Can my landlord evict me and still ask for rent?

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Can my landlord evict me and still ask for rent?

My landlord has sent me a letter for termination. He wants me to leave but it still want the rent. I want to know if this is legal because if I pay him what money, do I have to relocate they said they need the house for their family?

Asked on March 8, 2012 under Real Estate Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If you have a written lease for a set term, you may only be evicted--

1) for nonpayment;

2) for material (or important) breach of terms of the lease;

3) for doing something for which the law provides for eviction, which are pretty much the things you would expect--deliberately or grossly negligently damaging the rental premises, threatening the landlord, stealing from the landlord or other tenants, etc.;

4) as the lease provides--e.g. if the lease has some clause or provision allowing for early termination (such as upon proper notice) and the landlord complies with that provision's requirements; or

5) upon the lease's expiration.

Otherwise, it does not matter if the landlord wants it for his family--if you have a written lease for a set term, you can't be evicted before the end of the term except as per items 1) to 4) above.

However, if you are on an oral lease (sometimes called a verbal lease), you are  month to monthy tenant; if that  is the case, or you are on a written lease for a month to month tenancy, you may be given 30 days notice terminating your tenancy, after which you must leave or be evicted.

You must pay rent for all time you actually are in possession, up to the termination of tenancy. If the reason for eviction is nonpayment of rent, however, and you pay, then you can stay--once you pay, nonpayment is no longer grounds for  eviction.

The landlord is free to provide you an incentive to agree to terminate your tenancy early--e.g. he or she could offer to pay your moving costs to a new location.


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