Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures Offers Protection to Some Individuals, Small Businesses and Nonprofits
A bill was signed into law by Governor Baker on Monday (April 21, 2020) that places a moratorium on eviction and foreclosure actions related to residential property and includes limited protections for small businesses. Small businesses, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, with fewer than 150 full-time equivalent employees that operate only in Massachusetts and are not publicly traded are protected by the statute.
Continue reading to learn more about key provisions in the law.
UPDATE January 28, 2021:
The Massachusetts moratorium on evictions, passed in April 2020 in response to the pandemic, expired on October 17, 2020. At that time, the federal moratorium on evictions ordered by the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) – which is much more narrow than the Massachusetts moratorium – became effective in the state. The CDC order applies only to tenants who qualify under certain criteria, which includes, among other things, inability to pay rent due to substantial loss of income, lay-offs, or extraordinary medical expenses, and making best efforts to obtain governmental assistance for rent or housing. The CDC order was recently extended by the Biden administration to expire on March 31, 2021. Further information on the CDC order can be found here: https://www.mass.gov/info-deta....
A federal moratorium on foreclosures of certain federally-backed single-family mortgages imposed by federal housing agencies remains in effect until February 28, 2021.
UPDATE: On July 21, Governor Baker extended the current moratorium on evictions of residents and certain small businesses and non-profits and residential foreclosures in Massachusetts for an additional 60 days. The moratorium will now expire on October 17. The moratorium was originally set to expire on August 18, but the law passed by the legislature in April provided that the Governor could extend it in increments of not more than 90 days each, but no later than 45 days after the COVID-19 emergency declaration is lifted.
Click here to view the extension announcement.
UPDATE: On April 24, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, as directed by the Act, issued regulations with guidance for landlords and tenants on complying with the Act, as well as forms and recommendations for notice and documentation that non-payment of rent or mortgage payments is due to a financial impact from COVID-19.