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3 Ways to Evict a Tenant in Massachusetts Today – 2021

3 Ways to Evict a Tenant

No one wants to evict a tenant.

However, if the tenant has not paid their rent or has violated the terms of the lease, what choices do you have?

During the pandemic, everyone knew the best thing to do was stay in their homes and wait it out together. It was the right thing to do.

Protections for both tenants and landlords were put into the place. Most renters and landlords did the right thing and worked together to make the best of a terrible situation.

However, some tenants took advantage of the situation.

Know your writes when looking at ways to evict a tenant

If your tenant was one of those that took advantage, what can you expect now that the COVID-19 renter’s protections have expired?

The answer depends upon two basic things:

  1. The quality of the tenant/landlord relationship
  2. If the tenant has kept all their payment agreements.

If these two conditions are met, the chances are good an eviction is not the future.

For those who do not have a good relationship with their landlords and didn’t pay, the chances are good that an eviction will happen.

What are the three ways to evict a tenant in Massachusetts?

There are three general ways to evict a tenant.  The eviction can unfold via :

  1. Voluntarily quitting the property
  2. The Courts
  3. A Payoff


The tenant volunteers to leave is the easiest and least stressful option. In this option, the tenant starts the process by giving “notice to vacate” the property. Then leaves at the appointed time.
Once the property is vacant, the landlord reviews the property and sees how much of the security deposit to return.

As the path of least resistance, voluntarily leaving has minimal risks, which the security deposit usually covers.


  • No legal action to pursue
  • The process is less stressful


  • Any damages that exceed the security deposit belong to the landlord
  • No guarantee of collecting past due rent
  • Cannot enter the property until after the time listed in the notice to vacate has passed.

The Courts

Eviction via the courts is the most expensive of the ways to evict a tenant. Legal action also carries the most risk of the three. The typical scenario begins with attempts to collect the rents owed and an unhealthy tenant-landlord relationship. When attempts to collect past rent fails, the landlord begins the legal proceedings necessary to evict the tenants.

Pursuing a legal eviction carries the most risk.


  • If the court approves, the police can escort the tenant off of the property
  • Legal right to past due rent
  • The court can fine the tenant and hold them legally accountable


  • The process can be expensive
  • Required paperwork and wait times
  • The courts could rule against you
  • Retaliatory actions of upset tenants can cause more damage than the security deposit covers

A Pay-Off

Some landlords have crafted a third alternative solution in states where the legal process to evict is long, detailed, and not guaranteed success.

Necessity is the mother of invention. ~ Plato’s Republic

Some landlords are paying their tenants to leave.

In this arrangement, the landlord offers the tenant a certain amount to leave the property undamaged and within a specific time frame. The pay off amount usually covers a deposit, the first month’s rent, and some moving costs.

When you add up all the time, unpaid rent, back rent, fees, forms, and worry, paying a tenant to move is cheaper and much less stressful.

In short, you are paying your tenant to move to cut your losses.


  • Faster
  • Less paperwork
  • Less chance of revenge destruction
  • Private


  • Unless this agreement is in writing, the tenants can back out and keep the money
  • The upfront cost
  • A bad tenant will not have their actions appear on their credit

Which of the three ways to evict a tenant is right for you?

Figuring out the best way to evict a tenant depends on your relationship with the tenant.

  • If the relationship is healthy and valued, a landlord may be able to talk the tenant into leaving voluntarily or with a small payoff.
  • If the relationship has deteriorated or does not exist, pursuing the legal option or the payoff might work.

Keep in mind there is a connection between how an eviction unfolds and the amount of damage and debris left after a tenant vacates.

Eviction Resources in Worchester County

Before taking any action, get informed.

Once you decide which way to evict the tenant, you will still need to make cleanup plans.

woman calling McHugh Junk Removal for a free estimate

No matter how big or small the project, McHugh Junk Removal is here to help you.

Call us today at (978) 501-7061 for a free no-obligation quote!

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