Letter from the Executive Director for June 2024: Multiple Threats Inbound

To the best of my knowledge, the eviction sealing mistake is moving forward in either the HOMES Act (193 H.4356) or the Housing Bond Bill (193 H.4138). And a dozen forms of rent control (including 193 H.3744) are still alive through July, as well. It is up to you to resolve now to take action. Our two biggest policy nightmares will be decided this month. But I haven’t heard from half of you. I haven’t seen 90% of you at events. You have to believe it can happen to us here. You have to set aside time on your calendar to do what we are asking.

The first thing you must do is engage your good renters to oppose eviction sealing. I know it’s awkward. I went through the awkwardness myself. But you have to start to talk politics with your renters. You have to explain that good renters like them will be hurt by this bill. It’s already the case that it takes a year to remove a professional tenant or “tenant from hell.” The only reason your buildings are manageable at all is because you screen your new tenants. If you can’t screen on evictions, you will be holding the door open for new neighbors fresh off their last eviction. You need your renters to contact their representative and senator to oppose eviction sealing. Use the find my legislator link for their address and give them the phone numbers to call. And read our article for sample email wording.

The second thing you must do is contact your own representative and senator to oppose eviction sealing and rent control. If you have already contacted them this spring, follow up and ask them to confirm they plan to vote “no.” If they are in leadership, also email us at hello@masslandlords.net. We can schedule a time for us to go and talk with them.

The third thing you should do is harden your lease-up process given your goals and market. We can’t tell you which applicants to take or what rents to set. But we have worked hard the last five months to give you new frameworks to consider. For instance, our applicant qualifier still gives equal housing opportunity, but our new business nuisance disqualifiers might give you a leading indicator for people who won’t follow the rules. Another example: our rental agreement optional clauses give the option for automatic rent increases. You must understand these and start to implement what makes sense for you now. We don’t want you blindsided when an emergency law passes with immediate effect.

One fourth and final thing we recommend: start to get new renters on a credit reporting system. For example, we spun out the for-profit RentHelper service in 2017 for good reason. 99% of renters will build credit. But as we detail in the “RAFT Kiss of Death” article in this edition, some renters will leave us wishing we had never become landlords. If these laws pass, it will become more frequent. Our only true leverage is at lease signing when we can impose these and other constraints.

I have spent a lot of time doing policy work recently. I was recorded in multiple sessions for an upcoming NBC story on professional tenants. I was recorded for WFXT covering a rent control protest. It doesn’t matter that history is on our side, mistakes are made regularly in our democracy. You need to participate actively and vocally. Do not let these bills happen to you. We can stop them. Act now.

Thank you for supporting our mission to create better rental housing. We've got your back only because you've got ours. Please join as a member, encourage others to join, become a property rights supporter or increase your level of support. We aim to hire both a full-time educator and policy advocate.


Douglas Quattrochi

Executive Director

MassLandlords, Inc.

Contact your Rep and Senator

Oppose eviction sealing (193 H.4356, H.4138) and rent control (H3744).

Find My Legislator