As of September 2019, we did not have a mandatory escrow law in Massachusetts, but we did have a court decision (Davis v Comerford) detailing how rent escrow motions are to be considered. As of this ruling, rent escrow motions cannot be summarily denied.
The time to request a rent escrow motion will vary, but typically you can make a motion after the answer, especially if a jury trial is demanded by the renter.
There are unanswered rent escrow questions even after Davis v. Comerford, for instance:
- If the rent escrow motion is applied to a Section 8 renter, will that order cover only the renter's portion or will it extend to the housing assistance payment from the subsidy administrator?
- If a renter purposefully damages their apartment, what standard will be used to evaluate who is to blame? Will the free rent trick be quashed in practice or do we still need rent escrow legislation?
Please complete our use and occupancy motion survey each time you request rent escrow. This will give us valuable information about the impact of the recent case.
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- See also: Proposed changes to Rent Escrow
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