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As crisis rages, Walsh wants realtors to hold open houses online

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.
Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Mayor Martin J. Walsh is asking property owners, rental brokers, and realtors to find alternatives to in-person showings of apartments and open houses amid the growing coronavirus emergency.

In a Friday letter, Walsh said rental brokers “should not show clients occupied properties.”

“We are requesting that rental brokers and tenants work out safe protocols for showing occupied units virtually,” Walsh said. “If it is absolutely necessary, rental brokers must give the existing tenants as much advance notice as possible.”

He also said that any prospective tenants who are sick should not be allowed to view a unit in person, and added that open houses should not be used to market properties that are for rent or for sale.

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Walsh’s statements came on the same day that an 87-year-old Winthrop man became the first person in Massachusetts to die from an illness related to coronavirus.

Earlier this month, major landlords and real estate groups in Boston agreed to halt most evictions amid the crisis. A Boston city councilor, meanwhile, is pushing for a moratorium on rent, mortgages, evictions, and foreclosures in the city.


Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.