Hi, I am a school social worker and I'm seeking advice for a student's family. Three of them (mother and 2 young children both under the age of 6) live in a house with the homeowner. They have all lived together for over 3 years. The agreement was that the mother would clean/take care of homeowner (elderly woman) in exchange for room/board in house (the mother and children occupy one bedroom at back of house). No prior complaints were ever filed with tenants. Recently, someone became guardian-ad-litem of homeowner and is evicting this mother and both of her children. The mother was recently served a "14 day demand and notice to vacate and quit". The homeowner (who still currently lives in the house with the mother and children) is saying that she wants the mother and her children to stay, but the guardian-ad-litem disagrees.
Can this mother and her children be thrown out onto the streets because this new guardian-ad-litem simply doesn't want them to live there anymore? The legal notice states she is also looking to claim a "debt" but no money was ever involved.
I am going to switch this to landlord/tenant law.
I am a Massachusetts licensed Attorney. These answers are for informational purposes only.
First, you should strongly urge this mother to consult with an attorney. There is too much that is questionable in the facts you set out to give a definitive answer, but some of the problems may be a communication problem.
First, in general, a "Guardian-ad-litem" is not a person who would be bringing an eviction action. The eviction action needs to be brought by a person acting on behalf of the property owner. A Guardian (or Temporary Guardian) would be a proper person to bring an action, so is the homeowner competent, or has she mentioned being aware of any Guardianship action being brought?
Next, the 14 day notice to quit would be proper if there were a rent arrearage owed by the mother, but not in the situation you describe. A proper notice with what you described would be a 30 day notice, If this G.A.L. proceeds with an eviction action, the mother may have some good defenses, but she needs to speak with an attorney, sooner rather than later,
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I am licensed to practice law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and practice from an office in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. My practice is focused in the areas of family law and probate law. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state.
You can find a variety of general legal information on evictions here: http://www.masslegalhelp.org/housing/evictions.
But to begin with, a notice to quit is not an eviction. It is only the first step in an eviction. What a notice to quit does is terminate your tenancy. Only after a tenancy is terminated can an eviction even be filed with the court. The other party will have to file an eviction with the court and ONLY a judge can order an actual eviction.
The guardian may be able to bring the eviction case, but it sounds as if they are doing it incorrectly. In this case, since it is a 14 day notice to quit, it will actually be easier to defeat. The other party will have to prove that they owe back rent. If they can't prove they owe back rent, then they lose. Having the actual homeowner sign an affidavit that there is no rent due may help here, but depending on why she has a guardian, she may not be competent to testify.
I am a Massachusetts attorney and answer questions based on Massachusetts law. The above answer is for educational purposes only and does not create an attorney client relationship or constitute legal advice.
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