Landlord | Tenant


Landlord

  1. If I win the summary process case and am awarded a judgment against my tenant, what is the procedure for having the tenant moved out of the dwelling? 
  2. Are there any restrictions on when the constable or sheriff can use the execution to move my tenant out of the dwelling? 
  3. Does the execution in a summary process case ever expire? 
  4. After I have removed my tenant from the property, how do I collect the money I was awarded in the judgment? 

If I win the summary process case and am awarded a judgment against my tenant, what is the procedure for having the tenant moved out of the dwelling?

If the court finds for the landlord, the tenant has ten (10) days from the date that the clerk’s office enters judgment to file an appeal. If the judgment did not include a stay of the execution, on the eleventh day, the landlord can prepare and send a written request for the execution to the clerk’s office. The execution is the document that authorizes the actual eviction. The landlord cannot evict the tenant without the assistance of a constable or sheriff, who must give forty-eight (48) hours written notice to the tenant before the actual eviction can take place.

Are there any restrictions on when the constable or sheriff can use the execution to move my tenant out of the dwelling?

Yes. The execution can be levied on (used to move a tenant from the premises) only on a weekday (Monday through Friday) between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., not on Saturday, Sunday, or a legal holiday when the court is closed.

Does the execution in a summary process case ever expire?

Yes. The execution must be used within three (3) months to regain possession of the dwelling. The monetary portion of the execution is valid for twenty (20) years.

After I have removed my tenant from the property, how do I collect the money I was awarded in the judgment?

You may have the sheriff use the summary process execution to levy against non-exempt assets. You may want to consult an attorney before you begin this process. Also, you may be able to serve and file a post-judgment motion for payment or for trustee process against a third party, such as an employer holding wages. In the alternative, supplementary process under G.L. c. 224 (not to be confused with summary process under G.L. c. 239) is available. You should consult the clerk’s office in which the summary process case was heard to determine the best procedure to follow in your case.


Tenant

  1. I received a notice of a default judgment in the mail. What should I do?
  2. I lost my case in court and the landlord has obtained an execution. Will I receive any further notice before the landlord uses the execution to have me moved out? 
  3. If I am moved out pursuant to an execution, what happens to my belongings? 
  4. I was the defendant in a court case and there was a judgment against me for money. I paid the judgment, but it still shows up as a debt on my housing and credit histories. Is there anything I can do to prove to a future landlord or creditor that I no longer owe the judgment?

I received a notice of a default judgment in the mail. What should I do?

If you wish to contest the default judgment, you should immediately come to the housing court and file a motion to remove the default and serve a copy on your landlord or his or her attorney. Include an explanation of your side of the case and why you were not in court on the trial date.

I lost my case in court and the landlord has obtained an execution. Will I receive any further notice before the landlord uses the execution to have me moved out?

Yes. You will receive forty-eight (48) hours written notice of the date and time the constable or sheriff will move you as well as the name and address of the storage facility where your belongings will be stored.

If I am moved out pursuant to an execution, what happens to my belongings?

The constable will store the property in a licensed storage facility. That facility must keep the belongings for at least six (6) months. Whatever licensed storage facility accepts your property will have an automatic lien on it for reasonable storage fees and expenses of removing it to the place of storage. The landlord will pay in advance the moving expenses and three (3) months storage fees. The landlord (and the storage facility) can then charge the tenant for the moving and storage costs. If you, as the owner of such personal property, are present when the officer removes it, you may claim it to prevent the belongings from being removed to the storage facility.

I was the defendant in a court case and there was a judgment against me for money. I paid the judgment, but it still shows up as a debt on my housing and credit histories. Is there anything I can do to prove to a future landlord or creditor that I no longer owe the judgment?

Yes. You can ask the other side to sign and file with the court a satisfaction of judgment form. If he or she will not do this, you can file a motion with the court to ask the judge or clerk to find that the judgment has been paid.