During the pandemic we saw numerous legislative, executive and judicial changes to the legal eviction process. Most of these changes were designed to slow down the process. For example, the first court date following the entry date of the complaint is now no longer a trial date but a housing court specialist conference date. There was the expansion of the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) program, which can now give tenants up to $10,000.00 dollars to pay for past due rent, utilities, moving cost and future rent. Although the pandemic is over, changes to the eviction process continue.
Effective April 1, 2023, MGL c 186 s. 31 Section 31 now requires any “notice to quit” for nonpayment of rent to a residential tenant be accompanied by:
documentation of any agreements between the tenant and landlord for the tenant to repay the landlord for nonpayment of rent; and
rental assistance programs including, but not limited to, the residential assistance for families in transition program;
applicable trial court rules, standing orders or emergency administrative orders pertaining to actions for summary process; and
any relevant federal or state legal restrictions on residential evictions.
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development has developed a model form to meet the new law, a copy of which is attached here. Because the new law requires attachments of trial court rules, standing orders, etc., the eviction notices will always be subject to change. It is imperative that Landlords and/or their attorneys stay up to date on changing rules and changing eviction forms.
Failure to send an eviction notice that complies with the new law will result in the complaint being rejected. This would require the Landlord to start over from square one.
The eviction process in Massachusetts is time consuming and costly even when done correctly. Contact Sean Tiernan, Esq. at firstname.lastname@example.org to avoid costly delays.
For a copy of the form to accompancy the Residential Notice to Quit [click here].