Tell Governor Baker to:
END THE MORATORIUM !!!
A “tsunami of evictions” is a scare tactic and a lie. It will not happen.
Apparently, a year’s worth of evictions have already been filed in Massachusetts, waiting to go before a judge. Millions of evictions all at once? NOT AT ALL!
Even with more state funding, the courts do not have the space or the judges to process evictions a whole lot faster. That means it will take time — up to 3 months, 6 months, or longer — to evict most tenants!
Seeing this long delay in eviction, what will tenants do? They will KEEP ON PAYING ZERO RENT until they are finally evicted.
BUT, when their eviction case is finally ready to go before a judge, YET MORE NONPAYMENT CAN HAPPEN.
Tenants can always turn to the Massachusetts “free rent trick,” claiming that their unpaid rent is being “withheld” for code violations – then block the owner’s repair efforts, undo any repairs, and cause damage and create more code violations – ALL TO KEEP ON PAYING NO RENT AT ALL.
Who pays for all this nonpayment? Not just the owner, but also the owner’s other good-paying tenants, who will get fewer services and higher rents. And the housing, which will suffer from many unnecessary repairs demanded by a nonpaying tenant while important other repairs are neglected.
OR ALTERNATIVELY, the owner “goes under water,” can’t pay his/her bills, gets foreclosed on, or just abandons their property that is causing them to spend money and get no rent for compensation.
In this way, Massachusetts stands to lose a HUGE amount of low-rent housing, displacing low-income tenants. It happens with every recession, and is much worse in very bad recessions – as we have now.
Tell the Governor to END THE MORATORIUM on October 17!
Will ten thousand evictions then happen all at once, as activists claim? That would mean ten thousand apartments would be empty all at once, and landlords would have ten thousand nonpaying, previously evicted tenants to select from for new tenants. No landlord wants empty apartments or to trade one nonpaying tenant household for another and lose money in the turnover.
Landlords will be ready to negotiate in most cases. But with the moratorium still in place, tenants will choose nonpayment as long as they can and have no incentive to negotiate.
It is time to negotiate deals, to forgive the unpaid rent (you can’t collect it anyway), and set a new rent level that is realistic for each tenant household – deals that are voluntary but legally binding.
The Governor and the Legislature need to do everything they can to get rent payments restarted – before disaster happens.