Franklin, MA asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Massachusetts

Q: How can the owner of a single family residential house in Massachusetts remove an occupant who refuses to leave?

My friend, as an act of kindness, agreed to let a “friend” stay in his single family residence with him as a guest while she recovered from a surgery. During her stay, her own home was foreclosed on, so he let her stay longer and store her personal belongings at his house until she was able to “get back on her feet.” It’s been 3 years now - she doesn’t pay rent or utilities (except occasionally will pay half of the water bill), there is no written lease or rental agreement, she doesn’t clean or otherwise contribute to the improvement of the house. He has told her several times to leave, but she refuses, stating she is an “occupant” and he will have to evict her. Every time he tries to talk to her about leaving, she screams that he’s “harassing” her. As she is not a tenant, just a freeloader who well overstayed her welcome and took advantage of his kindness, how can he legally remove her and her belongings from his house?

1 Lawyer Answer
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
  • Boston, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: Your friend will have to formally terminate his tenant's occupancy and evict her via a summary process action. I strongly suggest he retain the services of an attorney.

1 user found this answer helpful

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