- Tenant to Landlord (End of Lease) [.pdf] – no prior notice is required in Massachusetts at the end of a fixed-term lease, but it is recommended to send the landlord a letter.
- Tenant to Landlord (Month-to-Month) [.pdf] – notice of the longer of 30 days or 1 month is required in Massachusetts for month-to-month leases or “at will” tenants that pay rent month-to-month.
- Landlord to Tenant (End of Lease) [.pdf] – no prior notice is required in Massachusetts at the end of a fixed-term lease, but it is recommended to send the tenant a letter.
- Landlord to Tenant (Month-to-Month) [.pdf] – notice of the longer of 30 days or 1 month is required in Massachusetts for month-to-month leases or “at will” tenants that pay rent month-to-month.
Purpose. A Massachusetts lease termination letter (“Notice to Vacate”) is a required document to end month-to-month lease agreements in Massachusetts. State law requires giving at least 30 days’ or 1-month notice, whichever is longer, for termination. However, state law does not require notice to be given to end fixed-term lease agreements on their end date.
Read further to learn more about notice requirements and the residential lease termination process in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Notice Requirements for Lease Termination
For fixed-term leases, no notice is required to terminate the lease. The lease will terminate at the end of the term specified in the lease. However, it is recommended to send a notice of termination anyway close to the end of the lease to avoid any ambiguity regarding when the tenant is required to move out.
For periodic leases where the rental periods or periods included in one rent payment is 3 months or more, either party can terminate the lease by providing 3 month’s notice of termination.
For periodic leases with rental periods of less than 3 months, the notice period required is 30 days or the number of days interval in between rental payments, whichever is longer. More particularly, month-to-month leases may be terminated by either 30 days’ or 1 month’s notice, depending on the month.
How to Write a Lease Termination Notice
As one might expect, there’s an implicit need for a document like this to be all-inclusive so that it can be deemed legal in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This type of lease grants many freedoms, but the lease termination should include as many details as possible so that it can’t be challenged by the other party. For this reason, when writing a lease termination notice, it’s a good idea to both include a copy of the original lease as well as to utilize the original lease for gathering information.
To start, the original lease signing date should be printed clear at the top of the document so that a timeline is established. Once this is provided, here are several other sections that should be included:
The Information of the Opposite Party
Since this document is being served to either the lessee or the lessor, it’s imperative to clearly state the recipient so that there’s no confusion. In Massachusetts, receipt must be verified, so the full name of the receiving party, whether it is the tenant, landlord, or management company, should appear precisely as it appeared on the initial lease.
Information about the Property
Next, the property should be clearly described so that there’s no confusion in the courts. Here are a few identifying factors to include:
- The building number
- The unit number
- The street name
- Any associated side streets
- The county in which the property is located
- The city
- The zip code
One of the most important aspects of a Massachusetts lease termination notice is the section that provides information about the original lease. Not only is this good for those that are citing reasons for ending the lease, but it also explicitly outlines the circumstances in which the lease was initially signed.
This part will clearly show that the other party understood the rules of the lease when signing, and it will also state the period of time allotted by the state and the lease terms that are required for notice. Finally, this is also the section that specifies the month-to-month nature of the rental. Throughout the country, a lease like this only technically lasts for a single month and automatically renews in perpetuity, so having this information also provides a timeframe for the lease itself.
The final section of the document will be the signature section, where both parties are expected to provide their consent. Not only must the parties sign their name, but they must also print their full names and date the document for legality. Since this document is often sent by a dedicated agent, then there should also be a section that will require that the server verifies receipt of the document by the other party, a legal representative, or via first-class mail. The server must also sign this section as well.