A Notice To Quit is the required notice served on the tenant by the landlord demanding that the tenant vacate the property. This is the first step in initiating the eviction process. To be effective, the notice to quit must clearly state that the tenancy is terminated, the reason for the termination, and demand that the tenant vacate the premises by a specified date.
If the tenant refuses to vacate, the landlord can then file a summons and complaint with the land court. The tenant has 7 days to file an answer or counter-claim. The tenant has several defenses that can be asserted should the tenant want to remain in possession of the premises. These defenses fall into one of four categories; jurisdictional, procedural, equitable, or statutory.
At trial, the landlord has the burden of proving the reason for terminating the tenancy. The tenant will have an opportunity to rebut any evidence offered by the landlord as well as present evidence of their own. The tenant can also argue that the landlord failed to establish a prima facie case. If the court should rule in favor of the landlord, the tenant has a right to appeal.