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Help with Rent for Survivors of Domestic Violence

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed February, 2019

What if I cannot pay my rent and I am going to be evicted?

In most cases, even if you owe your landlord back rent, your landlord cannot put you out of your apartment without taking you to court. You do not have to leave your apartment right away just because your landlord says you must.  The landlord first has to send you a letter called a Notice to Quit. You do not have to leave just because you get a Notice to Quit.  If your landlord wants to evict you, your landlord must send you a Summons and Complaint to come to Court.

Only a judge can decide whether your landlord can evict you. You do not have to leave before a judge says you must.

See what a sample Notice to Quit looks like.

Help with rent and housing

RAFT is a program that might help you pay your back rent.

Call Safelink if you need information about shelters for victims of domestic violence. Or apply for Emergency Assistance at your local DTA office.

Read more about your about the laws that protect you from eviction and housing discrimination in MassLegalHelp’s:

If you get a Notice to Quit, call your local legal services program for advice and apply for help to fight your eviction.

Who to call for help

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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