Rent Control Redux? The $64,000 Question (aka the Bologna Story)

By Peter Vickery, Esq., Legislative Affairs Counsel This article reviews the story of Vincent and Laura Bologna, landlords who were famously bankrupted by Massachusetts rent control. Massachusetts had rent control from 1970 to 1994. In 1994, the voters of Massachusetts voted in favor of Question 9 and abolished rent control.…

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Can Massachusetts Landlords Charge for Solar?

Massachusetts is in many ways a leader when it comes to solar power incentives, but we have paid little attention to landlord-tenant solar. The new SMART program subsidizes solar power and improves on the old SREC program in one major way, discussed below. But SMART still leaves landlords with little…

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MassLandlords.net Site Upgraded from Site5 to AWS, 35% Faster

On April 16, the MassLandlords.net website was transferred from Site5 cloud hosting to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Site5 was the second and longest-running host MassLandlords employed, offering services from April 2014 to April 2019. Several factors drove the migration. First and foremost, MassLandlords.net will start to offer market certifications to…

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Letter from the Executive Director for May 2019

letter from the executive director, logo

In April we completed a laundry list of smaller items: continued to develop the helpline, gave feedback the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Section 8, reordered the website sign-up flow, upgraded the core website server (discussed at length in this edition), and set up monitors for key policy…

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Gov. Baker’s Parking Thoughts: Copy Hartford, San Francisco?

By Peter Vickery, Esq., Legislative Affairs Counsel In February, Governor Charlie Baker filed H. 3507, titled an “Act to Promote Housing Choices.” If enacted, the measure would allow communities to change their zoning bylaws or codes by simple majority, instead of two-thirds, on a number of topics. One of the…

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Global (Over)Reach: Boston Globe Stokes Eviction Fear with Falsehoods

By Peter Vickery, Esq. On Sunday, February 19, 2019, the Boston Globe magazine published an article about evictions in Massachusetts. The reporters, Jenifer McKim and Alejandro Serrano, implied their support for providing tenants with taxpayer-funded lawyers, a position that should come as no surprise. But in support of their policy…

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Three-Decker Structural Renovations

This article gives an inside look at an ongoing gut renovation of a three-decker, particularly one that needed structural repairs. The building was constructed circa 1890 and followed a “two-and-a-half” floorplan, with a pitched as opposed to flat roof. A Grim Engineer’s Report A structural engineer reviewed the property for…

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Oregon Rent Control now Statewide: Full Analysis

Oregon’s Senate Bill 608 established rent control and just cause eviction on February 28, 2019 effective immediately. The law caps rent increases to CPI plus 7% per year, increases the notice period for some tenancies to 90 days, and establishes a list of permissible causes for termination. This article gives…

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Limited Assistance Representation (LAR) for Landlords

By Peter Vickery, Esq. This article covers limited assistance representation (LAR), a lesser-known form of legal assistance that may help some landlords contain legal costs. Pros and cons of LAR are discussed. Representation in Court Some landlords worry that hiring a lawyer to evict a tenant is like writing a…

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