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Somerville bars evictions and showings of occupied apartments during state of emergency

Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone and the city Board of Health today ordered a moratorium on both residential and commercial evictions during the Covid-19 state of emergency - and barred real-estate brokers from showing apartments that are still occupied.

In a statement, Curtatone said:

Everyone is safest at home right now, but that is a meaningless message if you are facing eviction. Every level of government must act now to ensure that each of us has the safe harbor of home as this health crisis deepens. Cities can’t control eviction laws and courts, but in Somerville we can and will stop the physical eviction of both our residents and local businesses

Curtatone also called on the state legislature to pass a bill that would freeze rents and provide financial assistance to renters and enact a moratorium on foreclosures.

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Comments

Good! Thanks to Mayor Curtatone. I hope the rest of the state, and country, follows suit.

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Voting closed 29

Can a mayor suspend state laws?

Sounds more like a publicity stunt. With courts closed, it's kind of irrelevant.

How do they stop the "physical eviction" - isn't this usually a county function through the sheriff's dept?

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But in MA actual eviction is a long process. Even in normal times a landlord couldn't evict someone for missing their April 1st rent payment.

If an eviction was already in progress (for failure to pay rent months ago) it's less clear what happens now but a landlord would be hard pressed to find someone working with the legal authority to throw them out.

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... tenant’s rights when showing occupied apartments. Many tenants don’t even know they can refuse entry.
Thanks on many levels, Mayor Curtatone!

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