I agree with the answers already provided. There is no legal or procedural requirement for you to sign any notice to quit or otherwise acknowledge service by signature. By law, a sherriff or constable can properly serve the notice to quit by handing it to you or by leaving it on your door and also mailing a copy to your last known address. If you do not agree with the content of the notice to quit, you should be prepared to contest any attempted eviction and consider contacting an attorney.
No, you are not legally required to sign it. There isn't any legal penalty for not doing so. The notice to quit simply signals the intention of the landlord to terminate your tenancy. Based on the other posting you made, it appears that the notice was given timely. Signing a copy and returning it to the landlord would serve as evidence (for the landlord) that you timely received the notice to quit, but nothing more than that.
Douglas Lloyd is licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Answers provided on Avvo are intended for informational purposes only; they are not intended as legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship. The material is presented with the understanding and agreement that I am not engaged in rendering legal or other professional services by posting it.
Sometimes the lease states how you may be served with a notice, by mail or by leaving it at your door. In addition, these notices are often served by a sheriff or constable who is an uninterested party who could testify that you were served. Maybe your landlord did not use a sherrif or constable and wants to make sure you got notice of his/her intention to terminate your tenancy?
It is expensive and time consuming for a landlord to evict a tenant who does not voluntarily leave. If you need more time, then you should ask for it. If you and the landlord agree put it in writing.
My answer, above, was meant to help you understand some of the legal issues presented in your summary of the circumstances. It was meant to provide information only. It was not meant to provide you with legal advice or create an attorney client relationship. You should continue to research your situation and take the opportunity to meet with an attorney.