An update from the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute (MLRI):
MLRI has recently updated and translated some of our self-help booklets for unrepresented tenants facing eviction. While we still recommend tenants facing eviction seek legal help, we know resources are limited and many tenants have to represent themselves. We hope these booklets can be helpful to pro se tenants and their advocates.
You can see the full list of booklets below, or at MassLegalHelp. The booklets can help tenants prepare for court, outline their legal claims, and file court forms. There is also a booklet to help public housing tenants navigate the Grievance process.
Please reach out if you have any questions about the booklets and how they can be used.
What steps to take before going to court and what to bring to court.
An easy-to-use checklist that tells you what conditions violate the State Sanitary Code. You can also use the free self-help guided interview, MADE: Up To Code.
The Answer is a court form that tenants facing evictions can file with the court to outline your legal claims and tell the court your side of the story. You can also use Greater Boston Legal Services’ free self-help guided interview, MADE.
How to ask the court to accept your Answer and Discovery forms late. You can also use Greater Boston Legal Services’ free self-help guided interview, MADE.
A form with instructions for tenants facing eviction to get information to prepare for their trial.
A form with instructions for tenants in foreclosed properties to get information to prepare their case.
A form you can file to transfer your eviction case from a District Court to a Housing Court.
How to get a new court date if you missed your court date.
If you lost your eviction trial and think you have a good case, you may appeal. This document tells you which Appeal form to use.
How to file an appeal from a case in Housing Court.
How to file an appeal from a case in District Court.
How to get time to stay in your home if you lost your case.
How to ask the court to pay for court costs.
How to think through the terms you want in an agreement. Includes a worksheet and stipulation forms to use when you go to court. Read this booklet as webpages and watch the videos!
How to correct errors on your online court records. Booklet includes the court form you can save to your computer, fill out, save again and print when ready.
Greivance Booklet: Using Your Public Housing Grievance Process
A booklet for tenants in Mass. about the grievance process, including worksheets to help you prepare for a grievance hearing.