SECTION 1. Section 8A of chapter 239 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2018 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking the fourth paragraph in its entirety and inserting in place thereof the following:-
“There shall be no recovery of possession pursuant to this chapter pending final disposition of the plaintiff's action if the court finds that the requirements of the second paragraph have been met. The court after hearing the case may require the tenant or occupant claiming under this section to pay to the clerk of the court the fair value of the use and occupation of the premises less the amount awarded the tenant or occupant for any claim under this section. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event the originally scheduled trial date is continued for any reason and any party to the action moves the court to establish a rent escrow pending a final decision on the merits of the case, the court shall promptly hear said motion in accordance with the rules governing summary process matters and order said tenant or occupant to make deposits with the clerk, plaintiff’s attorney or other secure depository, the fair market value of the premises on account of use and occupation of the premises in such amount(s) or in such installments thereof from time to time as the court deems just. In the event any tenant or occupant fails to abide by the court’s rent escrow order, then in that event the court, upon the filing of a motion by the aggrieved party, shall order the matter to be scheduled for a bench trial on the earliest available date and make such other and/or further orders as the court deems just.”
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