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How much time can I get?

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, with assistance from legal services offices in Massachusetts
Reviewed January 2022

The Stay of Execution form in this booklet asks the court to postpone the Execution order and allow you more time to find new housing. The amount of time you can ask for depends on the reason for the eviction.

No-fault eviction

If your landlord brought a no-fault eviction, for example, because their family wants to move into your apartment or because they want to sell the building, the judge can let you stay for up to 6 months. They may allow you 12 months if you or someone in your household is over 60 or has a physical or mental disability.

If they only let you stay for a shorter time, like 3 months, you can file another motion if you need more time.

Non-payment of rent or fault eviction

If you landlord brought an eviction for non-payment of rent or a reason that is your fault, the court may not give you any more time, or might give you a little extra time, like a few days or a few weeks.

If the judge gives you a Stay of Execution, they will probably order you to pay rent or a fair value of your apartment while you stay.

Keep a record of your housing search

Use the Housing Search Log Form at the end of this booklet to keep track of the apartments you try to rent and the things you do as you look for a new apartment. You can show this record to the court so they know you are looking. Attach the form to your motion when you file it.

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

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