Eviction Rights and Resources

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) moratorium on evictions is no longer in affect as of August 26, 2021, but tenants in Lowell have rights and resources they should keep in mind if they are concerned about being forced to leave their homes.

Rights of Tenants 

  • You cannot be evicted with a rental assistance application pending.
  • You cannot be evicted without a court order.
  • Your landlord cannot move your belongings, change your locks or shut off your utilities.
  • You cannot be evicted due to your race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, ancestry, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran. 

For more information on tenant rights in Massachusetts, visit https://www.mass.gov/info-details/tenant-rights

Options for Responding to an Eviction

Every eviction is different. Your options depend on your situation. All options have strict deadlines. If you miss the deadline, you lose the option.

  • Get Legal Help: Speak with a lawyer. You may be able to get free legal help through Northeast Legal Aid.
  • Pay Rent: If the eviction is about rent you owe, you can pay the rent and stop the eviction, most of the time. For those impacted by COVID-19, Community Teamwork offers financial assistance programs for renters.
  • Try Mediation: Trained mediators can help tenants and owners resolve disputes. When both sides understand their options, mediation can help you come to an agreement that allows you to keep your tenancy. Middlesex Community College provides free mediation services to landlords and tenants.
  • Go to Court: If you do not go to your court hearing, you will lose your case automatically. This is called default.  In court, you can fight the eviction, ask the judge to dismiss the case, or ask for more time to stay in your apartment while you look for another place to live.

For more steps you can take to respond to an eviction, visit masslegalhelp.org.

Resources for Landlords

Resources for Landlords

Community Teamwork COVID Mortgage Assistance ProgramCommunity Teamwork offers financial assistance programs for eligible homeowners impacted by the pandemic.  Call the Community Teamwork Resource Center at (978) 459–0551.
Volunteer Lawyers Project COVID Eviction Legal HelpVLP provides information and connections to legal support for landlords. Call (857) 320-6452 or email CELHP Landlord Project Coordinator Yesenia Carrion at ycarrion@vlpnet.org
Federal Emergency Rental Assistance ProgramsInformation regarding Emergency Housing Payment Assistance during COVID-19 can be found on mass.gov.

Need Emergency Resources?

Call 2-1-1

If you are facing housing, food, or other emergency needs call 2-1-1 to find resources in your area. 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day. If you are put on hold, you can stay on hold or leave a message. They will call you back in 24 hours or less.

Foreclosure Resources for Homeowners

Are you concerned about possible foreclosure of your home? Foreclosure can occur when an owner is unable to stay current with mortgage or condominium fee payments for an extended period of time. There are resources available to assist homeowners who are facing potential foreclosure.

  • Do notwait to contact your lender or seek out an HUD-approved housing counselor to help you. 
    • A housing counselor can help you understand the law and your options, organize your finances, and represent you in negotiations with your servicer if you need assistance.
    • Merrimack Valley Housing Partnership is a HUD-approved counseling agency in Lowell. They can be reached at (978) 459-8490 or at mvhp@mvhp.org
  • Do notignore mail or phone calls from your lender.  They could contain important legal notices.
    • The longer you wait to get help, the harder it may be to get assistance from your mortgage company or a housing counselor.
  • Look into mortgage assistance options.
  • Beware of foreclosure scams.
    • If it sounds too good to be true...it probably is. 
    • Homeowners who believe that they have been the victim of wrongful lending practices should contact the Massachusetts Division of Banks at (800) 495-2265, ext. 1501

Other Resources