Answers to Frequently Asked Questions by Landlords.

There are several reasons why you might need to terminate a tenant’s lease – failure or late payment, illegal activity, or just a general violation of the terms you’ve agreed upon. Whether you’re a seasoned landlord with several apartment buildings, or a novice considering a multifamily property, understanding – and properly communicating –  your rights can diffuse a potentially difficult task.

This blog is part of a series that covers four basic areas where landlords often get confused or tripped up:

In this Blog, we are going to focus on Terminating a Lease:

A Quick Reference Guide for Terminating a Lease

Here are a couple of our frequently asked questions that can help both the tenant and the landlord understand their rights and maintain a more beneficial relationship.

How much notice do I have to provide to terminate tenancy when there is a lease that has no end date?

If the payment intervals are 3 months or longer, than 3 months’ notice is required to be given by the landlord in MA.

How much notice do I have to provide to terminate the tenancy on a month-to-month lease?

The landlord has to give the tenant a notice that is equal to the interval between the days of payment – or thirty days –  whichever is longer.

What is the required notice of termination of all other leases for Nonpayment?

14 days-notice. Keep in mind that the tenant has the option to remedy or pay with interest during that time if they have received a notice to quit for nonpayment of rent within the last twelve months.

Can I terminate a lease when the tenant has performed illegal activity?

Landlords have the right to terminate a tenancy with no notice to the tenant if a unit was used for prostitution, illegal gambling, the illegal keeping or sale of alcoholic beverages, or the possession, sale, or manufacturing of illegal drugs, among other violations.

If I evict someone in the wrong manner, what is the penalty?

If the landlord illegally evicts a tenant, the tenant may recover possession of the unit, or terminate the rental agreement. In either case, they can recover three months’ rent or three times the damages sustained, and the cost of suit, including reasonable attorney’s fees. So make sure you know what you are in for when you choose to evict a tenant!    


Want to Learn More About Being a Landlord?

These are just some of the many things covered in our EBook called “50 Things Every MA Landlord Should Know”.  If you’d like a free copy, please fill out the form below or call us at 617.212.3251.


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Have a Question About Multifamily Properties?

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DISCLAIMER: The data and information in our blog are merely our opinions and should not be construed as advice or counsel on financial or legal matters.

About the Author

Stephen Martin, Founder, and CEO of, is a success-driven marketing entrepreneur with a diverse background ranging from real estate sales and mortgage financing to consulting and development to marketing and branding. Steve is the founder and former CEO of the b Positive Project Apparel Co. A socially responsible clothing line whose mission it was to raise funds for hundreds of non-profits throughout New England. Steve is always looking for creative ways to add value to his businesses. He has a genuine passion for helping others and making a positive impact.