SECTION 1. Notwithstanding chapter 186 or 239 of the General Laws or any general or special law, rule, regulation or order to the contrary, no landlord shall initiate action to evict any person from a residential dwelling unit who has a pet without written permission based solely on the presence of the pet until one year after the March 10, 2020 declaration of a state of emergency caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic ends, unless presence of pets is causing harm to the safety of other residents.
SECTION 2. During the March 10, 2020 declaration of a state of emergency caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus pandemic, no hotel, as defined in section 14 of chapter 140 shall unreasonably refuse to allow pets, unless the pet has caused a demonstrated noise or safety threat.
SECTION 3. Section 12 of Chapter 183A of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after the words “master deed”, in subsection (d), the following words:- However, no provision in the declaration, bylaws or rules and regulations of the organization of unit owners shall prohibit the keeping of certain types of dogs based on breed, size, weight or appearance.
SECTION 4. Section 3 of Chapter 23B of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after the second use of the word “elderly” under part “(u)” the following words:- , provided that no regulation, rule or policy shall prohibit the keeping of dogs based on the dog’s breed, size, weight or appearance
SECTION 5. Section 3 of Chapter 23B of the General Laws is hereby further amended by inserting the following new subsection:- (w) establish, conduct and maintain a program of pet ownership by residents of state-aided public housing, provided that no regulation, rule or policy shall prohibit the keeping of dogs based on the dog’s breed, size, weight or appearance.
SECTION 6. Chapter 175 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:
Section 231. An insurance company offering homeowners insurance coverage or renters insurance coverage that issues a policy or contract insuring against liability for injury to a person or injury to or destruction of property arising out of the ownership or lease of residential property shall not refuse to issue, renew, cancel, or charge or impose an increased premium or rate of such a policy or contract based in whole or in part upon the harboring of a specific breed of dog upon the property.
Nothing in this section shall prohibit an insurer from refusing to issue or renew or from canceling a contract or policy or from imposing an increased premium or rate for a policy or contract if any such dog being harbored on the property has been designated as a dangerous dog pursuant to law.
SECTION 7. Section 32 of Chapter 121B of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting the following new paragraph after subsection (i):- In determining whether an applicant is eligible for tenancy in a property or if a current tenant can remain in a property, no property owned, managed or operated by an authority may make such a determination based on the breed, size, weight or appearance of a dog owned or cared for by the applicant or household member.
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