Written by attorney Christopher Saccardi

An Overview of a Motion to Issue Execution in Massachusetts

This is a motion filed by a landlord to request that the court issue an Execution, which is a document that allows the landlord to recover possession of the premises and to collect any damages that have been awarded to the landlord as a result of the eviction action. Executions may issue as a matter of course under applicable law after the conclusion of a summary process eviction, or they may issue on a particular date specified in a settlement agreement between the parties to an eviction action. A Motion to Issue Execution is typically filed by a landlord if they are alleging that a tenant failed to abide by the conditions of a Housing Court agreement. The motion asks the court to give the landlord possession of the premises because of the breach of the agreement by the tenant. In order to prevail, the landlord must show to the court that the tenant’s breach of the agreement was material and substantial – a very minor breach by the tenant may not be enough to allow the landlord to prevail. Having said that, landlords typically (but certainly not always) prevail on such motions because the courts tend to rule that most breaches meet the necessary threshold.

If you are a tenant arguing against such a motion, it is important to point out to the judge all of the ways in which you have complied with the agreement and to argue that the breach the landlord is alleging is relatively minor in comparison.

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