It is easy for landlords and tenants to end a month-to-month tenancy in Massachusetts.
Notice Requirements for Massachusetts Landlords
In most situations your landlord does not need to give you a reason (although acting on discriminatory or retaliatory motives is illegal). A landlord can simply give you a written notice to move, allowing you 30 days or the interval between days of payment—whichever is longer—as required by Massachusetts law and specifying the date on which your tenancy will end.
Your landlord may legally provide less notice if you have not paid rent, if you have violated other terms of your rental agreement (for example, bringing in an unauthorized tenant), or if you have violated basic responsibilities imposed by law (such as by dealing drugs on the rental property).
Notice Requirements for Massachusetts Tenants
It is equally easy for tenants in Massachusetts to get out of a month-to-month rental agreement. You must provide the same amount of notice (30 days or the interval between days of payment—whichever is longer) as the landlord. Be sure to check your rental agreement which may require that your notice to end the tenancy be given on the first of the month or on another specific date.
In some situations, you may be able to move out with less (or no) notice—for example, if your landlord seriously violates the rental agreement or fails to fulfill legal responsibilities affecting your health or safety.
Massachusetts State Law and Resources on Terminating a Month-to-Month Tenancy
Check Massachusetts state law (Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 186 § 12) for the exact rules and procedures for how landlords must prepare and serve termination notices and for any special rules regarding how tenants must provide notice. See the Laws and Legal Research section of Nolo for advice on finding and reading statutes and court decisions.
The state guide to tenants’ rights (see http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/docs/tenantsrights.pdf) may also have useful information on how month-to-month tenancies end.