Boston Housing Authority

Departments > Operations > Manager's Manual > 12 - Procedure for Surrendering a Unit


When a Resident voluntarily agrees to vacate his or her unit, the Resident should sign the Surrender and Release of Tenancy Form (Form SR-01).  The form is self-explanatory.  If the Resident is vacating him/herself, but leaving household members in the unit, the remaining household members should sign the Surrender and Release of Tenancy Form (Form SR-01) as well.
 
If there is a remaining co-tenant, and there is no outstanding eviction action regarding the unit, the remaining co-tenant should sign a new lease as sole tenant only after the vacating Resident physically leaves, signs the Surrender and Release of Tenancy Form (Form SR-01), and returns his/her keys.  The remaining co-tenant should also sign the Surrender and Release of Tenancy Form as co-tenant. For purposes of the surrender procedure, a "co-tenant" shall mean one of two or more individuals who have signed a current BHA standard form lease as "Resident."  If there is no remaining co-tenant, but there are remaining household members, they should sign the Surrender and Release of Tenancy Form (Form SR-01) and complete the residual tenancy application procedure.
 
If the vacating Resident fails to sign the Surrender and Release of Tenancy Form (Form SR-01) but returns the key and has clearly vacated the apartment, the return of keys should be treated as a surrender even without the completion of the form.  The Manager should note in the Resident's file that the keys were returned by the Resident to a particular BHA employee, on a particular date, and that the Resident was informed that the return of the keys would be treated as a surrender and release of the Resident's lease.  If a Resident vacates and fails to return the keys or to sign a Surrender and Release of Tenancy Form (Form SR-01) and leaves a remaining co-tenant or remaining household members, the remaining co-tenant or remaining household members must provide adequate documentation concerning the current residence of the vacating Resident.  Then the Manager should utilize the applicable provisions of the Abandonment Procedure (Section 13) in regard to the vacating Resident.  Only after the Abandonment Procedure against the vacating Resident has been completed, should a remaining co-tenant be allowed to sign a new lease naming him/her as sole Resident.  If there is no remaining co-tenant, the remaining household members can commence the residual application process before the completion of the abandonment process against the vacating Resident.  If the remaining household members refuse to sign the residual tenancy application, the Manager should use the Squatter Eviction Procedure (Section 11) against the remaining household members.
 
If a Resident vacates his/her apartment without signing the Surrender and Release of Tenancy Form (Form SR-01) or returning the keys, and there is no remaining co-tenant or remaining household members, the Manager should utilize the Abandonment Procedure (Section13)  in regard to the unit.