Springfield, MA asked in Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts

Q: I lost my job in september and no longer could afford my rent. I went to the leasing office and they told me that i

would have to pay three months to move out with 60 days notice. then a month later my apartment flooded. I went and asked them to break my lease...again.. they said that i would have to pay 3 months to move out that the only thing they could do for me was move me to another unit and once i did they extended my lease too.. november went by and i couldnt afford the rent, december came and we are not finished the month i am already told that they are breaking my lease i owe them 2 months and if i dont pay anything towards it i am going to be taken to court and i wont be able to get another apartment anywhere. I can't get any help from my city none of the agencies have funds and the only one that does needs be to have a court date and an eviction notice from the court. What can I do to stay away from being homeless?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Paul D. Lambert
Paul D. Lambert
  • Landlord Tenant Lawyer
  • North Andover, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: The Western Housing Court has jurisdiction over residential properties in Springfield.

If you have a Lease (and from your description you do) and if you are unable to pay that Lease (and it appears that you have not) then the Landlord/Management Company can bring a Summary Process Action against you to evict you for Non-Payment and Breach of Lease.

Have they already given you a Notice to Quit? Typically this would be a Fourteen (14) Day Notice. They cannot serve you with the Summary Process Summons and Complaint until the Notice to Quit has been served and expired.

Unfortunately, the inability to pay rent will not immediately release you from your obligations under the Lease.

Now, from your description, there is a local agency that is able to assist you with payment, BUT ONLY after you have received the Notice to Quit and the Summary Process Action has been commenced.

There should be a Lawyer of the Day and/or a Legal Assistance attorney at the Springfield Session of the Housing Court.

The Western Housing Court has Housing Specialists who will assist in finding a resolution to your situation. They work for the Court, not for you.

You should make sure that you get clear and complete instructions from the agency that will be assisting you with your rent payments.

Best of luck.

I am a Massachusetts Licensed Attorney and my response is based upon Massachusetts Law. This answer does not constitute legal advice or create any Attorney-Client relationship.

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