Cambridge Amends Emergency Temporary Eviction Enforcement Order and Creates Requirements for Showings of Occupied Dwelling Units

Today, Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale and Commissioner of Public Health Dr. Assaad J. Sayah announced amendments to the city's emergency order establishing a moratorium on eviction enforcement and issued new requirements for all real estate showings of occupied dwelling units by property owners and their agents. The amended order applies to both residential and commercial evictions, continues the prohibition of the forcible eviction of tenants within the City of Cambridge, and is in effect until further notice. This order provides for the health, safety, and stability of those who live in and serve our community.

“Protecting the health and safety of our residents remains the number one priority in our evolving public health directives and guidance,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “Evicting residents and commercial tenants during this ongoing pandemic is not aligned with our public health strategies or our community’s standards. This amended order also recognizes the need to provide a safe framework for real estate and rental showings in the City of Cambridge.”

Under the new requirements issued in today’s order, real estate showings of occupied dwelling units can now occur if specific guidelines are followed. Tenants at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or age 65 or older have the option to decline showings. The new requirements include:

a. Notice of the real estate showing shall be given to all occupants of a dwelling unit at least 24 hours in advance.

b. All visitors shall wear face coverings while on the property and social distancing shall be followed.

c. All visitors shall either use hand sanitizer immediately prior to entry to the dwelling unit or must put on a new pair of disposable gloves.

d. Visits to the dwelling unit shall only take place between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., unless another time is mutually agreed upon by the tenant or occupant.

e. In an effort to limit the number of showings, agents shall be allowed to enter the property to measure for floor plans, and to take photos and/or video for a maximum of up to 2 hours. This may be broken up into 2 visits of one hour each. Only those professionals doing the work shall be allowed to enter with the agent.

f. In addition to the agent, showings are limited to no more than 3 prospective tenants or buyers at a time.

g. Rental showings are limited to 15 minutes and there shall be no more than 3 per day if they are in succession. If they are not in succession, showings shall be limited to 2 per day.

h. Sales showings are limited to 30 minutes and there shall be no more than 3 per day if they are in succession. If showings are not in succession, they will be limited to 2 per day. Home Inspections will be limited to no more than 90 minutes inside the property.

i. Bathrooms shall not be used when visiting a dwelling unit unless written permission (including via text or email) is obtained from the occupants of the dwelling unit.

j. Owners and tenants are strongly advised to vacate the dwelling unit during visits to minimize exposure and maximize the ability for everyone to social distance. If an owner or tenant must remain in the dwelling unit, they must wear a face covering.

k. Visitors may not touch anything in the dwelling unit, including light switches, doors or cabinets. Agent shall arrange with occupants as to whether doors and cabinets will be left open and lights turned on by the occupant or the agent. Use of handrails, or bannisters on stairs are exempt from this requirement.

As a reminder, the Eviction Moratorium does not prevent property owners from filing eviction actions, but it does prevent property owners and landlords from carrying out a forcible eviction. The Eviction Moratorium does not protect tenants from eviction once the city determines that the public health emergency no longer exists. Therefore, tenants and homeowners should continue to make payments or work out payment plans with their landlords or lenders.

View the full emergency declaration here.

The City of Cambridge and the City’s Public Health Department continue to work closely together to identify resources to reinforce the city’s response and preparedness activities. For more information and updates on COVID-19, please visit the city’s dedicated information page: Cambridgema.gov/covid19.

Page was posted on 7/23/2020 7:18 PM
Page was last modified on 7/23/2020 7:18 PM
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