What The Eviction Moratorium Means for Landlords
By now, you have probably heard that Massachusetts’ eviction moratorium, prohibiting evictions of all kinds, except in the most dire of circumstances, will expire tomorrow. That means a few things. First, the CDC Moratorium becomes effective through the end of the year. For tenants who qualify and fill out the necessary paperwork they may continue to avoid eviction, but for everyone else, if the tenant has not paid rent, landlords may start to send notices to quit. The CDC moratorium also has no applicability to evictions for something other than non-payment of rent. If a landlord is selling a property and needs to evict tenants, then landlords can send a thirty day notice to quit.
The procedure for commencing a summary process has changed slightly. Instead of selecting a date for the hearing, landlords must now put “TBD” on the summons and complaint for summary process. The Court is not scheduling matters on a two-tier basis. During the first tier, parties are required to meet with a housing specialists to try and resolve the case, assess whether any funds might be available to pay some or all of rent outstanding and to determine whether the CDC moratorium is applicable. If the case cannot be resolved and is not barred by the moratorium, then the parties will be assigned a trial date within 14 days after the first tier meeting. Existing cases will receive priority. It is not clear how many cases housing specialists will be able to deal with during any given week, and at present, there is no estimate as to how long it will take to get a first tier meeting.
All in all, evictions are starting, but if you do not have a case in progress already, it will take time before your case gets to court and you get a resolution. Patience will certainly be a critical piece.