What does the Foreclosure and Eviction Act Mean for You?

Real Estate

Posted in on April 25, 2020

On Monday, April 20th, Massachusetts enacted new landlord, tenant, and mortgage laws related to COVID-19 financial impact that affects residential and commercial properties, including limits on foreclosure laws and eviction proceedings (Chapter 65 of the Acts of 2020).

What properties are affected?

  • All residential tenants and certain small business tenants are protected from nonpayment evictions, late fees, and other eviction reasons discussed below.
  • Certain residential properties are protected from foreclosure.

What does the law mean for small business tenants and landlords?

  • The law applies to small business tenants that operate only in Massachusetts and can include for-profit and nonprofit companies subject to size limits.
  • Small business protections include late fee arrangements and limits on notices and eviction proceedings for post-COVID defaults.

What does the law mean for residential tenants and landlords?

  • Residential tenant protections include late fee arrangements and extensive limits on eviction notices and eviction proceedings unless there is a health or safety reason for the eviction.
  • Landlords can commingle funds held for last month’s rent for immediate use on landlords’ allowed obligations, but the amount must still be credited against the tenant’s last month.

What does the law mean for residential homeowners and mortgagees?

  • Protected residential homeowners must generally occupy a 4-family or less dwelling as a principal residence without having leveraged the property as security for a commercial loan.
  • Protections include limits on foreclosure and requirements for lenders to offer forbearance agreements if the homeowner is financially impacted by COVID-19.

What is the timeframe?

  • These protections and restrictions will likely be effective until at least August 18, 2020 but can be extended up to 45 days after the COVID-19 state of emergency has ended.

The act does not relieve tenants or borrowers from paying their obligations. If you need assistance negotiating an arrangement with your tenant, borrower, landlord, or lender or advice about how to proceed against a nonpaying party, please contact our real estate attorneys at Baker, Braverman & Barbadoro, P.C. and we can help navigate the best strategy. Our real estate team includes leasing, foreclosure, and eviction lawyers in Massachusetts.  Baker, Braverman & Barbadoro, P.C. Kimberly Kroha, Esq.