State Eviction and Foreclosure Moratorium
The Baker Administration signed an eviction and foreclosure moratorium on April 20 that set to end August 18. The moratorium has been extended through October 17.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced a federal moratorium on residential evictions on September 4 that would run until the end of the calendar year. We will keep you updated as more information is made available, but in the meantime here are state and local resources for rental assistance to stay up on rent.
What does this mean for residents in your community?
All nonessential evictions are not allowed during the moratorium – housing courts cannot file for eviction and landlords cannot post eviction notices. Although tenants are encouraged to pay what they can (see rental assistance programs), the rent tenants are unable to pay will not be charged late fees if tenant provides a notice to the landlord. Appropriate forms must be completed by tenant and submitted to landlord each month the tenant cannot pay in order for the tenant's credit not to be affected during the moratorium. The moratorium covers residential as well as small business evictions – 150 or fewer employees and businesses that are not part of a franchise. For a detailed explanation on the moratorium, visit CHAPA’s update.
MHP has also compiled some suggestions for resources that tenants can use if they are concerned about being able to pay their rent or stay in their rental units. We also are providing some resources for other issues that may arise, such as how to apply for Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) benefits and unemployment.
Important documentation for tenants and landlords
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), housed within the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED), has created a section on the website to provide all important forms for tenants and landlords during the moratorium. The Mass Law Reform Institute has also posted guidance on MassLegalHelp.org.
Forms and instructions for tenants
- Form of Notice and Documentation -- This form is self-documentation explaining inability to pay rent. Once completed, this form must be sent to landlord or landlord management agency within 30 days after the rent is due. Tenant can email or mail the form.
- Instructions for filing our Form of Notice and Documentation -- This provides tenants with instructions on how to fill the form out, what to do with it once it is filled out, and other important information.
Forms and instructions for landlords
- Notice to Tenant on Use of Advance Rent Payment -- Landlords that need to use tenant’s last month rent during this time because tenant cannot pay must complete this form and notify tenant.
Full text of the moratorium can be found here.
Foreclosure moratorium for homeowners
The moratorium also temporarily prohibits foreclosure on 1-4 unit owner occupied residential properties. Borrowers experiencing financial impact from the crisis and unable to pay mortgage can obtain a forbearance on their mortgage payments for up to 180 days. All mortgages in the state are eligible but homeowners must contact their borrowers.
EOHED developed a FAQ on the foreclosure moratorium and forbearance period.
The City of Boston has also partnered with 12 of the largest housing lenders in Boston to offer at least three months of deferred mortgage payments for homeowners who contact them and demonstrate they have been financially impacted by the public health crisis. You can read more the partnership here or by visiting the Boston Home Center's website.