Section 79

Section 79 Coronavirus Emergency Notices to Quit

(a) Notwithstanding section 11 or section 12 of chapter 186 of the General Laws, chapter 239 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, on and after the effective date of this act until the termination of the state of emergency concerning the outbreak of COVID-19 as declared by the governor on March 10, 2020, a notice to quit for nonpayment of rent given in writing by a landlord to a residential tenant pursuant to said section 11 or said section 12 of said chapter 186 shall be accompanied by a form that shall include, but not be limited to: (i) an attestation as to whether the tenant provided a declaration form pursuant to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention order entitled "Temporary Halt in Residential Evictions to Prevent the Further Spread of COVID-19"; (ii) an attestation as to whether the dwelling unit is a covered dwelling under section 4024(a)(1) of the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, P.L. 116-136, and whether the notice to quit is in compliance with section 4024(c) of said act; (iii) documentation of any agreements between the tenant and landlord for the tenant to repay the landlord for non-payment of rent; and (iv) information on: (A) rental assistance programs including, but not limited to, the residential assistance for families in transition program and the emergency rental and mortgage assistance program; (B) applicable trial court rules, standing orders or emergency administrative orders pertaining to actions for summary process; and (C) 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."

The executive office of housing and economic development shall develop the form required under this subsection and make it publicly available on its website not later than December 18, 2020. The information in clause (iv) shall be made available in the 5 most common languages in the commonwealth, in addition to English. On or after December 18, 2020, a court having jurisdiction over an action for summary process pursuant to said chapter 239, including the Boston municipal court department, shall not, 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 subsection.

(b) Notwithstanding section 11 or section 12 of chapter 186 of the General Laws or any other general or special law to the contrary, from the passage of this act until the termination of the state of emergency concerning the outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease, also known as COVID-19, declared by the governor on March 10, 2020, a landlord shall send electronically a copy of any notice to quit for nonpayment of rent given in writing by the landlord to a residential tenant pursuant to said section 11 or said section 12 of said chapter 186 to the executive office of housing and economic development; provided, however, that personal identifying information in notices to quit received by the executive office of housing and economic development shall not be a public record as defined by clause Twenty-sixth of section 7 of chapter 4 of the General Laws or chapter 66 of the General Laws. The executive office of housing and economic development shall keep any personal identifying information in a notice to quit confidential; provided, however, that the executive office of housing and economic development may share such information with the individuals named in the notice to quit, the landlord or, to the extent permitted under federal law, a regional administering agency or housing consumer education center for the purposes of providing housing stability resources to tenants at risk of eviction.

(c) The executive office of housing and economic development shall issue emergency regulations as necessary to implement this section.