Cost of an Eviction in Massachusetts

Cost of an Eviction in Massachusetts

Last Updated: April 5, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

The total cost of an eviction in Massachusetts for all filing, court, and service fees varies heavily based upon which court the eviction lawsuit is filed in. For cases filed in District Court, the average cost is $465. For cases filed in District Court or Boston Municipal Court, the average cost is $525.

Fee Housing District/
Initial Court Filing $145 $205
Summons Service ~$20+ ~$20+
Writ of Execution Enforcement $300+ $300+
Notice of Appeal (Optional) $180 $180

These filing, court, and service fees do not include outside costs such as legal fees or post-eviction fees (i.e., locksmith fees, storage costs for a tenant’s abandoned property, cleaning service fees, repair costs, or advertising costs for a vacant dwelling unit).

1. Initial Court Filing Fee

If the eviction notice expires in Massachusetts and the tenant remains on the property without correcting the issue, the landlord may file an eviction lawsuit (“Summary Process”) with the court.

The filing fee for an initial Summary Process is $145 in Housing Court and $205 in District Court and Boston Municipal Court.

These initial filing fees in Housing Court, District Court, and Boston Municipal also include the following fees:

  • An additional $15 surcharge.
  • A required Summons fee of $5.
  • The Summons and Complaint form filing fee of $5.

2. Summons Service Fee

In Massachusetts, the Complaint and Summons must be served to the tenant by a sheriff, deputy sheriff, special sheriff or person appointed by the court. The landlord must arrange for a process server to deliver the Complaint and Summons to the tenant.

The Complaint is a legal document that identifies the parties and reasons for the lawsuit and the Summons is the tenant’s official notice of an eviction lawsuit and contains important information (i.e., when and where to appear in court). 

Service fees depend on the process server, for example, if a sheriff or deputy sheriff serves the tenant, by leaving a copy they can charge $20.[ttip number=’1′ icon=’popover-balance’] If service is made by hand, the sheriff or deputy sheriff can charge $30.[ttip number=’1′ icon=’popover-balance’] A person appointed by the court could charge more.

3. Writ of Execution Enforcement Fee

If the court rules in favor of the landlord in Massachusetts, the court shall issue a Writ of Execution. The writ is the tenant’s final notice to vacate the premises.

The tenant has 48 hours to vacate the premises. Upon the expiration of the writ, the sheriff may physically remove the tenant and their possessions from the dwelling unit. 

The sheriff may charge a service fee for executing the writ and the fee varies by county.  For example, in Essex County, the average cost of executing the writ is $300.  In Middlesex County, the filing fee is $300 for the first 4 hours (for 2 deputies) and $50 for each additional hour per deputy.

4. Notice of Appeal Filing Fee

If either party chooses to file an Appeal in Massachusetts, they may do so as long as the Notice of Appeal is filed within 10 calendar days of the judgment. The filing fee is $180.