By Bob Katzen

The House and Senate approved different versions of legislation putting a moratorium on most residential and commercial evictions and foreclosures until 30 days after Governor Charlie Baker lifts the ongoing state of emergency. Both bills allow for “emergency for cause evictions” that involve allegations of criminal activity or lease violations that are “detrimental to the health or safety of other residents, health care workers, emergency personnel or the general public.”

Another provision in both bills prohibits landlords from charging late fees or sending reports to credit rating agencies as long as a tenant provides notice within 30 days of a late payment that their failure to pay was tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two bills now go to a conference committee which will hammer out a compromise version. Members of the conference committee include Sens. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn), Michael Rodrigues (D-Westport) and Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester); and Reps. Kevin Honan (D-Boston), Aaron Michlewitz (D-Boston) and Peter Durant (R-Spencer)

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