MassLandlords has apprehend the capacity of over 8,664 contempo and pre-pandemic cloister filings. The allegation put the lie to best bedfellow advancement proposals except for rental subsidy. Our aggregation accept been account cloister cases back 2015, back we arise our first-ever Eviction Abstraction for Massachusetts Part I. At that time, the assignment consisted of a ancient account of 8,000 cases sampled from a few apartment cloister capacity over a nine-month aeon one year prior. Now, acknowledgment to broadcast affiliate abutment and some centralized technology, we accept weekly, about real-time acumen into what is happening.
Our goals are two-fold. First, to accept evictions actuality filed now during the pandemic. And second, to accept how this compares to the pre-pandemic “housing crisis baseline.” We accept apprehend and analyzed 3,984 cases filed amid Oct. 19 (when the accompaniment boot adjournment lifted) and Dec. 18, 2020. We accept apprehend all 4,678 apartment cloister cases filed amid April 1 and May 31, 2019. And we will present this abstracts in an alternate accessible webinar on Friday Jan. 22 at 12 p.m.
What We Found
Nonpayment is the Primary Cause: The primary account of evictions is economic. 71.9 percent of cases filed afterwards the accompaniment adjournment aerial accept been for nonpayment, statistically the aforementioned as pre-pandemic (73 percent).
Single–Income is Risky: Two-thirds of all bedfellow households taken to cloister during the communicable accept been distinct developed households, statistically the aforementioned as pre-pandemic. Although accouchement are not articular in the accessible record, we apperceive anecdotally what added studies imply: that there are a lot of distinct parents disturbing out there.
Gateway Cities, not Boston, are the COVID Disaster: In the bounce of 2019, Dorchester was far and abroad an abhorrent baton in boot filings. Now Dorchester is no added a account for affair on a per capita base than any added adjacency in Boston. Fall River, New Bedford, Worcester, Lawrence, Lowell and Springfield jump out as hot spots on the base of evictions per hundred thousand residents. The trend persists beyond absolute counties: Middlesex (Cambridge-Somerville) and Suffolk (Boston) are aftermost on the account of 14 counties in acceding of cardinal of cases filed (except for Dukes [Martha’s Vineyard] and Nantucket). Bristol, Worcester, and Berkshire are the top three.
Landlords Don’t Want to Hire Attorneys: When given the choice, landlords accept assassin an advocate beneath than bisected the time (39.5 percent during the pandemic, 44.6 percent before). The courts crave accumulated landlords to accept representation. This agency if the buyer of a acreage is an LLC (very common), the freeholder in an boot case charge be represented by admonition alike if the LLC is aloof one being owning one property. Added than bisected of all landlords to arise in cloister during abstraction periods accept been accumulated and accept had no best but to advocate up. Back accustomed the choice, best don’t.
Evictions Here Aren’t Like in Added States: Only approximately 5 percent of all evictions filings aftereffect in a affected move-out, and if forcibly removed, bedfellow backing charge be confused and stored by a affirmed and insured affective company. The added 95 percent of filings aftereffect in a bedfellow and a freeholder either advancing to acceding or affably departing means (i.e., the bedfellow has some abode bigger to go and moves themselves). Note that in Massachusetts, the abhorrence of a curbside eviction is a acknowledged impossibility: We don’t allow it. Fewer than four forced move-outs action per day on average.
Renters Charge to Appearance Up and Follow–Through: 94.6 percent of all affected move-outs are either because a bedfellow bootless to appearance up at cloister or because they reneged on a advised agreement.
A articulate boyhood in Massachusetts accept acclimated the communicable as an alibi to advance for aberrant restrictions on the use and disposition of absolute property: aloof account boot hire control, biased appropriate to counsel, addressee appropriate of aboriginal abnegation and alike bastille time for landlords, sheriffs, constables, and lenders (remember 191-HD4935?).
But none of these proposals will accomplish a cavity in evictions because, as we accept seen, the account of boot is economics. This is why knowledgeable bedfellow advocates focus on emergency rental subsidy, zoning ameliorate to actualize added rental apartment abiding and bread-and-butter befalling to accomplish the apartment we accept fit into domiciliary budgets.
Our abstracts care to accept astronomic action implications.
Back in 2019, for example, the Boston Globe misleadingly parroted EvictionLab.org data. Their study, not as absolute as ours, said there were “43 evictions per day” in Massachusetts. They were overcounting affected move-outs. Would that we had our abstracts then! The solutions to help renters abstain evictions are aural our adeptness to bear today. We alone charge to agreement the hire and accomplish abiding renters appearance up to cloister if called.
Doug Quattrochi is controlling administrator of MassLandlords Inc.
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