A few months back we talked about navigating the pandemic as a landlord. Here’s some updated information on that topic.
In April Massachusetts put a moratorium on evictions. Under this state law, evictions are broken into two categories: essential and nonessential. Essential evictions represent a very small category of cases including crimes endangering the health and safety or the people involved. Most cases are considered nonessential currently, including failure to pay rent, regardless if a tenant was behind on payments before the moratorium came into action.
Communication between tenants and landlords is still important and encouraged. If a landlord does plan to reach out to their tenants in written form, there is a guide for specific language that must be used in order to keep the message clear and to protect the landlord from being accused of violating the COVID-19 emergency statute.
Tenants are still obligated to pay their rent; the money continues to be owed when the moratorium is lifted. This is not a law of rent forgiveness. They should be encouraged to pay even a small portion towards rent to avoid a huge lump sum due in the end.
At the end of the day, a lease is still a contract and if tenants attempt to avoid the money that is owed by moving, they would be breaching contract. Whatever is owed is still owed, and landlords can take action against the tenant for the breach.
For more information about navigating the pandemic as a landlord, call us at (781) 391-1900.
Monday is an important day in MA because it’s when we start to roll out. Over at Stiles Law we’ve finalized our protocols on how we’re going to operate while still maintaining that the general public can’t enter our building. The outdoor office desk remains open.
If you need help with protocols for your business and how to roll your team back in, call us at 781-391-1900 to talk to Brian from our business team.
Our friends Dan and Jess at Levitate have masks if you’re looking for some.
Why wear a mask? Dr Joe is a guest today to talk about being an asymptomatic carrier and using masks to protect others.
Coming to you from the outdoor drive-through closing area at Stiles Law is an update on RON or Remote Online Notarization, which we had a video about a few weeks back. Massachusetts legislature passed what they’re calling Remote Ink Notarization (RIN). This helps us with handling notarization remotely. So contact us to take care of your real estate transactions or estate plans that have been on hold at (781) 319-1900.
Buying now? What a strange spring market. Our economy is driven by real estate and although it has been somewhat disrupted, the market is still strong.
What to do if you’re looking to enter the market now as a buyer:
Be safe, not only for yourself and your family but also for your real estate professionals and your seller. Looking into vacant homes or new construction? Great. But if you’re looking for property with people living there, be super safe and understanding.
Limit in-person interaction with the seller as much as you can. Make sure your first offer is a good offer. This is no time to be low-balling; there is still high demand for long-term properties. You don’t want your offer to look foolish.
Trust your real estate professional. This is not a do-it-yourself type of situation, especially now. It’s a volatile and difficult time to navigate the market alone.
Be respectful and reasonable. Don’t expect perfection in the negotiation and balance of the transaction. Present your offer and behave as if you were the seller.
If you have any questions about buying a home, contact us by calling (781) 319-1900.
Stiles Law, with offices located in Boston and Marshfield, Massachusetts, is a firm concentrating in real estate conveyancing and mortgage lending services, representing buyers, sellers, borrowers, banks, mortgage companies, investors, builders and developers in all of their real estate and mortgage transactions. Stiles Law serves all areas of eastern Massachusetts–the North Shore, Boston, and Cape Cod, in addition to the entire South Shore, including: Plymouth, Kingston, Duxbury, Hanover, Pembroke, Marshfield, Scituate, Norwell, Cohasset, Hull, Hingham, Weymouth, Braintree, and Quincy.
If you are thinking about selling your home this spring, first:
Reconsider, because of the current state of the world. Reframe your timeline and think of this as your December: time to purge and get ready to list in 60-90 days.
Prepare for selling by arranging for your real estate professional to start advising you. “Coming soon” is a great strategy. Start to build demand and get people thinking about your house.
Do a home inspection sooner rather than later. This will help you to expect what the buyer’s inspector might see, and get ahead of it.
Have a sign in your yard, be visible. Do minor repairs because professional service providers attract the interest of those walking by who could include your buyer.
Now is a great time to purge. Create three piles: keep, give away, and throw away.
You don’t have to price your home now since you’re not officially marketing it yet. The market is different now than it will be in 60-90 days or when demand is at its peek, perhaps once we get closer to normal.
Look forward to the New Spring. The market will be ready for you eventually.
If you have any questions about selling your home, contact us by calling (781) 319-1900.