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Should a landlord providesecond copies of the lease after 1.5yrs when a summary process is in place?

Lawrence, MA |

I am a landlord and I provided copies of the lease to 3 tenants when it was signed a 1.5yrs ago, 1 of them moved out. Now I'm evicting them for non-payment and they also have 4 unathorized guest in my property for 6 months. And now they are asking for copies of the lease. Am I obliged to provide these second copies?

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Attorney answers 4


You will if you evict them. Might as well provide it, I doubt it contains a lease provision excusing the payment of rent.

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If tenants are asking for it as part of Discovery for the summary process case, yes, you need to turn over a copy in accordance with the Uniform Summary Process Rules, typically within ten (10) days of receipt of the request unless you made some other arrangements with them or their attorney. Just make sure to keep a copy for yourself as well. Generally, evictions in MA can be difficult and expensive for landlords if everything is not done just right. You may wish to consult with a landlord tenant attorney who might be able to warn you of potential difficulties in advance and guide you through the process. Good luck!

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Yes, if the tenants send you what is called a "request for production of documents," you must provide a copy of the lease. Also, if you go before a judge she/he may likely want to see a copy of the lease. It's always a good idea to consult an attorney who knows how to help you in drafting your responses to requests for production of documents.

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I agree with the others.

If a formal request is made in discovery, then yes. However, if the lease was for one year, and you are no longer operating under a lease agreement, you may argue that it is not relevant. You may be alleging more than you need to, and I would strongly encourage you to get an attorney to assist you before this backfires, as is often the case.

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

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