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Negotiating a Settlement of Your Case

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

Negotiating a Settlement of Your Case

If you are facing an eviction, negotiating a settlement with your landlord can be a better way to resolve your case than going before a judge. With a settlement, you can come up with terms that fit your situation. Other times going before a judge may be better.

The settlement with your landlord can be called an Agreement, Agreement for Judgment, or a Stipulation.  This booklet explains the difference.  


  • Never sign an agreement if you do not understand it.
  • Only sign an agreement if you are sure you can do the things you have agreed to.
  • Get help. Ask if there is a Lawyer for the Day Program or volunteer lawyers in the court.
  • Ask if the court has mediators to help landlords and tenants explore solutions.
  • Tell your side of the story. Speak up for what you need.
  • You are not required to make an agreement.
  • You have the right to have a judge or jury decide your case.
  • If your landlord pressures you to sign an agreement, tell the clerk you want to see a mediator.

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