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The 192nd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

AN ACT RELATIVE TO EXTENDING CERTAIN STATE OF EMERGENCY ACCOMMODATIONS

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to extend certain COVID-19 measures adopted during the state of emergency, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1.  Chapter 186 of the General Laws is hereby amending by adding the following section:-

Section 31.  (a) A notice to quit for nonpayment of rent given in writing by a landlord to a residential tenant pursuant to this chapter shall be accompanied by a form that shall include, but not be limited to: (i) documentation of any agreements between the tenant and landlord for the tenant to repay the landlord for nonpayment of rent; and (ii) information on: (1) rental assistance programs including, but not limited to, the residential assistance for families in transition program; (2) applicable trial court rules, standing orders or emergency administrative orders pertaining to actions for summary process; and (3) any relevant federal or state legal restrictions on residential evictions. The form shall also prominently display the following statement:

“THIS NOTICE TO QUIT IS NOT AN EVICTION. YOU DO NOT NEED TO IMMEDIATELY LEAVE YOUR UNIT. YOU ARE ENTITLED TO A LEGAL PROCEEDING IN WHICH YOU CAN DEFEND AGAINST THE EVICTION. ONLY A COURT ORDER CAN FORCE YOU TO LEAVE YOUR UNIT.”

(b)  The executive office of housing and economic development shall develop the form required pursuant to this section and make it publicly available on its website. The information in clause (ii) of subsection (a) shall be made available in the 5 most common languages spoken in the commonwealth in addition to English. No court having jurisdiction over an action for summary process pursuant to chapter 239, including the Boston municipal court department, shall, in an eviction for nonpayment of rent for a residential dwelling unit, accept for filing a writ, summons or complaint without proof of delivery of the form required under this section.

SECTION 2.  Section 75 of chapter 260 of the acts of 2020, as amended by section 3 of chapter 22 of the acts of 2022, is hereby further amended by striking out the words “July 31, 2022” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- January 1, 2025.

SECTION 3.  Section 23 of chapter 20 of the acts of 2021 is hereby amended by striking out the words “July 15, 2022”, inserted by section 7 of said chapter 22, and inserting in place thereof the following words:- March 31, 2023.

SECTION 4.  Section 30A of said chapter 20, inserted by section 10 of said chapter 22, is hereby amended by striking out the words “July 15, 2022” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- March 31, 2023.

SECTION 5.  Section 44 of chapter 22 of the acts of 2022 is hereby amended by striking out the words “July 15, 2022” and inserting in place thereof the following words:- March 31, 2023.

SECTION 6.  Section 1 shall take effect on April 1, 2023.

Approved, July 16, 2022.