Tenants with a lease
Your landlord may attempt to evict you if you have not been paying your rent, or if you or people under your control have caused excessive damage to your apartment or you have violated the terms of your lease. Your landlord must first send you a "Notice to Quit" your tenancy. If the landlord is terminating your tenancy for non-payment of rent, s/he must send you a "14-Day Notice to Quit" (M.G.L.c.186, §§ 11 and 12). Your lease will specify the notice requirement for other terminations; it is typically seven days.
If you are being evicted for non-payment of rent, you may avoid the eviction if you pay all rent owed, plus interest, and the landlord's cost of filing an eviction case on or before the date your Answer is due.
Tenants at will
Your landlord must send you a "14-Day Notice to Quit" if terminating your tenancy for non-payment of rent (M.G.L. c. 186, § 12). If it is being terminated for any other reason, you must be given written notice 30 days, or one full rental period in advance, whichever is longer.
If you are being evicted for non-payment of rent, you may avoid the eviction by paying the rent due within 10 days of receiving this notice, as long as this is the first notice you have received within the last 12 months. If there is no statement of your right to revive the tenancy in the Notice, you have until the date your Answer is due.
Landlords of tenants with rent subsidies must follow the eviction procedures in their rent subsidy contract and lease agreement.
Summary process and complaint
After the notice period passed, the landlord must deliver to you a "Summary Process and Complaint." This officially informs you that the landlord is taking legal action against you. It will state the date of the eviction hearing and the date on which the Answer must be filed.