Skip to main content

Are Massachusetts tenants at will who received notice to quit REQUIRED BY LAW TO "SIGN" this notice?

North Attleboro, MA |
Attorney answers 3

Best Answer
Posted

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.

Posted

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.

Asker

Posted

Is it advisable that I do sign it? Should I get a lawyer?

Asker

Posted

One more question - The Notice to Quit as well as a second notice were TAPED TO MY DOOR on 1/16 and 1/23 respectively. The documents I read indicated this notice should be "hand delivered" or "mailed", am I correct? Please advise.

Douglas Richard Lloyd Jr.

Douglas Richard Lloyd Jr.

Posted

As is frequently the case with questions like this: It depends. Based on your other question (or at least what I believe is your other question; it's very similar), it looks like the landlord is acting within his rights to terminate your tenancy in terms of the notice being given and it looks like part of the reason for it is substantial construction needs to take place which would impact your rental premises. If you're planning on complying with the notice to quit anyway, then you can sign it and return a copy to the landlord, but you don't even have to do that if you don't want to. If not (i.e., you want to force the landlord to evict you), you will probably want to consult with an attorney in your area who specializes in landlord-tenant matters to advise you. The Bristol County Bar Association may be a helpful place to start, if you don't know where to look. Hope that helps!

Asker

Posted

Thanks. What about the fact that my landlord taped the notices to my door? Is that appropriate method of delivery?

Douglas Richard Lloyd Jr.

Douglas Richard Lloyd Jr.

Posted

There is no one defined way to effect service of the notice. If the landlord can prove that you got the notice, that's all he needs to do.

Douglas Richard Lloyd Jr.

Douglas Richard Lloyd Jr.

Posted

But again, if you're planning on quitting the premises anyway, this entire discussion is moot.

Posted

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.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer