Q: What is CDC eviction meant for MA state ? Can someone explain to me ?

1 Lawyer Answer
Christopher Tolley
Christopher Tolley
  • Consumer Law Lawyer
  • Boston, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: The CDC moratorium forbids landlords from attempting to evict tenants for non-payment of rent if the tenants meet certain financial hardship guidelines:

- Make less than $99,000 (or $198,000 if they file a joint tax return)

- Be unable to make full rent “due to substantial loss of household income, loss of compensable hours of work or wages, a lay-off, or extraordinary out-of-pocket medical expenses”

- Be making an effort to make timely, partial rent payments

- Have used their “best efforts” to seek out and apply for all available state or local rental assistance programs

Evictions for reasons other than non-payment of rent are not prohibited by the CDC order.

A tenant fills out a form attesting to all of the above under oath and gives it to the landlord. Presumably such a form constitutes the basis for a defense in a non-payment of rent eviction case.

The order does not relieve tenants of liability for rent.

By the terms of the CDC order, it does not apply in states where there are already a certain level of COVID eviction protections, so it may not apply in Massachusetts unless the Massachusetts eviction moratorium is not extended after it expires on October 17.

Many attorneys have questioned the validity of the the CDC order. If a tenant raises the CDC order as a defense to the eviction, you should consult a lawyer.

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