Eviction + Legal Resources

Please make sure you (tenant) DO NOT move out of your apartment if you've applied for rental assistance but haven't heard back yet. We CAN NOT help families get rental arrears once they move out of their apartments. If the tenant moves, landlords will not get their back rent payments from rental assistance.

If this debt is not paid and is filed in court, the debt will follow the tenant, give them a bad record, and will not allow them to rent a future apartment. 

How does an Eviction Process work?

Step 1: Have you received a Notice to Quit?

Please make sure you (tenant) do not move out of your apartment. We CAN NOT help families get rental arrears once they move out of their apartments.

A notice to quit is the first step in the eviction process but a notice to quit does not determine who is allowed to have legal possession of your apartment. If your landlord decides to take you to court, a notice to quit is not an eviction. You do not need to immediately leave your unit. You are entitled to a legal process in which you can fight the eviction, only a judge can decide whether you or your landlord should have possession of your apartment. You do not have to move out by the date on the notice to quit.

All landlords must give tenants an attestation form and submit a copy of any Notice to Quit for nonpayment of rent given to a residential tenant until March 31, 2023. Learn more at MassLegalHelp.org

The Notice tells you to leave in a certain number of days. You do not have to move out by the date on a Notice to Quit, but do not ignore it. The number of days depends on the reason for eviction.

  • 14-Day Notice: You owe rent.
  • 30-Day Notice: If the landlord is evicting you for no reason, or for a reason that they say is your fault.
  • No Notice: Your landlord accuses you of illegal activity in your apartment. Get a lawyer before you say anything in court.

What to do if you received a notice to quit because you owe rent:

Apply for the state program for rental assistance "RAFT."  Apply Here.   If you already applied for assistance to Metro Housing Boston yourself, contact Metro Housing Boston to get a status update.  Email resourceline@metrohousingboston.org with your name, address, application number, and date of birth, or call (617)-544-9330. Make sure to save the receipt so that you can bring it to court, if needed, as proof that you applied for rental assistance.

Step 2: Find out which court will hear your case: 

Depending on where the landlord files the case, it can be heard in either the Waltham District Court or in the Northeast housing court. Look at your court summons to see which court your case will be heard in. Check your court summons to see if your hearing is virtual or in person.

You can look up the status of your case or ask questions of the court clerk here:

Step 3: Get legal assistance- Call this agency to get legal advice.

Housing Families 

Provides free legal advice and assistance through "lawyer for a day" program at the Northeastern Housing Court in Woburn. Clients whose cases are in Waltham District court can also contact this office for help.

Provides "Limited assistance representation” and will refer cases if more legal help is needed than they can provide.

Phone: (781)-322-9119, ext. 146.

Email: jstafford@housingfamilies.org

For information about other legal services for people with low incomes, contact: 

Step 4. Additional step you can take to prepare: 

If you are unsure about the date, time, or location of your hearing OR you would like to request an interpreter for your hearing, you can call the Court Clerk. 

  1. For hearings at Waltham District Court Call: (781)-894-1012
  2. For hearings at Northeast Housing Court Call: (978)-825-4920 
  3. Contact the Court Service Center to get assistance with filing documents and responding to legal paperwork
    1. Court Service Centers are operating a hybrid service model that includes in-person and remote services. Court Service Center locations provide in-person services on Tuesdays and Thursdays (8:30 AM - 1:00 PM; 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM) with priority given to emergency cases, and remote services on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM via Zoom video conferencing software for both emergency, and non-emergency matters.
    2. Here is how you can join the Virtual Court Service Center through Zoom:
      1. Via video conference: https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1615261140
      2. Via phone: Dial (646) 828-7666. Enter Meeting ID 1615261140 then press # 

Other Sources of Legal Information: