Commercial lease agreements are typically specific to the business, and with an experienced attorney helping you, the lease terms are negotiated to help meet the goals of a business. But even then, a business may not succeed as hoped. When that happens, you may start to notice a late rent payment. As the landlord, you may start to worry that you aren't going to receive the rent payment at all.
Soon enough, a commercial eviction may be necessary. But when it is, it is also necessary that the proper procedures are followed. If not, then you risk getting into legal trouble because commercial tenants have rights even if the property belongs to you or you manage the property.
At Sandonato Law, we are committed to helping landlords succeed. That means structuring a lease agreement that fosters a good working relationship between you and the business. Sometimes, however, a business doesn't succeed regardless of how well the lease was drafted, and you may find yourself in a position to evict. When that happens, we help you evict the commercial tenant properly and timely. We are also committed to helping you with any other aspect of the commercial leasing process.
Contact Marco Sandonato, an experienced commercial eviction attorney today. Meanwhile, read below to better understand the commercial eviction process in Massachusetts.
Common Causes to Evict a Commercial Tenant in Massachusetts
Causes to evict a commercial tenant in Massachusetts can be based on lease and non-lease violations. Here's an overview of the most common causes for both categories.
Common Lease Violations
Any breach of a commercial lease may be enough to start an eviction process. The most common reasons for commercial tenants in Quincy, Massachusetts include the following:
- subletting without proper authorization;
- failure to meet tax obligations;
- failure to adhere to insurance obligations; and
- failure to pay rent.
Failure to pay rent is more times than not the cause for a commercial eviction. Unfortunately, when a tenant fails to pay rent – this is only a portion of the expense because the eviction process is costly itself. The sooner you start the eviction process, the sooner you can move on and rent the commercial space to another business.
Common Non-Lease Violations
Lease violations, however, are not the only reason a landlord may start a commercial eviction. Things like the following are also common reasons:
- violation of required license
- violation of required permits
- violation of zoning restrictions
- violation of use restrictions
- presence of illegal activity.
There are many reasons that can lead a landlord to start an eviction process. In many cases, like with lease violations, the tenant may be able to cure the violation before starting eviction. When the tenant doesn't cure the violation, the eviction process should begin immediately.
Overview of the Commercial Eviction Process in Massachusetts
The first part of the commercial eviction process is always to review the lease first – and to review it carefully. Lease agreements for commercial properties are often very specific leases that have been made after long and hard negotiations. There may be specific provisions in it regarding nonpayment of rent, and if so, then there may be specific procedures you and the tenant agreed to follow to remedy the situation.
According to G. L. c. 186, § 11A, if the lease provides provisions to terminate the lease for nonpayment of rent and a cure for the latter, the provisions control. This section of the lease is often called "notice to cure."
When the lease does not contain provisions outlining termination of the lease for nonpayment or for any other breach of contract, you can terminate the lease or, more appropriately, start the eviction process by following the next steps.
- Serve the tenant with a 14-day notice to quit. The commercial tenant has the right to make its rental payment (or otherwise cure whatever breach of contract the tenant has made) before the 14th day (or before the answer to the notice is due).
- If the tenancy terminates because the tenant did not cure the breach of contract, a summary process summons and complaint will be filed and served on the tenant.
- Within two weeks, the case is entered into the Boston Housing Court. Trial will be set within 2 weeks after the case entry unless the tenant serves discovery, in which case the trial will be set at some point thereafter.
- Whichever party "loses" the trial can file an appeal within 10 days.
- Absent an appeal, if you as the landlord win the case, you will receive an execution – a sheet of paper the Sheriff needs to move the tenant off of the property if the tenant has not yet vacated the premises.
The whole process can be time-consuming, complex, and exhausting.
Contact a Resourceful Commercial Eviction Lawyer in Boston, MA Today
When a commercial tenant fails to adhere to the terms of a lease agreement, especially in cases of nonpayment of rent, you may have to consider evicting the tenant. The process is a serious one, but it is the only way to get your space back in due time so you can lease it to another commercial tenant.
A minor error can slow the process down. In fact, a minor error can force you to start the process over again. If you want to start the eviction process on the right foot and optimize your chances of securing a win at court, contact Sandonato Law online or at 617-481-2742 today.