Covid 19 and Housing
The Department of Housing and Community Development has created a Notice to Quit Requirements and Resources for Landlords flyer (CLICK HERE) that provides information on new requirements regarding the issuance of Notice to Quit (Ch. 257 of the Acts of 2020) and the resources that are available through the Eviction Diversion Initiative for certain eligible landlords. The agency has been working with statewide landlord and real estate organizations to distribute relevant information to landlords across the state.
On December 31, Governor Baker signed into law Chapter 257 of the Acts of 2020, which makes important changes to summary process rules and procedures that will be in effect until the end of the COVID-19 state of emergency. Please take note of the following new requirements:
A notice to quit for nonpayment of rent given in writing by a landlord to a residential tenant pursuant to section 11 or section 12 of said chapter 186 of the General Laws must be accompanied by a form with certain information specified in the statute. The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) is required by the law to create and make this form available. The form can be found at mass.gov/noticetoquit.
The new law also requires a landlord to send to EOHED electronically a copy of any notice to quit for nonpayment of rent given in writing to a residential tenant pursuant to said section 11 or said section 12 of said chapter 186. EOHED has created a portal for landlords to upload the required electronic copy of the notice to quit. The portal for upload also can be found at mass.gov/noticetoquit
The new law also requires EOHED to promulgate emergency regulations implementing these provisions of the new law. The emergency regulations were filed with the Secretary of State, and became effective, on December 31. A copy of the regulations, as well as a link to the new law, are available at mass.gov/noticetoquit.
The flyer also provides important information on resources that are available to landlords through the Eviction Diversion Initiative. These resources include:
New rules that allow landlords who own less than 20 units of housing to directly apply for the state’s assistance programs (RAFT/ERMA) with the consent of the tenant. Landlords can find their local agency here.
Legal assistance to low-income owner-occupants of 2 and 3 family homes, the Volunteer Lawyers Project will provide legal assistance with filing an eviction case related to COVID-19.
Free mediation between landlords and tenants for COVID-19 related lease disputes in addition to the summary process cases referred through the courts.
More information on resources available through the Eviction Diversion Initiative is available at www.mass.gov/CovidHousingHelp