Landlords Go To Court Over Eviction Moratorium

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — An attorney for landlords who has filed lawsuits against the state's eviction moratorium appeared before a Suffolk Superior Court judge Thursday to argue their case.

Plaintiffs attorney Rich Vetstein said the moratorium approved by the legislature in April violates the state constitution and hurts more than just his clients. Vetstein said:

The economic harm is potentially devastating for my clients, and for many of the small landlords and mom-and-pop landlords around the state because, again, the fatal flaw with the act is that it does not provide any parental assistance funding.

Vetstein also said there won’t be a flood of homelessness and therefore Coronavirus cases if the moratorium is lifted but a lawyer for the state called that notion fanciful.

The hearing lasted about two and a half hours and Judge Paul Wilson said he will make a decision as soon as he can. Wilson said the issue for him is whether the legislature did something unconstitutional when it enacted the moratorium.

According to Vetstein, it's not just about non-payment of rent.

"It's also all these other types of cases where you have people who have no right to possess the property...and there's no way out for the landlord to get these folks out of there," Vetstein said.

According to Vetstein, it's not fair that while evictions are stopped, code enforcement cases against landlords are still going on.

State Attorney Jennifer Greaney said the moratorium doesn’t violate the state constitution and legislators were within their rights to approve it. Greaney also said landlords will have the right to pursue legal action against tenants once the pandemic of over.

WBZ NewsRadio's Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) reports

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