Massachusetts Governor Extends Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures

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Previously set to expire August 18, 2020, Governor Baker has extended Chapter 65 of the Acts of 2020, An Act Providing for a Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures During the COVID-19 Emergency (the “Act”), by 60 days through October 17, 2020.

The provisions as they relate to small businesses remain in effect and unchanged, as such:

  • A “small business premises unit” is defined as:
“a premises occupied by a tenant for commercial purposes, whether for-profit or not-for-profit; provided, however, that a small business premises unit shall not include a premises occupied by a tenant if the tenant or a party that controls, is controlled by or is in common control with the tenant: (i) operates multi-state; (ii) operates multi-nationally; (iii) is publicly traded; or (iv) has not less than 150 full-time equivalent employees.”
  • The Act protects against “non-essential evictions” of “small business premises units,” with “non-essential eviction” defined as:
“an eviction: (i) for non-payment of rent; (ii) resulting from a foreclosure; (iii) for no fault or no cause; or (iv) for cause that does not involve or include allegations of: (a) criminal activity that may impact the health or safety of other residents, health care workers, emergency personnel, persons lawfully on the subject property or the general public; or (b) lease violations that may impact the health or safety of other residents, health care workers, emergency personnel, persons lawfully on the subject property or the general public; provided, however, that a non-essential eviction shall not include an eviction for a small business premises unit on account of the expiration of the term of a lease or tenancy or a default by the tenant of a small business premises unit under the terms of its lease or tenancy that occurred before the declaration of the COVID-19 emergency.”

Additionally, “a landlord shall not impose a late fee for non-payment of rent for a residential dwelling unit or a small business premises unit or furnish rental payment data to a consumer reporting agency, as defined in section 50 of chapter 93 of the General Laws, related to the non-payment of rent if, not later than 30 days after the missed rent payment, the tenant provides notice and documentation to the landlord that the non-payment of rent was due to a financial impact from COVID-19.”


Finally, the Act specifically states that tenants are in no way relieved from rent obligations and landlords retain the right to recover rent.

For a copy of Governor Baker's letter extending the provisions of the Act, click here. A full copy of the Act can be viewed here.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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