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Do I need legitimate proof/evidence to kick out a tenant?

Cambridge, MA |

I recently have a tenant that moved in two months ago and she has had a guest(boyfriend) live with her since she moved in. She was the only tenant in the lease contract. The lease contract does say that any guest staying more than a short period of time isn't allowed to stay more. Her guest also has a sketchy criminal past. Lately we found out she doesn't even had legitimate job but manages to pay in cash the rent. . So now is there any way I could kick her out? Would I need evidence by installing a camera in order to record her guest actually living with her? Or tape recorder? All I have so far is that the guest has mail being sent to the address that there name doesn't even appear in the lease for that apartment.

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Attorney answers 5


Evidence of mail being sent to the apartment in the name of the guest, along with your own personal observations, should be sufficient to allege a violation of the lease. Attempting to video tape or record your tenant may violate privacy laws and is not recommended. I would suggest creating a written log of the times you observed the guest at the apartment and documenting each such occasion. If the guest has a car, you can photograph the car being parked at or near the apartment for additional supporting evidence.


A LL has not power to evict only a court does.You would need to evict her in accordance with MA laws regarding eviction--and you would need to have a justifiable reason before the court would order an eviction. Breach of contract for the extra tenant COULD be a reason but you would likely have to give her an opportunity to cure the defect before you began the eviction process.

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You will need to serve your tenant with a notice to quit terminating the tenancy and then commence eviction proceedings against her. Assuming that she is in breach of the lease agreement, you can begin the eviction process. Do not tamper with the mail or record anyone without their permission - both are crimes.

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


DO NOT tape record them. Its a violation of privacy and you could get in a lot of trouble. If you photograph or video tape them, make sure it is only when they are outside, NOT in their apartment.


My first question is: You need to look to the lease to see how it addresses this. If it’s a violation of the lease, you need to look to the lease to see how violations are addressed.

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