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Q.My tenant gave me a 30-day notice that he was going to vacate his apartment February 28 but he didn’t move out.
Do I have to give him a notice to quit to evict him?
A. No. Notices to quit merely terminate the landlord/tenant relationship. Once it is terminated, the landlord can usually have a constable or sheriff serve the tenant with a summary process complaint (eviction complaint). If your tenant is a “tenant-at-will” and gives you a 30-day notice to quit, he is essentially telling you that he is terminating the relationship and is vacating the apartment. If he fails to leave, you can then have him served with the summary process complaint without giving yet another notice. This is because there is a statute that provides that “Estates at will may be determined by either party” by giving a 30-day notice to quit. (M.G.L. c186, s.12). “Either party” is you or the tenant and “determined” essentially means terminated. So, although it is usually required that a landlord give some form of notice to quit before serving a tenant with the eviction complaint, in this case the landlord can rely on the notice the tenant gave that terminated the relationship.