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Mayor, landlord groups ask landlords to not evict tenants during state of emergency

Mayor Walsh announced tonight that several landlords have agreed to not evict tenants for at least 90 days or as long as the commonwealth is under a state of emergency due to Covid-19, and that a group representing Boston-area landlords is asking its other members to honor that commitment as well.

These actions, in partnership with property owners throughout Boston, are intended to protect residents during the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), which has prompted states of emergency at the state and federal levels. Property owners are encouraged to implement a moratorium on evictions that could be in effect for 90 days, with reviews every 30 days.

Our primary focus in Boston is protecting our residents and ensuring they are safe and healthy as we work to stop the spread of coronavirus. Housing stability is crucial at this time, and I thank the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and the property owners throughout our City for working to minimize the disruptions to our residents during this challenging time.

Actually forcing landlords to not evict tenants would require legislative action, but the agreement announced by Walsh includes Trinity Financial, Winn Residential and the Community Builders, which manage hundreds of apartments in Boston.

Also signing on: The Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations, which represents several Boston non-profit housing groups and the Greater Boston Real Estate Board and its Massachusetts Apartment Association, which represent landlords across the city. Greg Vasil, CEO and president of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board said:

The halting of evictions will apply to those who are directly impacted by economic loss due to the coronavirus outbreak. We understand the pressure residents are feeling during this crisis, and ensuring Bostonians have a safe, stable home is always our goal.

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Just in response to the last paragraph. Any kind of city bailout for the small landlords that wont be able to collect rent from their tenants that are out of work? I’m not sure the bank will feel the same way about late mortgage payments. Also, it would take a miracle to evict someone in this city in less than 90 days in any circumstance.

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Banks sometimes provide forgiveness when there's a crisis.

But I agree that some financial help from the city or state would be nice.

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The Federal gov't has the unique ability to manufacture money. While this could kick inflation up it also could provide the cash for people to pay their rents and bills and buy their groceries during this emergency. In other words cash continues to flow keeping the economic body running.

But Mitch McConnell, seemingly committed to destroying government stands in the way. This is the kind of situation that demands federal intervention. We are lucky in that there are many people who can continue to produce value by working from home. But there are many who can't. But bills do not stop accumulating.

Is this a demand for "free money?" Heck yes. It is free money that can keep the nation from falling into a recession.

Perhaps Mitch wants a recession? He certainly seems committed to funneling all the wealth and power to the fewest.

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Nah, I’m sure Mitch wants another bite at the unhinged (re-elected) apple. He’s just a bad guy who routinely does the wrong thing.

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It is a preemptive weak action so they can argue against more encompassing and protective legislative or executive action. "We're self regulating, no need for you to do something" is how their lobbyists will government action.

They have no obligation to abide to any of this and it's very nebulous who it actually affects. It's a few megalandlords and some real estate associations, --not their members--.

It does not protect the tens of thousands of people in Boston who are not tenants of one of these big landlords, nor does it protect the hundreds of thousands of tenants around the state.

And really? They'd be evicting thousands (or more) of people in late winter/early spring, in the beginnings of a likely recession, with little chance of getting new tenants for months or more. Which would cause a jump in vacancies, lots of people able to escape the September turnover, and shop around for better units for the same or less money.

Landlords would have to *gasp* actually start improving their properties!

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In 2008 during the financial crisis in the UK, many mortgage companies instituted a policy where you could take a “mortgage holiday” for any six months in the life of the loan without penalty. This prevented some folks from losing their homes which helped prevent even more homes from flooding the market, driving down other prices, etc.

Given we bailed out many of these financial companies in 2008, maybe nows the time for them to pay it forward and offer all people who hold mortgages (small landlords included) the ability to access those six month holidays. This, in turn, allows small landlords the ability to be flexible with tenants rent during these times.

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