![if gte IE 9]><![endif]><![if gte IE 9]><![endif]><![if gte IE 9]><![endif]>
Thank You For Submiting Feedback!
Where the defendant was a tenant at will, the terms of the existing tenancy could not be changed and a new tenancy at will created without the consent of both parties.
Plaintiff landlord sent defendant tenant a notice to vacate premises or pay increased rent. Tenant refused to do either. Plaintiff contended that because the tenant continued in possession after July 1, 1948, he impliedly assented to the increase in rent requested in the notice, and thus, became in arrears of rent, when the notice to vacate for nonpayment was given. Plaintiff received possession through judge order; defendant sought a bill of exceptions pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 239, § 1.
Did the tenancy-at-will continue to exist under the circumstances?
The court found for defendant tenant because the notice did not increase the rent of the tenant, and likewise did not terminate the tenancy at will. For the increase to have been effective in a tenancy at will, the court required assent by the tenant, which was lacking. Landlord should have treated the defendant as a tenant at sufferance immediately when he refused the increase rather than allow him to remain, which maintained the tenancy at will. Since no increase in rent of the tenant ever became effective, the tenant was not in arrears when he continued to pay rent at the old rate.