THE MASSACHUSETTS EVICTION MORATORIUM EXPIRES WHILE THE FEDERAL EVICTION MORATORIUM CONTINUES
Governor Baker allowed the Massachusetts Eviction Moratorium to expire on Saturday, October 17, 2020. As a result, landlords are now permitted to file eviction actions and send notices to quit for any type of lease violation. However, despite the expiration of the Massachusetts Eviction Moratorium, the Federal CDC Eviction Moratorium remains in effect. How will this impact eviction cases you may wish to bring now that the Mass. Eviction Moratorium has expired? Under the Federal Moratorium, landlords may not “evict” a “covered person” for non-payment of rent until after the moratorium expires on December 31, 2020. To be considered a “covered person,” a tenant must certify that they meet all of the following criteria:
1. The individual has used best efforts to obtain all available government assistance for rent or housing;
2. The individual either (i) expects to earn no more than $99,000 in annual income for Calendar Year 2020 (or no more than $198,000 if filing a joint tax return), (ii) was not required to report any income in 2019 to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, or (iii) received an Economic Impact Payment (stimulus check) pursuant to Section 2201 of the CARES Act;
3. The individual is unable to pay the full rent or make a full housing payment 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;
4. The individual is using best efforts to make timely partial payments that are as close to the full payment as the individual's circumstances may permit, taking into account other nondiscretionary expenses; and
5. Eviction would likely render the individual homeless—or force the individual to move into and live in close quarters in a new congregate or shared living setting—because the individual has no other available housing options.
In order to demonstrate that a tenant meets these criteria, courts are asking individuals to fill out a certification under the pains and penalties or perjury. It does not appear that any further verification is required (at this point). In housing court, landlords are being asked to certify that they did not receive this certification from the tenant/defendant before the court issues the execution.