The crisis ahead for Boston landlords and tenants
The Boston apartment rental market continues to see turmoil as Boston apartment renters across downtown Boston is still struggling to pay rent. It’s no secret that landlords have in turn felt the impact of the decrease in rent payments received. When investing in rental properties, there’s always a risk that you may not get your rental payments, but historically landlords have been able to take action, such as eviction, if the rent was not paid. Today, this isn’t the case.
The CARES Act was an emergency response intended to protect Americans from the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. One way it supports Boston apartment renters is by imposing a moratorium on rent-related evictions for qualifying tenants. Some tenants are eligible for rental relief or rental assistance that will actually help cover rent costs incurred during the pandemic.
Well, it can cause problems for some Boston apartment renters, here’s why:
• Boston landlords can collect the entire back rent amount and begin collecting regular monthly rent payments moving forward.
• Disregard unpaid back rent and begin collecting rent from tenants moving forward.
• Allow tenants to pay back rent over time while resuming regular rent payments.
• Evict non-paying tenants.
The CARES Act expiration will mean not only that eviction moratoriums will be lifted, but that unemployment benefits and federal student loan payment relief are also likely to end. This will result in a loss of supplemental income and debt assistance for many Bostonians trying to pay apartment rent and avoid eviction.
Boston apartment landlords should anticipate facing some tough decisions in the months to come, and we’re likely to see a flood of evictions hit the market all at once.
Many landlords underestimate the cost of the eviction process, which can often be more than $5,000 when all is said and done. If you have respectful and responsible tenants who have previously paid their rent on time, you might consider coming to an alternative agreement like a payment schedule.
The coming of the new year didn’t magically wrap up all the turmoil we experienced in 2020. When it comes to the intricacies of the Boston rental housing market situation, both tenants and landlords should closely monitor new regulations and relief packages and fully understand their rights.
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