A phone call from a landlord will do nothing to terminate your tenancy. Pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 186, Section 12, a landlord must terminate a tenancy in writing and the timing of such notice depends on how frequently you pay rent. If you pay rent on a monthly basis, ,"the time of such notice shall be sufficient if it is equal to the interval between the days of payment or thirty days, whichever is longer." Further, the notice must be unequivocally clear. The notice is simply the first step of termination. If you do not leave by the deadline set forth in the notice, your landlord can commence eviction proceedings, but it will be weeks before you get into court. It sounds like your landlord isn't terminating your tenancy for cause so you may be limited with respect to defenses and counterclaims. But, it may be worth consulting with an attorney to help you negotiate additional time in the rental. Also, an attorney can help evaluate whether your landlord is taking retaliatory action against you.
This "answer" is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship.
You have rights as a tenant, and do not need to leave simply because your landlord tells you so over the phone. You need an attorney to assist you in exercising your rights here, but it is likely that your goal of remaining in the apartment for some time can be accomplished.
Christopher Vaughn-Martel is a Massachusetts lawyer with the firm of Vaughn-Martel Law in Boston, Massachusetts. All answers are based on Massachusetts law and the limited facts presented by the questioner. All answers are provided to the general public for educational purposes only and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question. To schedule a consultation with a lawyer, and obtain advice and review of your specific legal issue, please call us today at 617-357-4898 or visit us at www.vaughnmartel.com.