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How much time can I ask for if I have to move?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute with assistance from legal services offices in Massachusetts
Created May 2017

How much time can I ask for if I have to move?

If you have to move out, pick a date that gives you enough time to find a new place. Do not agree to move in a short time if you have no place to go.

  • If you do not owe rent and your landlord is evicting you for a reason that is not your fault , you should be able to negotiate more time to stay. If you go before a judge and lose, they may give you up to 6 months to find a new place or up to 12 months if someone in your house is over 60 or disabled. Keep this in mind when you negotiate for more time.

    You will need to pay rent while you are looking for another place. Judges are not required to give you extra time.

    The landlord or the landlord’s lawyer may ask you to “waive the right to any further stay” or that there will be “no further extensions.” Try to keep this language out of the agreement so you can ask the court for more time if you need it.

  • If you owe the landlord rent or you are being evicted for a reason that is your fault , do not agree to move out in less than 13 days. If you had a trial and lost, your landlord could not move you out sooner than 13 days after the trial. Even if they evict you for a reason that is your fault, sometimes a landlord will agree to give you more time to move. Many landlords would rather see you move voluntarily. They do not usually want to pay a sheriff to evict you and a mover to put your things in storage.

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