Emotional Support Animals: Open Letter to Attorney General Maura Healey

By Peter Vickery, Esq., Legislative Affairs Counsel Dear Attorney General Healey: With regard to emotional support animals (ESAs) MassLandlords would be grateful for an advisory from your office making clear that the documents provided by certain online entities are not sufficient. We would appreciate your leadership on this consumer-protection problem,…

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Waterproof Laminate Flooring put to the Test: Claims vs Data

Some manufacturers say they offer waterproof laminate flooring. Is this marketing spin? Or can wood really be waterproof? Landlords need flooring suitable for heavy use in a kitchen, bathroom, or mud room, and waterproof wood sounds appealing. MassLandlords set out to test several different options available off-the-shelf at a Massachusetts…

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Worcester’s New Landlord-Tenant Guarantee Program is Finally Here!

In May the City of Worcester launched a Landlord-Tenant Guarantee (formerly known as Insurance Against Homelessness) modeled after similar programs successfully implemented in Washington, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and other states. Worcester landlords take note: If you typically avoid renting to riskier tenants, despite having vacancies, MassLandlords now has a solution!  (A…

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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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