What to do if I’m a tenant-at-will (oral agreement only) and was recently served a 30-day notice to quit?

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What to do if I’m a tenant-at-will (oral agreement only) and was recently served a 30-day notice to quit?

I believe that the notice in not in compliance with the law for the following 3 reasons: It was not served in a timely manner (rent is due on the 1st of each month but the notice is dated Dec 2nd.); It does not give 30 days or one full rental period of notice (date to vacate is stated as Dec 30th); It does not terminate tenancy on a day on which my rent is due (rent is due on the 1st and barring any agreement is considered by law to be the last day of the month). Can you please confirm or refute my findings? And if the notice is invalid, how can I best utilize this fact to gain a bit more time?

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

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

It is difficult in this type of forum and with out seeing the notice to be able to say for sure but I do think that you do have a good handle on the matter and the flaws here given your question.  How you buy more time is by not leaving.  Then your landlord has to start an action for unlawful detainer - eviction.  At that point in time you need to answer the petition and raise invalid service of the 30 Day notice as an affirmative defense.  If the court agrees then the eviction proceeding is rendered null and void and the landlord has to start all over again.  Good luck.


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