boston, MA |

I received a 30-day notice to quit. Do I continue to pay the rent or put the rent in escrow? I do not want to have it weigh against me in court for not paying the rent. What if the landlord deposits the rent do I get this money back in court since he's evicting me?

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Pay the rent. The 30 day notice only gives the landlord the right to take you to court; only a judge, after trial, can actually evict you. Further, if the landlord accepts rent after the 30 days (or one full rental period, whichever is longer, it may extend your tenancy by creating a new tenancy if the landlord does not put certain magic words on the back of the check.

    Withholding rent is done if your apartment needs repairs and the landlord won't make them, or if he is otherwise not folloowing the somewhat convoluted landlord tenant laws.

    Under certain conditions, if you are not at fault, and can't find a new apartment, the court may "stay" your move-out date, even if you lose in court, but only if you are paying the rent.

    You should consult an attorney. Most, including me, will give you a brief consultation at little or no cost. You have many options; withholding rent is probably not your best one.

    The foregoing answer does not establish an attorney client relationship, is not confidential, and should not be relied upon in place of an actual consultation with an attorney. Mr. Boone is licensed to practice in Massachusetts, before the U.S. Tax Court, and the Federal District Court of Massachusetts. Most initial consultations are free. Further information is available on my profile and at www.boonehenkofflaw.com.


  2. It depends. Do you plan to leave, or do you plan to refuse to leave?

    If you'll leave as requested, and if you already paid last months' rent, then you don't have to pay rent now: you already did.

    Do you want accurate, personalized, legal advice that you can rely on? You will have to hire an attorney, not ask on Avvo. I am not your attorney and am not creating an attorney-client relationship by this post. I am therefore giving only general advice. This advice may not apply to you or your situation; may not take account of all possibilities, and may not match the advice I would give to a client. DO NOT rely on this advice or any other advice on Avvo to make your legal decisions. If you want an answer to a legal question you should retain an attorney who is licensed in your state.


  3. Despite the fact that your landlord may have terminated your tenancy, you are still required to pay rent unless there is some legal reason for you not to (like you are legally withholding it for repairs or you paid last month's rent at the inception of your tenancy). Your decision to withhold rent, while possibly tactical because you need the funds for a new rental or for some other legitimate reason may not get you off the hook and if your landlord has to go to court to have you evicted, they will likely also obtain a judgment against you for any monies owed. Use caution when decided to take such a path.

    This "answer" is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.

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