Mark Stiles spoke with the folks at WATD to discuss how COVID-19 has been changing and transforming the real estate industry locally. He touches on Stiles Law’s use of the drive-through option to handle refinance closings, remote ink sign notarizations, how his team has adapted in order to succeed, and the decline of the open house in our current climate and perhaps for good. Listen for more.
If you have any questions contact us by calling (781) 319-1900.
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.
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.
We are anxiously awaiting state legislation to allow us to notarize documents virtually. At present, we are still required to meet people face-to-face to get this done. Encourage MA state reps to push through with RON or “Remote Online Notary” so we can allow everyone to do closings from the safety of their homes.
As we mentioned in the past, keep vigilant about scams! Especially regarding the Payroll Protection Program. For information about this go to www.SBA.gov NOT www.SBA.com. Always double check the URL, this is an easy way to get scammed.
In other news, we’re pausing on estate planning documents for now. We can absolutely chat about your hopes and dreams while we wait, and when RON becomes available, we can facilitate those more readily. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for help regarding estate planning.
If you have any other questions, contact us by calling (781) 319-1900. Stay safe.
In these ever-changing times, we’ve been updating almost daily on our Facebook page. Check us out here.
We’ve been taking in information from some smart people over at the Dr. Joe Show about protocols and how to handle this virus. Something really important is to let others know who is sick. Don’t keep it on the “DL,” everyone needs to know if they have had contact with someone who tests positive so that they can protect others. Keeping that information secret will not help flatten the curve.
Now, a note to landlords: a lot of our tenants will be losing their jobs soon. How can we handle this? First and foremost, make sure to communicate with them and ask how they are doing. See what you can do to help. Secondly, you should talk about how to proceed in light of the current and near future hardships. Work together to deal with rent and mortgage and be open. Perhaps figure out what they can afford and worry about the rest later.
On a final note, we were a sponsor for the annual Marshfield Education 5K. As a result of this no longer happening, we have a lot of unused Gatorades. Since the virus may come with a heavy bout of dehydration, we would be happy to deliver these extra drinks to anyone in need of them.
If you’re feeling the symptoms, it’s Tylenol, vitamin C and hydration.
While practicing safe spacing, we’re available for your conversations virtually. No obligations. If you have any questions or concerns, contact us by calling (781) 319-1900.
Beware of financial relief scams! During this time of uncertainty, our elders are especially vulnerable to phone calls from scam artists.
Have conversations with the senior citizens in your life about not falling prey to calls regarding government-issued relief acts, like a check that may come in the mail for them. These calls will ask for banking info, social security info, etc. Remind them the government is never going to call and ask for these things.
Be diligent. Cyber attackers are coming in full force with phishing expeditions to try and fool people. Remind our senior citizens not to give out their info or be taken advantage of. They can be trusting and may believe there’s an honest person on the line.
Also consider they may have already been duped and are too embarrassed to tell anyone. We must keep the vultures at bay in this troubling time.
Phones and email lines are always open over at Stiles Law. If you have any questions about financial relief scams, 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.