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.

Copyright © 2019 Stiles Law, All rights reserved. Stiles Law is a Massachusetts licensed law firm and all content is based on Massachusetts law. The information presented above is meant to be used for general informational purposes and it should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts.