Massachusetts Eviction Moratorium Expires: Full Explanation and FAQ

On October 17, 2020, at midnight, the eviction moratorium signed into law by Governor Baker on April 20, was allowed to expire. The law, 191-H.4647, “An Act providing for a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 Emergency,” had been extended twice by the governor.

Still in place, through the end of the year, is a federal eviction moratorium put in place by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That moratorium will allow many evictions to proceed, though it may bar evictions of some renters who have been verifiably made unable to pay rent due to COVID-19 and the economic response.

On October 12, in anticipation of the end of the state’s eviction moratorium, Governor Baker’s administration announced a comprehensive set of resources to help tenants remain in their homes. Resources include $100 million to support RAFT; $12.3 million to provide legal representation and mediation services before and during evictions, and $50 million for rapid post-eviction rehousing. As part of the additional RAFT funding, landlords with 20 or fewer units will be allowed to apply for emergency rental assistance with tenant consent.

This article provides updates about the moratorium from the point of view of a landlord and gives a roadmap for Massachusetts owners and managers. Read an FAQ below for updated information.

On April 16, MassLandlords conducted a survey among members about the MA eviction moratorium.

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How Long did the MA Eviction Moratorium Last?

The MA eviction moratorium expired at midnight on October 17. Because courts are closed on Sunday, October 18, the moratorium effectively carried over to Monday, October 19, open of business at 9 a.m.

The Massachusetts eviction moratorium started April 20, 2020, and originally was to last either:

  • One hundred twenty (120) days from the effective date of the act, which means it would end at midnight on August 18, 2020, OR
  • Forty-five (45) days after the Governor lifts the COVID-19 state of emergency that began on March 10, 2020,

whichever arrived sooner, unless the Governor extended the moratorium, which he did. Governor Baker extended the eviction moratorium once, through October 17 at midnight. Every affected case has been paused during the moratorium.

Reopening businesses (repealing Order 13) had nothing to do with the state of emergency. As of May 26, the state of emergency remained in effect.

Are courts back at full staff?

Staff are at half presence in the courts for the time being. Housing courts, aware of the impending backlog of eviction cases, are devising strategies and hiring extra staff to process cases. Eviction cases filed before courts were closed in March, as part of the eviction moratorium, will be heard first.

Is there a new summary process and complaint form?

Yes. New summary process summons and complaints must be used beginning with the lifting of the moratorium on October 19. If you have an old summons, you need to go to court to swap it for a new summons, or purchase the new one.

You will no longer be able to choose your hearing date. On new summons and complaint forms, you will see, “Trial date to be determined by the court.” “Served by” and “entry” dates will not change, and will follow the same rules as before.

How big is the backlog of eviction cases?

There are thousands of cases across housing and district courts statewide, as well as in Boston municipal court. For one example, the Central Division Clerk Magistrate said during an October 14 Zoom event: “I can reassure you that I have stacks of cases and I still have the original list from the day they were supposed to be heard.” New cases will be heard in the order they are filed.

What if I served a notice to quit before courts were closed?

If notice was served pre-pandemic, as long as rent arrears have not gotten to zero, the notice should still stand. If you achieved a zero balance in arrears at any point during the eviction moratorium on a nonpayment case, you need to serve a new notice.

What if I have a summons from before the moratorium?

If a summons was served but not filed, it is no longer valid. You must re-serve.

What if I have an execution from before the moratorium?

Executions issued before the moratorium will be covered order 6-20. Subject to the requirements of the CDC order, if the execution was tolled and the 90-day execution period has passed, you can move to reissue with the affidavit.

All original executions must be returned. Return them now and when you make a request for a new execution, they will have the originals filed.

If you wish to increase the dollar amount on the execution, that action will require a hearing. Execution for money is good for 20 years; execution for possession for another 90 days. The longest you could extend an execution is 180 days: 90 days after judgment and levy 90 days after issuance. If a property is transferred, the new owner would have to figure out a way to become part of that case in order to levy an execution.

What about the CDC moratorium? Where does it apply?

The CDC moratorium does not stop filing. The CDC moratorium is applicable to every case in which rent is sought. It does not have to be a nonpayment case, it could be cause where nonpayment is listed as a cause. We interpret that if you are filing no cause or no fault, and there are arrears, then the CDC moratorium applies.

What is the CDC declaration?

The renter must provide you with a declaration stating the impact of COVID-19 on their inability to pay full or partial rent. Then tenant can give the landlord this declaration at any stage or event during the proceeding.

Is a tenant required to provide proof to accompany their CDC declaration?

No, the tenant is not required to provide proof substantiating a CDC declaration. If you can prove that a CDC declaration is not legitimate, you can file a motion to undo the declaration. A landlord can request discovery of a renter.

It is not the job of the courts to go beyond the signed and dated declaration. It is the landlord’s job to try to attack or undo the declaration if they feel there are misrepresentations.

What if the renter doesn’t give a CDC declaration?

Cases without CDC declarations will be adjudicated in the normal course, in the same manner as pre-pandemic.

Can I subpoena my renter for proof of COVID impact?

You can subpoena anyone via a constable, it is not issued by the court. The person being subpoenaed can also file a motion to quash the subpoena.

Does a CDC declaration stop me from filing for eviction?

According to the letter of the law, the only thing the CDC declaration can stop is an issue of execution. You are allowed to start the process, even with a CDC declaration. We recommend that you do not file if you are not working with an attorney, and have no ability to wait. See our article on Are Notices Legal?

Does the CDC declaration have to be provided with the notice to quit?

No. Only the CDC affidavit from the landlord is filed with the court.

What is the CDC affidavit?

The CDC affidavit is a document that you give to the courts telling them whether or not your renter provided you with the CDC declaration. If you did receive a CDC declaration from your renter, execution will be stayed until December 31, when the CDC eviction moratorium is scheduled to expire.

When do I have to file the CDC affidavit?

In all cases where money or rent is being sought, you must file a CDC affidavit. A CDC affidavit needs to be filed each step of the way after, as well, and in current ongoing cases.

If a tenant agrees to leave, but then they hand you an affidavit, can you still get an execution?

Only if the agreement said that the renter waived their rights pursuant to the CDC order. Even then, talk to an attorney. Note that the CDC declaration is only relevant when seeking rent.

Will the CDC moratorium make a practical difference?

The odds of any new case filed on or after October 19 getting to the stage of an issuance of execution is very slim. It will take the courts at least a month and a half to work through old cases (i.e., those filed before the March shut down).

When will my case be heard?

Courts will be backlogged with eviction cases, and dates will be pending in some cases. Please don’t call every day asking when your case will be heard. Masscourts.org is available to all; you may check there at any time to see your case, and check if something has been scheduled.

Will hearings be conducted in person?

No. Unless there is a unique situation, in which someone has to be physically present, all hearings will be conducted online, via Zoom. If you are not familiar with Zoom, you should educate yourself on the use of the platform, such as how to share your screen, before trial.

What about e-filing?

As long as you are not a corporation, a trust, or an LLC (that is, as long as the landlord is an individual), you can still file by mail or in person with a check. Anything other than “Mary Smith” will require a lawyer and e-filing.

Can notices to quit be served on Saturday or Sunday?

We recommend that you only serve notices on days and at hours when the courts are open, the one exception being if you know your renter works a second or third shift and has agreed to receive the notice from you at a certain time. Otherwise, hire a constable or sheriff.

What about timing? Has the timeline changed for an answer from the tenant to a notice?

The tenant has until three business days prior to the first court event to file an answer, counterclaims, discovery, etc.

Has the timeline to get a hearing changed?

When you e-file, you will not pick a date for the hearing, the court will decide (see above). Motion hearings will be the same, you will no longer choose your dates, the court will decide.

The court will schedule the first court event, a status conference: mediation. If the case is resolved in mediation, an agreement will be drawn up and signed by both parties via Zoom, the judge will sign it, and both parties will proceed according to the agreement. If mediation fails, the second court event will be trial. Under the June 20 standing order, trial cannot occur less than 14 days after the status conference.

Filing a discovery form does not change the date issued by the court. Discovery no longer causes a delay.

Has the day-of timeline for hearings changed?

A status conference will be mailed to both parties, a time will be reserved, eliminating the call of the roll at 9 a.m.

Is there funding available for rental assistance?

There is a lot of rental assistance funding available. The Baker-Polito administration added $100 million to the RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition) program, increasing the annual grant limit per household from $4,000 to $10,000; $12.3 million to provide tenants and landlords with access to legal representation and related services before and during eviction processes, as well as mediation services; and nearly $50 million for rapid post-eviction rehousing assistance. Read details here.

If a tenant received RAFT money, but did not use it for paying rent, does that prove that their CDC declaration is false?

That should not happen. RAFT is supposed to go directly to the landlord. Contact the RAFT administrator to discuss the situation.

What happens in the case of defaults?

At the first status hearing, your case will be marked for trial; default cannot result in default judgment or dismissal. For failure to appear at the trial, the case will be in default if the defendant does not appear; and will be dismissed if the plaintiff doesn’t appear.

What about no fault terminations?

No fault terminations will proceed in the normal course.

Say my lease ended August 31, can I come to court without a notice to quit?

If you have received any kind of rental payment post-expiration of lease, you have created a new tenancy. If you have not received payment, you don’t need a notice to quit, you can file a summons in that case.

Should I write for “use and occupancy only”?

Consult with an attorney for a discussion particular to your situation.

Can a Landlord Conduct a Physical Move-Out?

No, this is never allowed. Do not lock out a renter or turn off their utilities. Do not remove appliances or furniture originally included in the rental but not identified in the agreement.

Can I Charge a Late Fee? Can I Report my Renter’s Credit History?

If your renter does not provide both notice and documentation that their non-payment is due to “financial impact from COVID-19”, yes. Your renter has 30 days from the missed payment to provide such documentation. That documentation must use the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development form.

If your renter does provide such documentation, no, you may neither charge a late fee nor report negatively for credit purposes during the moratorium. (Note that the CARES Act imposes additional restrictions on credit reporting and late fees.)

Can I use the Security Deposit to Cover Unpaid Rent?

No, you may not use the security deposit under the eviction moratorium or under existing MA law until the tenancy is over. Then you may use it to cover unpaid rent not lawfully withheld. Contact an attorney before withholding from a security deposit to make sure owed rent was not lawfully withheld.

Can I use Last Month’s Rent to Cover Unpaid Rent?

No, this is expressly disallowed.

Can I use Last Month’s Rent to Cover Unpaid Expenses?

Yes, you may cannibalize last month’s rent to pay for your mortgage, utilities, repairs, and upkeep on the rented premises. You must notify the renter in writing that you are doing so, that the last month’s rent is still considered paid in full, and that the renter is still entitled to full interest for the entirety of the tenancy, however long into the future that may last. Your notice must use the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development form. (As of April 21, not yet available.)

Note that taking this action will increase cash flow but will decrease net income; you will owe interest you have not received. You will not be able to ask for additional last month’s rent.

MassLandlords Recommendation: do not use last month’s rent.

Do Landlords have Foreclosure Protection?

If you are an owner occupy landlord in a building with four units or less, yes, your lender, or the person who bought your building in foreclosure, or their attorney, may not:

  • Publish notice of a foreclosure sale;
  • Sell your building;
  • Enter your premises;
  • Start foreclosure, whether via the courts or privately;
  • File a complaint related to the foreclosure.

Any buildings you do not occupy or which are five units or more are not protected from foreclosure by the MA Eviction Moratorium. If the building was your home but it is currently vacant (e.g., you are living with family) the building is not protected.

Do Landlords Get Mortgage Forbearance?

If you are an owner occupy landlord in a building with four units or less, yes, your lender must accept requests for forbearance:

  • Up to 180 days long;
  • Without additional fees or interest;
  • Without reporting you negatively for credit purposes;
  • Without a balloon payment due at the end of the moratorium.

Any payments missed as part of forbearance will be due at the end of your loan, not at the end of the moratorium, unless you agree otherwise.

To get forbearance, you must affirm a financial impact from COVID-19. You and your lender may enter into another arrangement other than what is listed above if you both agree.

Can I Apply for Mortgage Forbearance After the Moratorium Expires?

No, you would have had to request mortgage forbearance while the moratorium was in effect.

Can I still Get a Reverse Mortgage?

Yes, and unexpectedly the eviction moratorium expanded what constitutes reverse mortgage counseling to include electronic communications.

Who is eligible for EIDL (the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program)?

Businesses throughout the country with fewer than 500 employees, private nonprofits and veterans’ organizations are all eligible for this program. The business applicant has to have been in operation as of Jan. 31, 2020. (source: SBA.gov)

Can sole proprietor landlords qualify for PPP (Paycheck Protection Program), PUA (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance), and/or EIDL?

Sole proprietors are eligible for EIDL if they have been in business since Jan. 31, 2020 (source: NFIB). They may also apply for the Paycheck Protection Plan. (source: creditkarma). Sole proprietors may be able to apply for the PUA.

Where can I find information about the PUA?

You can find more information about the PUA, including how to apply, at Mass.gov.

Are there any risks for a property owner who applies for both a PPP loan and PUA benefits (can you get both)?

According to Forbes, you may be eligible for PUA funds until your PPP funds become available. However, you should not apply for PUA funds if you are receiving PPP funds.

Can we collect back rent once the pandemic is over?

Yes. Once the moratorium is lifted, you can go to court and seek damages.

Can a mayor impose a moratorium on evictions that applies just to their city?

Not really. A city has legal authority only to the extent the state grants it. Eviction is a state legal process. They can potentially levy fines for not following certain local processes in parallel, but they can’t interfere in summary process without a law granting them permission to do so.

What if my tenant is jeopardizing health and safety by pulling out smoke detectors (to smoke in the unit)?

This may be grounds for an essential eviction, though it is quite difficult to prove smoking (and by extension, the smoke detector removal); consult with an attorney.

If I set up a deferral agreement with a tenant, can I take them to court later if they do not pay as agreed?

Yes, once the moratorium is lifted you have recourse. If they are still in the unit, you will have to file summary process. If they have left the unit for some reason, you can take them to small claims court.

Can I ask my tenant for proof of unemployment and use that for future evictions?

Eviction is not decided on the basis of employment or lack thereof. You can ask your tenant for proof of unemployment, and if they demonstrate that they are unemployed due to COVID-19, then you will not be able to impose a late fee or report negatively for credit purposes. You can ask for just about any economic documentation you like (proof of unemployment or loss of income) at any time, but unless you are seeking to charge late fees or report for credit, it will not matter. If you are looking to report for credit, first be sure that you are not also covered under the CARES Act.

Can we discuss payment plans with our tenants or ask them to pay as much as possible as long as we don’t talk about eviction?

You can discuss payment plans, but your tenant should make the first offer. Suggested verbiage is something along the lines of “I’m hoping we can make a plan that works for both of us.” You can also ask them how much they feel they can pay, if they cannot pay the whole amount. See our COVID-19 Resources page, nonpayment section, for detailed talking points.

Can I discuss Cash for Keys with a tenant?

Yes, Cash for Keys is now a viable option for vacating your rental. Read this article to determine if it could work for you.

Can I evict a tenant who missed payments during the state of emergency as soon as the moratorium is up, or must I wait to issue them a notice to quit until they are late again?

Yes. Notices issued before the moratorium may still be good. You may now issue a notice.Consult with an attorney to be sure you’re in compliance with the CDC moratorium.

Can I ask my tenant to apply for RAFT to pay their back rent?

Yes, in the same vein as asking them to set up a payment plan or asking about their financial situation.

Can I return a security deposit to my tenant to help with food security or other bills?

You can return a security deposit at any time.

Can I ask a potential new tenant to see evidence of savings (bank statements) or how they are managing financially during the pandemic?

Yes. In general, you should be asking to see proof of ability to pay before renting an apartment.

Can I forgive back rent owed and issue my tenant a Form 1099?

Yes, but why? It’s just something else you have to do and not get paid for.

Can I amend a lease or rental agreement to refund LMR or SD back to my tenant?

The moratorium provides for returning last month’s rent, but the terms make it worse than holding onto it. Security deposit can be given back at any time. We do not recommend you do either of these.

If my tenant signed a lease and paid the last month’s rent, but then canceled the tenancy before the first of the month, can I keep that last month’s rent as payment on the first month?

Possibly. A lessor has the obligation to cure losses, so if you could rent the apartment to someone else in time, you have to try, and then refund the first renter their money.

What if my tenant is a foreign student who vacated and left the country without paying rent?

You can still file against them in MA court. You may get a default judgment that can be used if they ever try to come back. If you have foreign cosigners, you can pursue that, consult with an attorney if the amount owed is very large.

Can I leave a scheduled rent increase in place, even if the tenant is not paying?

The moratorium covered late fees, notices to quit and eviction. Scheduled rent increases could still take effect during the moratorium, but could not be enforced. The scheduled increase can be included, however, as part of a court action for back rent.

Past Presentations

Webinar: Eviction Moratorium Update

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Eviction Moratorium Horror Stories

To avoid the possibility that rights of parties might be affected during ongoing litigation, we are publishing these statements redacted and anonymously. Journalists who wish to verify can contact MassLandlords staff for additional details or (when permission has been given) introduction to the aggrieved housing provider.

Case ID 16: “[Renter] moved out in the middle of the night. She conveniently left the water in the sink on with a plug. She believes because of governor orders she no longer has to pay back rent.”

“She can’t quit” Landlord sues for breach of contract (not possession), case is pending but expects to be denied, in which case landlords will have no access to the courts whatsoever.

Webinar recorded on Wed 4/22

The Eviction Moratorium Webinar recorded Wednesday April 22 from 12p to 1:15p will be processed and posted soon, along with expanded FAQ. Ticket purchase is required to view the recording.

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112 Responses to Massachusetts Eviction Moratorium Expires: Full Explanation and FAQ

  1. Jo Landers says:

    Hi Doug, do you see anything in the bill prohibiting an LL from reminding a tenant that all rents are still owed, and will be due in full at the end of the emergency, to reinforce that this isn’t carte blanche to stop paying rent?

    Or from meeting with a tenant to modify their lease or rental agreement to close an LMR or SD account and refund it back to the them (or put a percentage to partial rent and keep the rest for other bills; I’ve already offered that to one of my tenants who has a stalled UI claim, so if it’s still stalled on the 1st, she can keep her lights and phone on another month and I can pay the mortgage – there’s still enough pantries open so we aren’t talking about food yet).

  2. Frank H says:

    Based on the above reading it seems that renters who have some government subsidy have no incentive to even comply with advising a “financial impact from COVID-19” since you can’t charge any late fees.
    Does it mean you can do a credit note (not that it has much impact on most such renters)?

  3. Steve Elliott says:

    Thank You for all that you do for Landlords both large & small. Hopefully this will be a wake up call so that next time we visit the State House, more LLs will join us.

  4. kookaburra98@aol.com says:

    Thank You very much for this breakdown. I have couple of questions if you might know the answer. In reading the Moratorium, it appears that you can’t even send a letter or if you do, it can’t state anything about terminating a tenancy? If you are having trouble with a tenant paying and they refuse to speak to you and you want to write a letter to document yourself…. is there anything that you should say or not say to help your case later on? As if the documentation is not there for the Tenant to send you – until it is either 30 days or a document is written they don’t have to even produce anything to you correct?

  5. Corey says:

    This is shameful. Private landlords are now forced to provide for the masses from our own pockets. I have an apartment opening end of this month and will most likely keep it vacant to avoid someone coming in and taking advantage of this disgrace of a bill.

  6. Arthur A Kalotkin says:

    I have a drug user . But proof is not possible. Everyone in the building smells the burning of we presume crack. Has not paid the rent since Jan.. !!!!

  7. Rick Martin says:

    I will be calling an attorney to file litigation against Baker.
    This is just horrific
    State has no authority to intervene in private contracts. Maybe for subsidized housing.
    It is time to let these morons int he State House how angry we can get and vote their sorry butts out of office.
    No court would ever hold up this bill as it violates my constitutional rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
    There is no way that the State can tell me i have to pay my mortgages an suffer financial distress because a tenants cannot pay rent

  8. Frank C says:

    We have learned a great deal in a very short time. Thank you for all you do.
    Please keep up the great work.
    Somehow we must make the Governor and law makers know how terrible these rules are for LL.

  9. rjr says:

    Isn’t it time for a class action suit for landlords against Mass legislation for the lack of fairness, the inequality, contract breaking, minimal attention to any details. They have intentionally and consistently subject property owners (especially small) to undue pain and anguish. Is there a group of attorneys or politicians out there willing bring justice to this unrighteous activity. Many of these property owners are working victims who do not have the resources to fight. They have been beaten down by unfair laws that the unjust lobbies have provoked. It is way beyond fair and borders revolutionary action. I cant wait to sell out of this miserable state.

  10. Akon kamel says:

    very good read, I wish there was more Landlords listening and interested to work together so we can help the small landlords and protect same as the renters. and hopefully create laws that are friendlier for both parties and its a win-win situation.

  11. Rick Martin says:

    What we need now is a good contract law attorney. Since the State has basically intervened in a private contract between two parties, they are now legally responsible for damages. I say we file a class action suit against the Baker administration to make them pay the rents that are due landlords. Since they are illegally denying us a our legal recourse to collect monies owed on a contract, they can be help responsible. This is a breach of contract matter of which the State has no jurisdiction. If needed, we go to Federal Court where it will be overturned and these idiots will have a lot of explaining to do. I have never been so ashamed to be an American in my life. This is a blatant attack on our rights as property owners. SO, it is OK for these people not to pay their legally owed rents yet we have to suffer financially???

  12. PATRICIA B says:

    Wow….I am still surprised that this law is so clearly one-sided with absolutely no recourse for landlords.

    Where I live, a bunch of seniors live in 2-3 families, renting out the other apartment(s) to pay taxes, insurance, maintenance, and their living expenses. With the high taxes around here, I can see that this will domino into taxes not being paid. What will that do to city/town budgets?

    And what happens to the 2-6 (or more) months of loss of income? Write that off on your taxes? Can’t eat a tax deduction.

    I have written to my reps and the governor on this issue. Have gotten nothing beyond a “thanks for your interest” reply.

    Perhaps a sympathetic journalist might want to report on what’s happening on the other side.

  13. Bill says:

    This is a wake up call for all landlords, both getting involved and living below your means. We all have to finance to get in the game, but when your margins are tight and the stuff hits the fan, you get no forgiveness from anyone. You realize your only friend is the MassLandlord Assoc.

  14. john b says:

    This could be the end of the Mom and Pop landlords who only wanted to own and run a
    decent house.

    You,ll never make up the rents you lose now and no one will be evicted this year because of the court backups,and Baker can still extend the Eviction Moratorium for 90 days at a time
    This legislation was war written by and for tenant advocate groups and they got every thing they wanted and more

  15. Sandra says:

    In conclusion, Landloard are the most impacted, which is not fun specially if a renter was already paying a lower rent, I still have to pay the whole mortgage.
    I wonder what will happen if my tenant had until March 31 to move out And additionally she requested an extra month, and can do that max three times, So she should vacate on July 1st, and then we are under this memorandum?
    Thanks

  16. Adam G says:

    I think a bunch of us would like to get together to assist and help financially support a class action lawsuit. Doug, can you coordinate such? Perhaps ask for a vote of how many people would be interested before partaking??

  17. Attorney Daniel Gindes says:

    My reading is that the statute allows communications requesting payment of rent, as long as no mention of sanctions for non-payment are included. You can not threaten to terminate the tenancy or evict, or report to a credit agency, but you can ask for payment. Problems of proof will emerge, so simple short polite WRITTEN requests should be used. This only applies to this statute, not any other law(e.g. the CARES Act).

  18. Karen L says:

    Im confused. My situation is a bit different. I have a tenant who is quite polite and pays the rent but is not working out without getting into it. He is in violation of the lease. Regardless. his lease ends June 30th. My current lease says I have to give him 60 days notice which I have to.

    He makes well into the 6 figures, has a 6 figure bank account and still employed. I still dont want him.

    Can I not renew the lease and ask him to leave before May 1st under the new moratorium laws?

    Thank you.

  19. joe spenoski says:

    Did they even think about the homeowner @ all? Here,s where u find out how good of tenant,s u have!! I can c all kind,s of owner/landlord tenant problem,s. Like everytime they c each other.

  20. Vladimir Khaynovsky says:

    I absolutely agree with Rick. I suggest that MassLandlords would take a lead on legal action while all us, Mass Landlords, pinch in to finance it.

  21. Joe and Jane Property Owner says:

    How is this not an eminent domain taking without just compensation? How are tenants not being told, that if they can pay rent and they don’t that this should be considered theft?

    I am surprised we have not passed a law saying no on will be arrested for stealing, robbing etc if they are affected by covid-19.

    This is a violation of the 5th amendment: No “private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

    By giving landlords zero option to fight anything, this is a violation.

    Eminent domain is the power of the government to take private land for public use. This power is limited by the federal Constitution and by state Constitutions.

    When the government does take private property for a public purpose, it must fairly compensate the owner for the loss.

    Personally, I feel if anyone can afford not to rent a unit at this point, pull it off the market. Not that it will make much difference.

  22. Kyle Mallett says:

    I wrote to the appropriate representatives and delegates, the governor and whatnot just like many of you but this still happened. What do we do now? What’s the next step from here? This is insanity.

  23. william s says:

    If a moratorium can be enacted against an existing law pertaining to housing, then it can be enacted against ANY law! I However, I am not aware of any legal basis or statute that allows for such an action by the legislature. As far as I know, the only way to effect an action that contravenes any existing law is to modify or overturn the law legislatively; i.e., have proposed language for a new law, or for striking down an existing one in its entirety. From where does the legislative and executive authority derive? I know of no omnibus catch-all within the entire body of jurisprudence that allows this. What if there was a rash of shop-lifting, for example, and the prisons were overcrowded? Could there be moratorium on prosecuting these individuals? Clearly, this lop-sided action goes well beyond the authority of the legislature or governor, and should be challenged all the way to the US Supreme Court. Sadly, by the time it ever gets there, a huge amount of unrecoverable rent money will have been lost forever. And Trump’s Court will probably find it all “OK”. Sadly, this is probably only a sign of the unprecedented power and money-grab that has been taking place by the large corporations against the residents of main st. History shows what happens when this goes too far. Remember Marie Antoinette.

  24. william s says:

    Can a landlord who is under the eviction moratorium for non-payment of rent attach personal or other property, and then seize and sell?

  25. Sh says:

    I know this is obviously a last resort. But what if you hand your deed over to the mortgage company. My tenant has refused to pay rent even though he is receiving workman comp and has been well before this started. Says he’s protected and doesn’t have to pay rent. When I sent a notice of sale of property, because I’m done with this LL shit he called the board of health on me. Now have to deal with that and him not paying rent. He has threatened me and the judge will do nothing. Btw it’s an owner occupied duplex. So yes I have zero recourse and I’m the villain because I asked him to pay his rent. Very nice govner baker you really screwed a lot of hard working people. I hope someone does open a class action suit I will join in on that.

  26. David L says:

    For those of you who mentioned a class action lawsuit I would gladly be a part of that. This bill is a disgrace and Baker should be ashamed of himself for signing it. I cannot believe it doesn’t even exclude those who were well into the legal process before COVID-19 was ever a thing. We have one tenant whose last payment was January 8th. She now owes over $6,000 and we had the execution ready to go. It can’t even be served according to this horse shit of a bill. Now this person will stay as long as they can and by the time we get back to court they will have likely taken off….owing roughly $18,000 plus court and legal costs. Who is going to reimburse me for that? Our government should kick in for this. What a disgrace….

  27. Some one who Cares says:

    I can see that there are many people who only think of themselves during this pandemic. There are many individuals who are worst off than landlords. I am sure that you all go home every night and don’t have to worry about where your next meal is coming from, or if your electricity or gas will be shut off because you have to make a choice as to what bill to pay first. Let’s be honest most of the rental units are over priced and most of your tenets sacrifice other things to pay those high rents, in a lot of apartments which aren’t even worth it. Now is a time to show some consideration of your fellow man, even if it hurts a little. Show kindness, not anger and revenge. Walk in someone else’s shoes for a while.
    Thank you
    A compassionate on looker

  28. brian says:

    would like language that once these “tenants” get tossed out in a year there will be a way of tracking their covid tactics so all can beware of them… need to have the ability to screw their credit rating if they took you to the cleaners unjustly

  29. Karen L says:

    I am a landlord and I no longer want to rent. not until at least all of this Corona virus is done. It will be hard losing the income but my health without the stress is worth more. I dont want him to live here anymore. It is owner occupied home.

    His lease runs out in June but I am afraid to renew or month to month. Since it is not an eviction and lease is done June 30th and he makes a huge salary with active job and I have on record 6 figures in his bank account, can I give him notice or non renewal and for him to leave end of lease?

    Can someone please help me with this question? I missed the moratorium webinar and I need to give him notice by end of this month (60 days it says in the lease). I am running out of time. Again, this is not an eviction. It is end of lease.

    Thank you!

  30. James S. says:

    This is horrible. I am on social security and rented my 4 bedroom 3 bath home to relatives because of my health issues.

    I just filed 3 weeks ago a 14 day notice to evict because they owe $26,000 in back rent. They promised to pay through government help but was lying.

    They have had the house siding catch on fire, kicked and punched at least 8 holes in the walls through domestic fights and Have had police action there all the time including a home invasion caused by one minor making a drug deal.

    The police are there often for domestic abuse and I rented to 4 people and now 12-14 people are living there. So now I lose everything.

    I was selling my house to pay off the credit cards I used to pay the mortgage so I was on time when they were not paying rent.

    My only recourse is to file bankruptcy to stop the creditors from harassing me when I can’t pay them and then when my house is sold they will get my proceeds from the sale plus court cost and interest. This is making America Great Again?

    I don’t know if I should cry or give up.

  31. Eddison R says:

    After saving money for almost 3 years, I just got my first home to rent 9 months ago. I was nearly getting into my feet and saving some emergency money. This can kill 3 years of my life. I can believe they can do something like this. I want nothing to do with the real state anymore. I just want to get out of this situation. I was thinking about selling the home. : (

  32. Tenant says:

    Right, because I’m sure every single Landlord that has made a comment here about unfairness so diligently follows MA laws pertaining to tenants rights and their security deposit interests. 😉
    I would just like to remind you that we are ALL in this together. I can totally understand your frustration but for tenants who truly uphold their end of deal and pay their rent on time and take care of someone else’s property beyond expectation loses their job with no help in sight despite the many attempts for aid in this horrific situation is getting nowhere because let’s face it the system is entirely overburdened now has to make sure their family won’t be thrown out onto the street. I now have to familiarize myself with the current laws being passed to ensure our safety and to be honest make sure my landlord is being an upstanding citizen himself because trust me, we’ve had our share of dishonest LL’s before just as many of you have dealt and deal with dishonest tenants. But as I sit here and read this moratorium, I have scrolled through some pretty ignorant comments. I’m confident many of you have honest, hard working tenants trying their best to make rent on time. Tenants who understand this affects you just as much as it affects us and making rent a priority despite the economic hardship we are all currently going through in one way or another. No one is perfect in this situation, nobody here truly knows the others persons story, we all have one….covid19 has caused unmeasurable suffering for millions of people and their families so to sit there and comment about how much this pisses you off or how unfair this is try putting yourself in the tenants shoes, or the legislature’s shoes for that matter—people who are trying to make sure families aren’t homeless due to a pandemic that is completely out of our control. That’s what’s unfair. Compassion is what we need, not judgment.

    Sincerely,

    Tenants who care and are thankful to not be homeless during this global pandemic.

  33. Karen L says:

    Sh – I am so sorry this tenant is torturing you the way he is. I’m new to this community. Just paid for my subscription yesterday. I notice no replies to a lot of postings but I think everyone is scared and pissed off at Governor Baker’s law. I read your post and I just feel so terrible for you. Ive had nothing but not good tenants and I have a new one that I ony wrote a 6 month lease with. I thought thank god only two months left and I get to get rid of him! Nope. I have not had problem with rent payment but he has filled my home up with 3 houses worth of stuff no room to walk, subleased his first month, flooded my kitchen month 2 because he was dumping A LOT of food in the sink and thought the garbage disposal would take care of it and rand the dishwasher at same time. The water had no where to go but flood my kitchen through the floor to the basement and leaked on my late fathers valuable paintings stored away. Month 3 hes been harbouring his girlfriend in my home for one month and I caught her. Theres more to it but now its a matter of omg what is he going to do next. Now I cant ask him to leave. I tired of being a landlord. I am also owner occupied and the income is really not worth it. I lost my mother suddenly, alone and scared and feel my rights have been violated to an extent that I can’t ask an unwanted outsider to leave my home. I’m with you. I just wanted to let you know your not alone. Stay strong. Hopefully this 120 period does not get extended or revised with exceptions. I will say though, an attorney told me on the phone its unfortunate but she stated Massachusetts state laws for tenants override Federal law. Its insane and so unfair to mom and pops like us.

  34. Donald T Doyle says:

    I am absolutely furious over this bill and agree with many commenting it is unconstitutional. I have a 3 family non owner occupied and was completely left out of the mortgage forbearance. It is so one sided. I called Charlie Bakers office, Brendan Crightons, Attorney Generals and the local rep Patricia Haddad to simply ask them what the hell they were thinking when this bill was created, agreed upon and signed into law by our useless Governor. We all need to come together and fight this very bad one sided bill. I am scared after all these years of working hard to maintain this home, provide nice apartments, and build equity and to even think that one terrible unconstitutional rent moratorium bill could possibly take it all away is unacceptable. I am going to join this site and hopefully none of my fellow landlords lose there properties over this. My tenants all paid last month and I hope it continues not only for myself but all the hard working landlords out there. Not sure if this helps but I did call my Bank and spoke to a manager who told me if I was impacted financially they would definitely work with me if a tenant or more could not pay rent due to this virus. I also have some emergency savings and could always pull a little out of 401k. I would sue for all of the owed rent, report them to the credit bureau when it is legal to do so and consider selling after this bill. Good luck and will keep coming back to Masslandlords.net

  35. zhu says:

    Questions:

    1. The renter has 30 days from the missed payment to provide such documentation, what is the documentation proof is needed to send to landlords that would apply as agreement to not pay rent?

    2. What if there is multiple roommates and only one is effected by covid-19?

    3. What if 30 days goes by and you have not received any documentation from tenants?

  36. tonia says:

    Thank you for this update. We need to stand together as small private landlords, and protect OUR rights and property. The governor does not have a right to intrude upon private contracts. Of course, we are compassionate, can work out payment plans if needed. However, to adopt this unconstitutional rent moratorium bill could possibly take it all away is unacceptable. We need to take action against this unjust Governor and his constituents.

  37. Bob F says:

    Filing a lawsuit to have the law overturned and lobbying to modify it IMHO are the best paths to focus on. The protection it provides tenants who can pay rent but don’t, including those that weren’t paying rent prior to the outbreak, some of whom have court ordered judgements and executions against them is totally outrageous and damaging to landlords AND responsible tenants alike. I’m not too keen on a property tax strike as I feel the landlords who have the funds to pay taxes, just as the tenants who can pay their rent, should pay. Unlike a strike against an individual landlord, strikes against cities and towns wouldrequire large numbers to be effective and would polarize the different parties all the more. We’re all in this crisis together, and most of us (I hope) want to do what we can to help those in need. We just don’t want the state needlessly enabling the true deadbeats to exploit us.

  38. Marie k says:

    I would like to find a good lawyer that can take the case and sue the state for violating landlords rights.This is the government responsibility to provide for the people in need,some of them are working and profiting from the virus,some of them owed 7 months rent already and landlords still have to pay the morgage,taxes,water and sewer bills,insurance.It is a shame for the government,most of us are not billionaires.We are day to day private citizens that are working hard to provide for our family.Some of us are frontline workers that are exposing ourselves to the virus.What this state governor shan’t us to :get depressed and become suicidal.A governor can’t shift his responsibilities to a private citizen.Even if we were billionaires they cannot shift their responsibilities to a citizen.We worked hard for what we earned.Wake up and let do a petition,we have to win this battle

  39. Marie k says:

    I Rick!
    I am all in,I would like to join the group to fill a lawsuit.The label Massachusetts has ,is tenant friendly .We let it happen by never standing up for our rights

  40. AMC says:

    The bill should have allowed Landlords to evict where the Tenant cannot demonstrate financial harm due to COVID.

  41. Alex says:

    We have a tenant who decided not to pay rent because “the Governor says he does not have to because of Covid-19”. Our tenant has not lost a job or been directly affected by the virus so why can he get away with not paying his rent (April & May so far) while we still have to pay our bills? Our rights have been violated. What legal recourse do we have?

  42. nickym says:

    I just want to state for the record, as someone renting, I do ret assistance because I am out on a medical leave from work and my son is disabled, not able to swallow food and is losing weight , i have worked for years and do not try to take advantage of my landlord, but truly feel its the other way around. my place i do rent was never even so much as cleaned in the first place, my rent is paid, even if its with subsidized housing. I don’t do drugs either, as there seems to be a stereotype everybody getting assistance must be doing that. The point is, things could be worked out , not dragging me into court with a disabled son who can’t even swallow food. During this terrible pandemic, it is inhumane to put people on the street and I understand a landlords frustration as well not getting paid. I wish people could work together BEFORE court has to be involved. I mind my business and just live, and my son is trying to do the same with medical issues, so the point being, not every landlord is nice

  43. Beth G. says:

    It appears landlords have become the government stimulus for the tenants. Small landlords like myself are “small business owners”. This income is “my job” and how I feed my children and pay my bills. I’m now expected to pay all the costs, including their water/sewer use, without any income coming in. I sympathize with tenants who truly cannot pay but not convinced that’s the majority. One of my tenants is taking full advantage and nothing I can do. In the height of the surge, she wants my husband to take a look at the INTERIOR doorknobs in her apartment. Has never mentioned it before She is the only one living there (as far as I know). I wouldn’t exactly classify this as “an emergency repair”. And she owes me April and now May but has received her tax returns, her stimulus check and gets unemployment. Probably Has made more in last 2 months than when she was working.

  44. Valerie says:

    Hello, I m new to this site. I would like to be contacted if there is an effort to fight this with a class action, or some other legal remedy. Thank you.

  45. HGZ says:

    When will a trial lawyer step up with a Class Action lawsuit.
    – This eviction moratorium is a violation of the Constitution protecting property rights, the unjust taking of private property without fair compensation and without a specific public purpose.
    – A violation of the right to have grievances adjudicated by a court.
    – A violation of contract law where a tenant fails to abide by a rental agreement, whether it is paying rent or other provision of the lease..

    At a minimum, landlords should be compensated for lost rent by the government. And if “bailing out landlords” is politically untenable, then “bailout tenants” with rent payment vouchers for tenants who are able to demonstrate real financial distress directly related to the pandemic and government response to it.

  46. TJ says:

    Does this moratorium apply if the tenant has agreed to leave the property by June 30. This agreement to leave was made before the moratorium.

  47. angela says:

    Shame on landlords. I am disgusted by the comments above. I am a renter who chose to rent so I could put my three children through college. I am expected to keep three months emergency savings for situations like this. Landlords are business owners. If you can’t sustain your apartment building or leased space for three months, then YOU should not be in business. I continue to pay my rent and my landlord still is threatening me. Renters out there, be savvy, know your rights and STAND up for yourselves. Sue for harrassment if your landlord continues this illegal behaviour.

  48. Daniela says:

    I agree with Angela… I am a tenant too but to be fair I understand both sides, the pandemic ruined old way of living for EVERYBODY. But… most of the time tenant have to show proof of income that exceeds the rent 3 times, and if potential tenant cannot come up with that good luck on getting apartment (landlords are fully aware of that and very aggressive about tenants income). Also bank savings are not that good as proof of ability to pay the rent (and I am talking about large monies, thousands of dollars) because they are too “liquid”… I could never get this but whatever… I am not even mentioning the rent price and lease addendums that landlords comes up with, it is hysterical – with every letter of the lease assumes you are going to neglect the agreement and there is a need for court procedures. After signing lease I bet most renters feels that landlord gives the right to rent a beautiful castle in LA-LA land)))))))))))))) I have not seeing one yet but the price tag suggests that you rent a mansion…
    Back to Angela’s comment… if tenant have to come up with three times the rent price then landlord (she is right about the point of business owners) should have same three months as a cushion… Why I am not surprised? Because most of landlords-business owners purchasing properties thinking it is an easy cheesy peezy monies. Guess what? Tha -da!!!! And do not get me started on the fact most landlords never heard about LANDLORD-TENANT law and very surprised that tenants actually have bunch of rights too…ouch, very painful subject for some….
    And for the end piece of my note… Everybody gets a stimulus check (I really feel sorry for those making too much monies-no check for you) so I am sure number of landlords- business owners are getting the$$$$. So please please wipe your tears and put those monies for good use to cover your own expenses (and the unpaid rent if you must, work it out with mortgage companies-they are there to help you). And remember, a lot of Americans lost their businesses too FOREVER, it might make you feel better…
    See? There is always a solution for every problem… Folks, stop to exaggerate and remember every coin has two sides so do not lose the human side because karma will kick you in the butt)))))
    I know there is a sarcasm in my comment but it surely helps the depression))))

  49. Valerie Turner says:

    Can you ask for proof that a tenant has no income whatsoever, including unemployment? I want to know if this law requires tenants so show they have absolutely no income which would be very unusual. I know currently my tenants are still being paid and working remotely but some are leaving soon. Even gig workers are getting unemployment now and everyone is getting the extra $600 a week until July so most tenants should have the some income unless they were paid under the table. I am very considerate of my tenants circumstances but this law seems like it could really get abused.

  50. Rich says:

    This is absolutely a disgrace for Massachusetts. We worked hard to provide a family a beautiful home and they ended up squatting on us now over 6 months. Placing a loss so far over $20k in rent and legal fees. Baker you suck for implementing these moratoriums on us just trying to make a living. I Have a judgement and sheriff papers in hand but can’t do anything. Yet my son is coming home from Asia from serving his country and was to live in the house. Great America it is when squatters have more rights than my son who served in the marines and now has no place to live. Shame on you Baker. I’m discussed with the state of Massachusetts and for what they have caused on my family. If I was made of money I would sue the shit out of Massachusetts. Thanks state house for not one reply to all my letters for help and direction. It’s better to be scum in Massachusetts. You get food stamps, unemployment, free phones and insurance….. what’s wrong with this picture? And I’m sure they are laughing in my house sitting back saying suckers.

  51. Shane says:

    Its funny how many of yall are whining about this im gonna sue lmao you have taken advantage of people for far to long rent is ridiculously high and most of yall are slumlords anyhow take some of that money you squeeze out of minimum wage employees and pay your mortgage i like seeing LL get a taste of their own medicine

  52. JANICE S says:

    I am a new member of this group and basically joined because of the moratorium. I understand the need to protect renters but I don’t see how the state can legally make my tenants be my financial responsibility. I am semi-retired, a widow, and moved to a 3 room in-law apt so that my 2 family house could be a major asset to me in my retirement. Now that same house is a liability to me and costing me money every month. I haven’t seen anyone here mention the “Notice and Certification from Residential Tenant – Financial Hardship Related to COVID-19” form that is on the state website. I am trying to get my unpaying tenant to fill this out monthly because I was hoping having this documentation might be useful if the state does decide to fund this moratorium. Does anyone have any advice on what other kinds of back-up or proof we should be trying to get to help us be able to apply for any funds, if there are any funds available to landlords in the future?

  53. Selrah C. Oyam says:

    It’s only a matter of time before a landlord enacts their own recourse by seizing a squatter who was previously taking advantage of an act of kindness and hangs him by ripping out his veins and arteries and braiding them into ropes strong enough to pin them from ceiling corner to ceiling corner in the apartment they lived in over a year rent free. Perhaps this might send a message to Massachusetts law makers, and the country for that matter? However, it would be a shame if the slag human is never discovered… it would then become quite a mess to clean up.

  54. Greg says:

    small time LL here, been in the game 2 years this July with 2 properties. This bill is outrageous and yes, completely takes control of doing our job as a landlord out of our hands and this hits the small guys like me the hardest. While i do believe there are many situations right now where we have to be flexible, the bill is too broad with no vetting. I have tenants right now who were not working to begin with, living off SS and refuse to pay rent for the f*ck of it – simply because they can right now. I would love any opportunity to get involved in fighting this moratorium. I believe the state of Massachusetts should be responsible for the difference of lost rent and expenditures

  55. Paul says:

    Angela,
    If you are paying your rent none of this applies to you. Most of these posts assume that the landlord is the only one hurt by this law. If that were true it would be a gross violation of our civil liberties but at least Robin Hood Baker could say there was winner (like in a successful bank robbery!) But this law hurts the tenants as much as anyone except for the worst scumbags that have already ruined their lives. The moratorium encourages tenants to rip off their landlord and end up with an eviction and a judgement that will set them down a path most will never recover from. It is not just the landlord that loses. There are no winners here. None of the tenants that I have screened have stopped paying rent. Some have asked for a little more time and I was happy to give it to them. If they find they can’t pay rent they will move, as any honorable person would. I won’t need to evict them. Two of the tenants I inherited from a purchase were already under eviction. One already had the court order and had found an apartment but changed his mind for the moratorium. His judgement will be bigger but he will never pay it. So ,yes, the moratorium helped him steal. The other is a young guy that’s messed up. He would have left owing less than $2000 and we probably wouldn’t have pursued it. Maybe he would have gotten his act together but now he will have an eviction and a judgement. He works in security so it may affect his ability to get a job not to mention an apartment or a car loan. It will affect him the rest of his life. He lost more than he made the landlord lose.

  56. Claire says:

    As a small property owner I have subscribed to the small property owners newsletter for 25 years. Online or in Cambridge.
    Also from another site regarding letting tenants know their financial obligations without stepping in poo:
    During the moratorium period, the EOHED regulations recommend that landlords of residential properties send a written notice of each missed rent payment to their tenants. If a landlord sends such a notice, the notice must include the following language prominently displayed on the first page:

    “THIS IS NOT A NOTICE TO QUIT. YOU ARE NOT BEING EVICTED, AND YOU DO NOT HAVE TO LEAVE YOUR HOME. An emergency law temporarily protects tenants from eviction during the COVID-19 emergency. The purpose of this notice is to make sure you understand the amount of rent you owe to your landlord.”

    For information about resources that may help you pay your rent, you can contact your regional Housing Consumer Education Center. For a list of agencies, see https://www.masshousinginfo.org/regional-agencies. Additional information about resources for tenants is available at https://www.mhp.net/news/2020/resources-for-tenants-during-covid-19-pandemic.”

    “You will not be subject to late fees or a negative report to a credit bureau if you certify to your landlord in writing within 30 days from the missed payment that your non-payment of rent is due to a financial impact from COVID-19. The notice may also include the total balance due under the lease, the remaining term of the lease, the landlord’s contact information, and a reminder that the tenant could face eviction after the COVID-19 state of emergency ends if rent remains unpaid.

  57. Claire says:

    The form impacted tenants must fill out is Notice and Certification from Residential tenant etc and is 5 pages of intrusive information. I for one as a tenant would be pretty freaked out.
    As to being a landlord in this horrible time for all of us I want to add that my tenants are almost attached to my home, have paid late every month (yes I have a late fee clause but have not used it out of kindness because even before the virus times are hard) but otherwise have been ok by tenant standards. Now of course suddenly they claim this and that was wrong but never said so.
    Please research “the free rent trick” and weep

  58. Marie k says:

    Hi Janice, there is a lawyer that filed a sort of class action re: the eviction moratorium at the Supreme Court against the governor, if it gets overturned we will be able to do what is necessary to stop these thieves from rubbing others. I will never understand why the government is putting his responsibilities on private citizens to take care of tenants.The message that elected officials are sending mean : no needs to have self esteem, no needs to provide for your self, stealing and hurting are great things to do.May our Lord and Savior take care of the situation.

  59. Denise Reyes says:

    I am buying a property in July but the tenant that is occupying one of the apartments (multi property) lease is up August 31, 2020 and I do not want to renew his lease. Do I give him a notice of my intentions to not renew and by when/date will I need to do this?

  60. Kalpesh Mehta says:

    REO Property.

    I recently acquired an REO property ( bank foreclosure) through online auction. The previous owner is still living in the property. I have the property deed in my name. The previous owner doesn`t let me in to check the property, nor does he have given me a timeline to vacate the property. I had offered the following options to the previous owner.

    1) Sign a short term, month to month rental,approx 3 months, till he is able to figure out his next steps. From what I know, he is hunting for a new place to buy. He has neither accepted or declined to sign a lease.
    2) I had also offered him Cash for keys, but again, there is no communication.

    I do understand the situation , he is in and I want to work out an arrangement, that is win-win to both.

  61. Laurie Durkan says:

    I am having a serious problem, my mother went into the hospital with a stroke and a feeding tube had to be administered, I am the owner of the home but she has claimed a life tenancy, when my mother was taken out by ambulance, my ex-husband barricaded himself into my mother’s part of the house and now will not leave. He does not have a lease and never was a tenant, I have the deed with my name on it. I go to the police station to get him out and they tell me to get a court order. Is this an essential eviction, I need to live there, I am pretty much homeless right now (staying with friends). What can I do?

    Laurie D.

  62. Laurie Durkan says:

    I am having a serious problem, my mother went into the hospital with a stroke and a feeding tube had to be administered, I am the owner of the home but she has claimed a life tenancy, when my mother was taken out by ambulance, my ex-husband barricaded himself into my mother’s part of the house and now will not leave. He does not have a lease and never was a tenant, I have the deed with my name on it. I go to the police station to get him out and they tell me to get a court order. Is this an essential eviction, I need to live there, I am pretty much homeless right now (staying with friends). What can I do?

    Laurie D.

  63. Tony says:

    Can I have a collection agency send a demand letter for back rent during the moratorium. Its not a notice to quit of a threat that they will be evicted. Its just a letter to collect the 4 months late rent. The moratorium law as I see it says we cant evict or send notices to quit. it doesn’t say we cant use a collection agency to collect past rent.
    What are your thoughts ?

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  65. Kathy Kergaravat says:

    How does this apply to landlords who want to SELL their property?

    My husband has stage IV cancer and time is of the essence. The single-family house that has been in his family for more than 50 years is too much for us to manage. Since the current tenants have no written/signed lease agreement, we did inform them of our intent to sell and offered them first dibs at it, since they were interested in buying. Since they are unable to obtain conventional funding and we can’t assume a mortgage/loan and do an owner-financing situation for them, we have no choice but to sell.

    Since the real estate market is back up and running and precautions are still in effect, we are assuming that we can put it on the market, but fear that the tenants may try to prevent us from showing the house and/or doing any repairs, etc.

    We have not seen the inside of our house in over a year! Now we are backed into a corner. 🙁

  66. Tessa says:

    Hello does anyone know how this would applied to tenant at will, with no lease, just renting a room. I gave him eviction paperwork/ notice to quit on March 1st, so he’d hopefully not be outside in the winter. He gets very hostile in the home and tends to break things when in that mood. Will I be able to evict immediately upon the lifting of the moratorium, like even day of? Or can I do something else now to have him out sooner ?

  67. Nancy Medeiros says:

    My tenant brought in roaches. We have had the exterminator treat the apartment a couple of months ago and it appeared to clear up. However, the tenant says they are back. We want to evict the tenant with their infested belongings so that we can treat the entire vacant apartment and ensure the other apartments do not become infected. Can i ask them to leave by August 31st?? Moratorium will be over by then unless extended.

  68. Addie says:

    Hello Mass landlords unfortunateLy we have to carry the burden of fiscal responsibility of the state. I just want access to the law I am an owner occupied landlord. Similar story to most of you. The tenants have this false idea they don’t have to pay rent anymore and we have to wait till this very one sided moratorium ends. Then if we get lucky we might get our day in fairness but the reality is the tenants have become more careless and irresponsible and we wont be able to recover. I have applied to all those resources and been denied any help and my credit score is 789. If there is a politician readings we are getting stretched thin and we need help. I just want fair access to the law if the state wants to help the citizens then they should be fiscally responsible and pay us landlords for what is rightfully ours. Some of us are going to be homeless with our tenants.

  69. Lisa Lee says:

    Does the moratorium cover short term rentals like a few weeks on the Cape? I ask because our 2-week August rental (already paid for) was abruptly cancelled last night…the owner of the house told us the tenant is refusing to leave this beach house citing the covid eviction moratorium! I am gobsmacked.
    Pls advise if anyone has insight.

  70. Michelle says:

    If you have a month to month tenancy at will, can you give your tenants a letter dated July 31 or Aug 1 stating that as of Sept 1, 2020 you will be terminating the tenancy-at-will? The moratorium is supposed to end Aug 18th at midnight so at that point at the end of the month they would no longer be under the moratorium. It’s not sending a notice to quit. Is that legal? Then you could deal with non-payment of rent in small claims court?

  71. Bruce says:

    I believe there is a bill be introduced by One of the state reps that extends this moratorium for a year!!!

  72. Bruce says:

    I have a tenant renting a Lower level two room set She has a shared bathroom & kitchen. She moved in on May1,2019. She started to have problems paying rent beginning in Nov,2019. There was always a host of reasons ranging from the cat needed the vet to her car needed repairs. She stopped paying all together on March 1 2020. Her reason was that she didn’t have central heat. Her roomed are heat with two Electric console Heaters with emergency shut offs and thermostat. They more than meet the states sanitary code. On April 19, 2020 I served her an eviction notice. Now this she has been working, got her stimulus check and never send me a COVID-19 hardship letter or any other written complaint. My lawyer said that I can’t do much of anything until this moratorium is lifted. I have been told by other landlords that they have tenants who stopped paying as well. What was Baker thinking?????

  73. Mary says:

    Im supposed to sell the house on July 31 now my tenant isnt moving out, isn’t paying rent stating pandemic – Meanwhile she is running around going to restaurants, taking vacations and having a grand old time. Has anyone called or written Baker about this? I think we all need to inundate Baker with letters emails and phone calls so this is not extended.

  74. Bruce says:

    Mary I have the same exact problem. What’s worse is that you can’t do anything but send a late notice. You can’t even ask them to move. On the Cape and in other coastal towns, people are over staying their seasonal rental ended in May, they are rent free on the water until August, 18 if the Baker doesn’t extent the moritorium. Moreover, Me and many other landlords have open rooms and apartments! I’ll be dammed if I rent anything until this ends. Mary, I have a meeting with a LAwyer coming up, I’ll post what was said. Also, this order is being challenged in court by a couple of landlords. Google “ landlords challenge moritorium
    Best Regards

  75. Sasvi says:

    My apartment community is not extending my lease which ends by Aug 31st. They are nit even telling me the reason. I asked to extend atleast for one more year because of this Pandemic. They are not even telling me the reason and asking to vacate by Aug 31st. Is this legal.

  76. martha says:

    We have situation where a person asked to stay in a trailer we had on the property for two weeks and then wouldn’t leave so we filed an eviction in March 2019. The judge ordered the eviction in June 2019. The uninvited guest appealed and the case was heard by appellate court in December 2019. The decision in our favor was made in May 2020! Guess who is still in the trailer and gets to stay till October 19, 2020. And we worry about an extension of eviction after that! We learned this person has been evicted many times by others in the community with no trespass orders and assault charges on the record and now we are the victims of this moratorium. Not to mention we have 3 children on the property. This is wrong and should be fought. Very helpless situation.

  77. Sandra Colatosti says:

    NYS administrative judge just suspended all evictions indefinitely after the legislature passed a law permitting evictions for tenants not suffering covid-related financial hardship. When is this ever going to end? Landlords must unite to end this travesty of injustice.

  78. No way says:

    The is utter bullshyt. Tenant does not need to pay and they can’t be evicted, but the landlord needs to continue paying the mortgage and the taxes and the water bill – with what? What an effing disgrace. There are no protection for landlords.

  79. Ryan T says:

    I’m in my early 30s and have built up to about a 20 unit portfolio over the last 12 years or so. This income made up about 75% of my actual income BEFORE pre-covid. My second job is gone and probably not coming back. I had been leveraging my equity in these properties for years to buy more. I have an angry tenant who is running the water 24/7 in one of the units and my last water and sewer bill for one of my buildings for the quarter was $11k! I fought the town but they only would reduce the bill by about 2500. I have already had 5/20 tenants completely stop paying, and with the increased utility bills and my mortgages (I have 6 mortgages currently) I am now LOSING money every month. I can’t qualify for unemployment because of this. I’ve been working my entire life essentially to build up to this and because of this bill I’m at serious risk of losing everything basically overnight. Tenants are buying new cars and flat screen TVs. One of my GOOD tenants even told me they overheard several others talking about “You know we DON’T Even HAVE to pay rent now???”. This is an absolute abomination and a perversion of our rights as Americans. I have never in my life felt politically inclined until this. If even ONE more tenant stops completely paying it’s enough to break me. I’ve eaten through half of my cash reserves already, and had to liquidate most of my equities and other savings. I’ll be bankrupt by 2021. You KNOW Baker is going to extend in October another 90 days. When evictions do come back the backlog will be immense and it could take months more to ever get in front of a judge. I’ve been through the process several times before, and know even when you get that judgement, GOOD LUCK every seeing a dime back. It won’t even be worth it. Cash for keys doesn’t help either right now because even if you pay a tenant to leave, you’ll have no idea what the incoming tenants intentions are. I even got an SBA EIDL to go through for about 11k, but that just paid ONE of my utility bills. I can’t believe this happened like this. The government is bailing out EVERYONE except for landlords. I feel for anyone else in this situation, we HAVE to do something. We need to get some press on mom and pop landlords who are in this as a career, these are the people that are getting absolutely buried by this. Almost HALF of ALL rentals in this country are provided by smaller individual landlords. The majority of us are NOT wealthy. What do people think is going to happen if we all go belly up? It will be an absolute economic disaster for this country. Then watch as the government funds the large real estate equities to come in and buy up all of our foreclosed property for pennies on the dollar. This is a corporate takeover of housing as far as I’m concerned. Absolutely terrifying times.

  80. Tinka says:

    If I am renting a room to a couple out of the apartment I am a tender of and they stopped paying there rent. Can I make them leave after 30 dats if not paying rent. I am renting this room with my landlords knowledge. I can not afford the full rent otherwise. So I rented this room so my child and I Are not homeless and now the couple will not pay there portion. There income has not changed due to covid. What are my options ?

  81. Thomas Geis says:

    I have sat through multiple court cases. The damages you seek are unlikely to be collected on. The court has generally ruled the person doesn’t have enough money so doesn’t have to pay. You can keep the case open for 20 years but it is not the responsibility of the court to follow up. It becomes your job to keep the case going for the 20 years.

  82. Marco Yanitelli says:

    I have paid my rent on time every single month for 8 years without incident. My landlord doesn’t like me anymore because I have asked to have my bathroom fixed for 7 years now after a ceiling fan literally exploded and fused to the floor of the shower. So he finally fixes it and then sends me a notice to quit for cause claiming I am a danger and thus not entitled to moratorium protection. I am a single father with a daughter who is going to be a senior this year and I planned on her graduating from the same high school she has gone to from the start. This guy just has a personal issue with me, doesn’t like me, and wants me out. Fine im month to month but like I said EIGHT YEARS not one single missed payment not one single late payment. He has no support at all for his claim except some affidavits signed by some employees of his that I have never even met.
    In addition he listed my daughter, my mother, and my ex wife (its true) as people who needed to vacate by Aug 31st. My ex wife doesn’t live there, My daughter is just a 17 year old girl with no involvement at all with him or any of his staff, and my mother does not live there either, she has rented an office next door for several years also without incident or non payment. This is just personal for this guy. He finally fixes my shower and now he wants me out.
    I know he cant do it, he misfiled his notice anyway because I pay rent 15th to 15th why would I vacate on the 1st? He said he wont cash my rent checks but I paid him with money orders. He even paid for a girl in the building to try and get a 258 restraining order against me over hysterically bogus reasons which the judge saw through and dismissed. There is no order against me and I have no record of ever being dangerous or being arrested or even getting a speeding ticket in my entire life.
    However, the notice to quit did not go away with the dismissal of his conspiratorial attempt at obtaining that restraining order. I mean I know it isn’t worth the paper its written on but I still have to deal with it, I still have legal costs from my defense in court, and I will still incur additional costs because of his actions. What he has done is CRIMINAL but it seems unlikely anyone will ever do anything about that. He wont succeed in getting rid of me now until the moratorium is lifted. I want advice on this but all I see is lack of payment complaints. I even paid my rent yesterday for the month of aug 15 to sept 15th.
    What happens to a person like me who has been a good tenant for almost a decade and the landlord suddenly starts pulling all kinds of crap to get rid of me? There has been a hole in my ceiling for years as well which he has never bothered to even try and fix- its several feet in diameter but I figured he would get to it. I paid to have the kitchen remolded personally. Does he just want me out so he can jack up the rent? I’m willing to pay more but I have never been asked beyond normal rent increases.
    This is giving me nightmares. I’m on a fixed income via disability and I have a daughter to protect. I have no idea where I would go or how I would be able to move my belongings almost all my money goes to rent and food. I don’t have savings and this guy is just making my life hell. I had to pay for a lawyer to void that restraining order. What do I do now? What do I do about this landlord? How do I get my costs back from him – legal fees I should never have had to pay shown by both my win in court and my perpetual on time payment of rent. What does he have against my mother? Seriously this guy is trying to steamroll me with his wealth and beyond what I have done I don’t have the resources to fight him.

  83. Amanda Goodson says:

    This is just pure insanity! My tenants are in a tenant at will lease and we’re planning to move out in April because I had put the house up for sale. Everything was all ready to go! Then once they found out about the moratorium, they stopped paying in March as soon as they found out they couldn’t get evicted and, of course, never moved out! Their income was never negatively effected by this virus as I know their employer! In fact, they made more by receiving the Stimulus! They are just dirt bags taking advantage of a free ride at my expense! I worked hard for this property and I could stand to loose it! All I want is to sell it and be done but I can’t! I live in Florida and they have loosened the eviction restrictions. Down here, if the tenant cannot prove that the are not able to pay due to impact related to Covid, they are out! That seems to be a little more fair! What resources do I have as a landlord who is loosing income because of someone else’s supposed “virus related” financial impact? Am I going to get a bail out? Are my legal fees going to be paid for when I have to sue my tenant for lost rent that I’m never going to receive? I think not! Just more money out of my pocket for nothing! Im pretty sure I’m still going to have to pay property taxes too! I’m just 1 person who owns 1 rental home, not a millionaire! I just can’t wrap my head around how it’s my right as an American citizen to own property but yet the government can dictate what I can and cannot do with it. So do I really own it or do they???

  84. Helen says:

    I am not even a landlord, just a tenant, but before all this started I had started to sublet my apartment as I could no longer stay there. The subletter has stopped paying the rent, and is just taking advantage of this moratorium, though I have continued to pay the landlord because I do not want any problems with them. I recently broke my lease with the landlord, and will pay the lease break penalty, but I have no idea what to do if the subletter will not leave. I can’t serve them notice or do anything. I am not made of money, and I am really in a bind.

  85. A disgruntled homeowner says:

    I live in a house where we have an ongoing family legal case. We cannot evict the problem family member because of this and he has placed a restraining order on the other family member and has effectively made him homeless.

    We cannot do anything bar selling our home until October 17th and we’re enduring mental abuse in the meantime. I thoroughly enjoy how this has screwed over domestic violence/abuse victims who can’t evict problem individuals, let alone get payed rent from them until oct 17th.

    Don’t vote baker again.

  86. Rob says:

    I think a lot of people don’t realize the long term impact when the moratorium ends. For all new tenants- landlords should be requiring proof of rent paid in the form of canceled checks for second and third quarter 2020 in addition to thorough vetting and first, last and security.

  87. Bruce says:

    I know landlords who are seriously considering turning their apartments into Condominiums and be done with it. They fear this will happen again and again and again! Other landlords are looking at demanding a much more money coming in

  88. Jerry says:

    I am a landlord and I use to rent to people with lower credit scores and lax on the application. Because of the judges in this state and this eviction moratorium, I am very strict and need a score of 650 and 2 solid years at career. I have several units vacant and they will stay that way until the moratorium lifts. This in the long term going to hurt the poor. It’s punishing me but I’ll get thru this.

  89. Bruce says:

    I have two nice rooms and an upstairs apartment. One deadbeat in one of the Roos living there. The apartment and room will stay vacant. They’re located in an ideal location and I turn away several inquiries a month. After the moratorium, I will vet everyone to the gill and get three months and a security up front

  90. Irina says:

    I am a landlord and want to thank everybody for sharing their experiences and helps me to realize I am not the only one who is dealing with NON-paying tenants

    My tenants are not affected by COVID have jobs but chose not to pay becauseIs they can.
    I understand there is much bigger tenants network where they talk to each other and have lawyers who tell them they do not have to worry about paying rent

    Is there anyway to report delinquent rent to the credit agencies and how?
    Any advise is appreciated,
    Thanks

  91. Anil says:

    I have a tenant at will has not paid rent by choice, signed the CDC declaration but does not meet all the criteria. With the MA moratorium expiring does anyone know of how to proceed 14 day notice to quit ?

  92. Anil says:

    Thank you for the information

    I am a landlord and tenant has not paid rent despite being able to, Tenant signed the CDC declaration however, do not meet ALL the requirements does anyone know if can file for eviction for non payment as MA moratorium is set to expire ?

    Thank you

  93. Edward A says:

    I have a deadbeat tenant who hasn’t paid rent now since March. And it has nothing to do with Covid. My eviction process began before the pandemic. I already paid the sheriff to deliver a 30 day notice back in early March. Why do I have to start over with a “14 day notice to quit”?

  94. Todd Olson says:

    I bought a bank owned property but wasn’t able to close because the land bank was basically closed.They need an approval of foreclosure documents. Will I be able to close now?

  95. Jim Grainger says:

    I have a long term lease in place with my current tenants where I am allowed to give notice that I am not renewing them as long as it’s during the summer and 1 year in advance. I gave this notice during the pandemic while the morotorium was still active.

    Did I mess up?

    They are saying I was legally not allowed to send notice and thus will have to wait an additional year to give notice so long as Covid does not interfere again.

    Any thoughts?

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