Lawmakers in Massachusetts have approved a ban on foreclosures and evictions, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation ensures housing stability during the coronavirus outbreak and helping allow people to stay home.
The bill prohibits landlords from filing eviction cases against renters and/or small businesses, and banks from foreclosing on mortgage-holders. This bill is in effect as long as Massachusetts remains in a state of emergency.
Representative Aaron Michlewitz and Senator Brendan Crighton helped steer the bill through Legislature, and stated that the legislation “will offer much-needed relief to thousands of renters, homeowners, and small businesses across the Commonwealth.”
In addition, landlords will be banned from issuing late fees and reports to credit agencies for nonpayment of rent. This is given that the tenant offers notice and documentation to the landlord within 30 days of the missed rent that the non-payment was related to a financial impact from COVID-19.
The bill is considered one of the strongest in the country and will be in effect until 45 days after the COVID-19 Emergency is lifted by Governor Baker, or four months, whichever is earliest. Baker is permitted to extend the law for 90-day increments.
However, the bill would still allow evictions for actions involving allegations of criminal activity.