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Council Supports Eviction Sealing

This week, the Council went on record in support of H.4356, an act promoting housing opportunity and mobility through eviction sealing.

Over one million evictions have been filed in Massachusetts over the past twenty-four years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, tenants make up 65% of Boston residents, and 46% of Massachusetts residents, and face increasing burdens to securing safe, stable housing accommodations for themselves and their families.

Once an eviction case is filed, it becomes part of that tenant’s eviction record, which documents the tenant’s history of ever having sued or been sued by a landlord.

Bill H.4356 would protect tenants from being unfairly branded with an eviction record by creating a path to seal many records. The legislation does not in any way alter the rights of landlords or property owners and allows all parties to exercise legal rights.

The Council supports this bill with a specific emphasis on incorporating provisions for automatic sealing in cases that are dismissed, cases resolved in favor of the tenant, and no-fault evictions.

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