Home » BLOG » Here is what needs to happen in MA to lower evictions and homelessness naturally (not artificially and temporary as you are doing it now thru Moratoriums or by making it impossible or extremely difficult to evict and collect money)

Here is what needs to happen in MA to lower evictions and homelessness naturally (not artificially and temporary as you are doing it now thru Moratoriums or by making it impossible or extremely difficult to evict and collect money)

Here is what needs to happen in MA (in no particular order) to lower evictions and homelessness naturally (not artificially and temporary as you are doing it now thru Moratoriums or by making it impossible or extremely difficult to evict and collect money. By the way your well-intentioned Moratorium caused such a backlog of cases after 6 months of landlords not being able to even apply for an eviction that cases are currently scheduled for 2-3 months or more into the future and that is not Justice, certainly not sustainable and it is a direct side effect of your State Moratorium ):

  1. Fix the Moving and Storage law to allow the landlord to hire any mover they want. The current restrictive laws created Monopolies and is no good for both landlords and tenants. The tenants possessions are still being thrown out on the curb so the current law changed almost nothing from a tenant perspective.
  1. Make evictions easier and faster not harder and longer. In exchange create a safety net called Eviction Insurance paid for by taxing landlords similar to Unemployment Insurance paid for by employers. The Eviction Insurance will pay for 3-6 months in a motel/hotel until the evicted person is able to get back on their feet. 
  1. Make Notices to Quit 3-days as is in many other States. Right now it’s taking us 4 months to see a judge in Housing Court and 7 months in Small Claims. It used to be 3 weeks before the MA Eviction Moratorium created this backlog by not allowing landlords to even file with the courts for 6 months. 
  1. When we serve the Summary Process schedule a Zoom hearing for next week rather than in 4-5 months as it is now post-Moratorium. There is no tsunami of filings but there is a backlog which is really the same thing because it takes much longer to scheduling everything. This has to stop. Summary Process needs to be fast. Maybe hire more Clerks, Magistrates and Mediators…
  1. Don’t do eviction sealing for adults over 18. Instead require courts to use the middle initial and year of birth on all parties.
  1. Build more housing – the “Housing Choice”law signed by Gov. Baker eliminating the 2/3rd supermajority and requiring only a simple majority to build multifamily buildings in the rural and suburbs area was a step in the right direction.
  1. Right now criminal records are inaccessible to landlords unless they get the DOB and SSN from the prospective tenant and pay a fee online ($25?) which is not a real option as we get many applicants a day. Make them free and part of MassCourts and accessible online.
  1. MassCourts should give the option for One Search combining all courts in the system. Right now we are forced to make over 65 individiual searches because we have to search each District and Housing court separately.
  1. Re-write the Security Deposit law to simplify its language and make it less “gotcha”. Even the SJC is struggling to understand your Security Deposit Law. (just read the two Taylor vs Beaudry cases on my website)
  1. Re-write the Rent Escrow law to REQUIRE rent escrow – when a tenant calls the Health Board they must deposit the unpaid rent with the Health Board to be kept in escrow otherwise they can’t use the Health Board report in court. Without mandatory rent escrow currently most of the cases clogging the Housing Courts are bad faith cases. Duh!
  1. No more unfunded Moratoriums. If you are going to not allow us to evict unpaying tenants then you need to pay us directly and quickly and RAFT needs to be less pages and done without tenant cooperation. Tenants don’t want to fill 26 pages if they have no fear of being taken to court because there is an Eviction Moratorium.
  1. Make all debtors in MA do state-approved private community service to pay off court-ordered debts to private parties. The current system is a joke – I file a claim in court, wait 6 months to a year, the tenant either ignores the letter from the court and no record of the debt exists or even if they go to court and the court orders them to pay, it may or may not go on their credit report, we don’t know, but we do know that if they don’t pay there is no enforcement. Most tenants are judgement-proof anyway. If we win in court, we must be certain that we WILL get paid over time. In a properly functioning Democracy there should be no such thing as “judgment-proof.”
  1. The address of the tenant after they move is impossible for us to obtain and so they cannot get served or they just don’t sign the certified letter from the court and our filing fee gets wasted (by the way why do we have to pay over $150 to file a case in an American court?) and the tenant has no record of owing debt. This whole situation with addresses and servicing addresses in MA needs to be fixed.
  1. 93A needs to be clarified a bit – 1) must be always given to a jury when there is a jury because it’s a legal (dispute over money) and not an equitable claim and 2) no actual injury means no 93A. 93A should not apply when there is just a simple violation of a legal right without any actual injury.