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Massachusetts Termination of Lease for Nonpayment of Rent Law

Landlord Tenant – Lease Termination – Massachusetts

Determination of lease for nonpayment of rent.

Upon the neglect or refusal to pay the rent due under a written lease, fourteen days’ notice to quit, given in writing by the landlord to the tenant, shall be sufficient to determine the lease, unless the tenant, on or before the day the answer is due, in an action by the landlord to recover possession of the premises, pays or tenders to the landlord or to his attorney all rent then due, with interest and costs of suit. If the neglect or refusal to pay the rent due was caused by a failure or delay of the federal government, the commonwealth or any municipality, or any departments, agencies or authorities thereof, in the mailing or delivery of any subsistence or rental payment, check or voucher other than a salary payment to either the tenant or the landlord, the court in any such action shall continue the hearing not less than seven days in order to furnish notice of such action to the appropriate agency and shall, if all rent due with interest and costs of suit has been tendered to the landlord within such time, treat the tenancy as not having been terminated. Title 1, Part 2, Section 11.

Termination of lease for nonpayment of rent.

Upon the neglect or refusal by the tenant to pay the rent due under a written lease of premises for other than dwelling purposes, the landlord shall be entitled to terminate the lease either

(i) in accordance with the provisions of the lease or
(ii) in the absence of such lease provisions, by at least fourteen days notice to quit, given in writing to the tenant. If a landlord terminates the lease by at least fourteen days notice pursuant to clause
(ii) of the preceding sentence, the tenant shall be entitled to cure on or before the day the answer is due in any action by the landlord to recover possession of the premises, by paying or tendering to the landlord or to his attorney all rent then due, with interest and costs of such action. The rights to cure provided herein, shall apply only to termination pursuant to clause (ii) and shall not apply to termination in accordance with the provisions of the lease.  Title 1, Part 2, Section 11A.

Section 12. Notice to determine estate at will.

Estates at will may be determined by either party by three months’ notice in writing for that purpose given to the other party; and, if the rent reserved is payable at periods of less than three months, the time of such notice shall be sufficient if it is equal to the interval between the days of payment or thirty days, whichever is longer. Such written notice may include an offer to establish a new tenancy for the same premises on terms different from that of the tenancy being terminated and the validity of such written notice shall not be affected by the inclusion of such offer. In case of neglect or refusal to pay the rent due from a tenant at will, fourteen days’ notice to quit, given in writing by the landlord to the tenant, shall be sufficient to determine the tenancy; provided, that the tenancy of a tenant who has not received a similar notice from the landlord within the twelve months next preceding the receipt of such notice shall not be determined if the tenant, within ten days after the receipt thereof, pays or tenders to the landlord, the landlord’s attorney, or the person to whom the tenant customarily pays rent, the full amount of any rent due. Every notice to determine an estate at will for nonpayment of rent shall contain the following notification to the tenant: “If you have not received a notice to quit for nonpayment of rent within the last twelve months, you have a right to prevent termination of your tenancy by paying or tendering to your landlord, your landlord’s attorney or the person to whom you customarily pay your rent the full amount of rent due within ten days after your receipt of this notice.”  If any notice to determine an estate at will for nonpayment of rent shall fail to contain such notification, the time within which the tenant receiving the notice would be entitled to pay or tender rent pursuant to this section shall be extended to the day the answer is due in any action by the landlord to recover possession of the premises. Failure to include such notice shall not otherwise affect the validity of the said notice. If the neglect or refusal to pay the rent due was caused by a failure or delay of the federal government, the commonwealth or any municipality, or any departments, agencies or authorities thereof, in the mailing or delivery of any subsistence or rental payment, check or voucher other than a salary payment to either the tenant or the landlord, the court in any action for possession shall continue the hearing not less than seven days in order to furnish notice of such action to the appropriate agency and shall, if all rent due with interest and costs of suit has been tendered to the landlord within such time, treat the tenancy as not having been terminated.

Section 13. Recovery of possession after termination of tenancy at will.

Section 13. Whenever a tenancy at will of premises occupied for dwelling purposes, other than a room or rooms in a hotel, is terminated, without fault of the tenant, either by operation of law or by act of the landlord, except as provided in section twelve, no action to recover possession of the premises shall be brought, nor shall the tenant be dispossessed, until after the expiration of a period, equal to the interval between the days on which the rent reserved is payable or thirty days, whichever is longer, from the time when the tenant receives notice in writing of such termination; but such tenant shall be liable to pay rent for such time during the said period as he occupies or retains the premises, at the same rate as theretofore payable by him while a tenant at will; provided, that in the case of a rooming house, an action to recover possession of premises occupied for dwelling purposes may be brought seven days after written notice if the rent is payable on either a weekly or daily basis. A tenancy at will of property occupied for dwelling purposes shall not be terminated by operation of law by the conveyance, transfer or leasing of the premises by the owner or landlord thereof.

Chapter 186: Section 21. Disclosure of insurance information by lessor; violations; waiver.

Section 21. The landlord or lessor of any residential or commercial property, upon the written request of any tenant or lawful occupant, of any code or other law enforcement official or of any official of the municipality in which the property is situated, shall disclose in writing within fifteen days of such request the name of the company insuring the property against loss or damage by fire and the amount of insurance provided by each such company and the name of any person who would receive payment for a loss covered by such insurance. Whoever violates the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars. A waiver of this section in any lease or other rental agreement shall be void and unenforceable.

Chapter 186: Section 8. Recovery of rent accruing before determination of lease.

Section 8. If land is held by lease of a person having an estate therein determinable on a life or on a contingency, and such estate determines before the end of a period for which rent is payable, or if an estate created by a written lease or an estate at will is determined before the end of such period by surrender, either express or by operation of law, by notice to quit for non-payment of rent, or by the death of any party, the landlord or his executor or administrator may recover in contract, a proportional part of such rent according to the portion of the last period for which such rent was accruing which had expired at such determination.


Inside Massachusetts Termination of Lease for Nonpayment of Rent Law