Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Emergency Notice

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Tenants' Rights

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute
Reviewed April 28, 2020

On April 20, 2020 Massachusetts passed an emergency law to stop evictions and foreclosures during the COVID-19 state of emergency. 

I am a tenant. How does this law protect me?

The law temporarily stops most evictions. For evictions covered by the law:

  • Your landlord is not allowed to send you any eviction notices. They must not send you a:
    • Notice to Quit,
    • 14-day notice,
    • 30-day notice,
    • Notice to vacate, or
    • Any other kind of notice that says you must move out.
  • Your landlord cannot file a new eviction case against you in court for non-payment, no fault/no cause, or most cause reasons.
  • Courts cannot schedule hearings or other events in court.
  • Courts cannot enter judgments, including “agreements for judgment” or default judgments.
  • Courts cannot issue orders to evict, “executions.”
  • Landlords are not allowed to give executions to sheriffs to serve “48 hour notices.”
  • Sheriffs, constables and movers must not physically move you out of your home.

These protections may not apply if your landlord claims you were involved in criminal activity or lease violations that endangered the health and safety of others. See below to contact a legal services office if you are not sure whether the law protects you.

How long does the moratorium last?

The moratorium is in effect until August 18, 2020 or until 45 days after the Governor lifts the state of emergency, whichever comes first.

The Governor can extend the end date of the moratorium so that it does not end before the end of the state of emergency.

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