Non-payment of rent is an important issue for landlords, especially during the coronavirus pandemic and eviction moratorium. Here, I’ll discuss what landlords should do regarding tenants who owe them rent.
Non-Payment of Rent: What Landlords Cannot Do During the Eviction Moratorium
With the exception of evictions for emergency matters, landlords cannot evict tenants. This includes the sending of notices to quit and the filing of eviction cases. Doing so can get landlords into trouble.
Non-payment of rent is not considered emergency grounds for evicting. If a landlord is not receiving rent from their tenant, unfortunately, not much can be done now to remedy the situation.
Non-Payment of Rent: What Landlords Can (And Should) Do During the Eviction Moratorium
While landlords cannot evict now for unpaid rent, landlords can (and should) notify their tenants about unpaid rent. Massachusetts has recently issued a regulation on this matter, and explains the reason for doing so:
In order to minimize the risk that a tenant will face eviction for an accumulated non-payment of rent once the Act expires, and to promote the prompt resolution of such situations without resorting to the court system, landlords should provide tenants of residential dwelling units a written notice of each missed rent payment.
This regulation, notably, states that landlords should do this. As such, it is a good practice for landlords to send these notices. This regulation includes language that should be included in these notices, including a disclaimer that the notice is not requiring the tenant to leave the apartment (very important).
If you need assistance with a landlord-tenant matter, contact me for a consultation.