Cities order a halt to evictions, setting strict limits to landlord entry

SATURDAY, APRIL 4—Yesterday the City of Cambridge declared a moratorium on evictions. The temporary emergency order also  forbids “property owners and their agents” from any “non-essential entry” into tenants’ dwellings. The Cambridge order mirrors an order signed a week earlier by Somerville Mayor Curtatone. Other cities seem likely to follow Somerville’s lead.

“Non-essential” purposes include general inspections and showing an apartment to prospective future tenants. A landlord may enter only to make repairs—either requested by the tenant or required as a matter of law—or to respond to a life-threatening emergency. 

The eviction freeze also applies to commercial tenants. In the words of the Cambridge order , commercial evictions “could decrease essential services… and reduce the ability of businesses to generate further revenue, further destabilizing the community.”