Is it Still Illegal for My Landlord to Evict Me During the Pandemic in Massachusetts?

Is it Still Illegal for My Landlord to Evict Me During the Pandemic in Massachusetts?

Landlord and Tenant
The pandemic has been difficult for many people out there, and countless residents of Massachusetts are concerned whether or not they will have the ability to pay their monthly rental fees. Thankfully, the CDC has issued a nationwide moratorium on rental evictions. But how long will this last? Do you qualify for these protections? What can you do if your landlord is threatening you with eviction during this troubling period?

If you are concerned about being evicted during the pandemic, it is probably a good idea to reach out to a qualified, experienced attorney. These legal experts have an extensive understanding of rental and lease agreements, and they can hold your landlord accountable. No one should have to go through unnecessary stress during this period, and you can take legal action to ensure that your landlord starts giving you some breathing room.

Do You Qualify For Eviction Protection?
Not everyone is protected from eviction protection under the guidelines set forth by the CDC. In order to qualify, you must take a number of factors into account:

  • You must have received an Economic Impact Payment during the past year
  • If you have not received a stimulus payment, your income must be lower than $100,000 in 2020
  • If you are married, you must have earned less than $200,000 in joint income during 2020, as laid out in your joint tax return
  • If you do not fall into any of these categories, you can still get protection if your income was so low in 2019 that you did not need to file a federal tax return
  • Your reason for not being able to pay your rent must be “substantial loss of income”
  • The reason for your substantial loss of income could be related to you losing your job or having your hours cut back
  • You can also get eviction protection if you have “extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses.” Extraordinary medical expenses are defined as being more than 7.5% of your adjusted gross annual income
  • To qualify for eviction protection, you must show that you are making your “best effort” to pay as much as you possibly can towards your full rent amount
  • You must also show that you have nowhere else to live – in other words, eviction would make you homeless
  • In addition, you must show that you are making an effort to get assistance from available government rental programs and funding

How Long Will This Last?

In late March of 2021, President Biden announced that the moratorium on evictions had been extended until June 30th of 2021. Beyond that, no one can be sure how long the moratorium will last. In addition, it is possible for some jurisdictions to move forward with evictions, even if certain tenants qualify for protections under federal laws. These evictions are handled through courts at the local level, and Massachusetts has overseen the eviction of 1,700 tenants that would otherwise be protected under the guidelines set forth by the CDC.

Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
If you are concerned about evictions or any unlawful behavior committed by your landlord, reach out to the Law Offices of Johnson, Sclafani & Moriarty. We have a wealth of knowledge in areas such as landlord/tenant laws, municipal law, and civil litigation. If your landlord is willfully violating laws such as the CDC-enforced moratorium on evictions, you can hold them accountable. Book a consultation today, and we can develop an effective action plan together. 413-732-8356