How to Serve an Eviction Notice in Massachusetts

How to Serve an Eviction Notice in Massachusetts

Last Updated: October 9, 2022 by Marnie Snyder

In Massachusetts, in order for the delivery of a lease termination or eviction notice to be legal, certain rules and procedures must be followed. If they are not and the case proceeds to court, the case may be postponed or dismissed by a judge.

Who Can Serve Eviction Notices in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, landlords can serve eviction notices and lease termination notices themselves. Landlords may choose to hire a sheriff, process server or independent party over eighteen (18) years old to serve an official notice, but they are not required to do so by law.

When Can Eviction Notices Be Served in Massachusetts?

In Massachusetts, lease termination and eviction notices can be served immediately on any day of the week and at any time of day.

For a 14 Day Notice to Quit, the eviction notice for tenants that do not pay rent in full and on time, a landlord can serve notice the day after rent is due. There is no legal grace period for paying rent in Massachusetts, rent is late starting the day after it’s due.

Acceptable Forms of Service in Massachusetts

A landlord can deliver notices in Massachusetts using any of the below acceptable methods:

  1. Handing the notice to the tenant in person;
  2. Handing the notice to a person of suitable age and discretion AND mailing the notice by first class mail with a certificate of mailing;
  3. Mailing the notice by first class mail with a certificate of mailing;
  4. Sending the notice electronically (i.e. if the parties agreed in writing).

If the notice is sent electronically, but it is not received by the tenant, then the landlord must use an alternate method of service.

When sending the notice by first class mail or electronically, add three (3) calendar days to the notice period to account for variability in post office or electronic delivery times.

Obtaining Proof of Service in Massachusetts

A landlord can demonstrate proof that a notice was delivered through the following methods:

  • Hand Delivery – by completing a Declaration of Service at the time of delivery.
  • First Class Mail – via a certificate of mailing and by completing a Declaration of Service at the time of mailing.
  • Posting at the Premises – via a photograph of the posted notice and completing a Declaration of Service at the time of posting.
  • Electronically – retain a copy of the electronic transmission and complete a Declaration of Service.

Massachusetts Eviction & Lease Termination Notice Forms

Notice Form Grounds
14 Day Notice to Quit Eviction for Unpaid Rent
Notice to Comply or Vacate Eviction for Lease Violation
7 Day Notice to Vacate Eviction for Unlawful Conduct
7 Day Notice to Terminate Tenancy Ending a Daily / Weekly Lease
30 Day Notice to Vacate Ending a Monthly / Yearly Lease

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