Chapters and History

This page is a simplified history of MassLandlords local chapters, clubs and unaffiliated organizations. All membership signups are now processed centrally online. If funds are due to local organizations, we will route those funds appropriately as long as that organization remains a service contract partner.

As of May 2024, the service contract partners still included the Southern Worcester County Landlord Association, the Rental Housing Association of Berkshire County, the Northern Worcester County Landlord Association, and the Metro West Property Owners Association. We do not anticipate updating this list, as new partnership opportunities are now closed.
In most cases, we now directly manage local volunteer organizations and meetups including the Worcester Property Owners Association, the Rental Housing Association of Greater Springfield and the Charles River Rental Housing Association, among others.

Pre-Internet Era (1940s to 1998)

MassLandlords, Inc., grew out of the 20 different landlord organizations all around Massachusetts. These 20 organizations reflected the 20 different regional rental housing markets in the state. These markets were, in alphabetical order by our regional names:

  • Berkshire County
  • Boston
  • Brockton
  • Cambridge and Somerville
  • Cape and Islands
  • Framingham
  • Franklin County
  • Haverhill
  • Holyoke
  • Lawrence
  • Lowell
  • New Bedford
  • North Shore
  • South Shore
  • Springfield
  • Taunton-Attleboro
  • Waltham
  • Worcester
  • Worcester County, Northern
  • Worcester County, Southern

Berkshire County

Great Barrington, Lee, Lenox, Stockbridge, Pittsfield, Lanesborough, Cheshire, New Ashford, Adams, North Adams, Clarksburg, Williamstown, Florida, Savoy, Hancock, Dalton, Windsor, Hinsdale, Peru, Richmond, Washington, West Stockbridge, Becket, Tyringham, Alford, Otis, Monterey, Sandisfield, New Marlborough, Sheffield, Egremont, and Mount Washington.

Cambridge, Greater Boston

Cambridge, Boston, Somerville, Arlington, Belmont, Watertown, and Malden.

Cape and Islands

Barnstable, Brewster, Cataumet, Centerville, Chatham, Chilmark, Cotuit, Cummaquid, Cuttyhunk, Dennis, Dennis Port, East Dennis, East Falmouth, East Orleans, East Sandwich, Eastham, Edgartown, Falmouth, Forestdale, Harwich, Harwich Port, Hyannis, Hyannis Port, Marstons Mills, Mashpee, Menemsha, Monument Beach, Nantucket, North Chatham, North Eastham, North Falmouth, North, Truro, Oak Bluffs, Orleans, Osterville, Pocasset, Provincetown, Sagamore, Sagamore Beach, Sandwich, Siasconset, Silver Beach, South Chatham, South Dennis, South Harwich, South Orleans, South Wellfleet, South Yarmouth, Truro, Vineyard Haven, Wellfleet, West Barnstable, West Chatham, West Chop, West Dennis, West Falmouth, West Harwich, West Hyannisport, West Tisbury, West Yarmouth, Woods Hole and Yarmouth Port.

Central Worcester

Worcester, Shrewsbury, Millbury, Auburn, Leicester, Paxton, Holden, West Boylston, Boylston, Grafton, Upton, Northbridge, Sutton, Oxford, Charlton, Spencer, Oakham, Rutland, Princeton, Clinton, and Sterling.

Charles River Rental Housing Association

Waltham, Newton, Weston, Watertown, Wellesley, Wellesley Hills, Lincoln, Dover, Arlington, Belmont, and the western ends of Cambridge and Boston.

Franklin County

Ashfield, Bernardston, Buckland, Charlemont, Colrain, Conway, Deerfield, Erving, Gill, Greenfield, Heath, Lake Pleasant, Leverett, Millers Falls, Monroe Bridge, Montague, New Salem, Northfield, Rowe, Shelburne Falls, Shutesbury, South Deerfield, Sunderland, Turners Falls, Warwick, Wendell, Wendell Depot and Whately.

Greater Brockton

Abington, Accord, Avon, Braintree, Brockton, Bryantville, Canton, Easton, East Bridgewater, East Walpole, East Weymouth, Hanover, Hanson, Hingham, Holbrook, Mattapan, Medfield, Millis, Milton, Milton Village, North Carver, North Easton, North Marshfield, North Pembroke, North, Weymouth, Norwell, Norwood, Pembroke, Plympton, Quincy, Randolph, Rockland, South Easton, South Weymouth, Stoughton, Walpole, Westwood, West Bridgewater, Weymouth, Whitman and Wrentham.

Greater Haverhill

Byfield, Groveland, Haverhill, Merrimac, South Hamilton and West Newbury.

Greater Lawrence

Andover, Boxford, Georgetown, Hamilton, Lawrence, Lynnfield, Methuen, Middleton, North Andover, North Reading, Reading, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Wenham and West Boxford.

Greater Lowell

Acton, Billerica, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Devens, Dracut, Littleton, Lowell, North Billerica, North Chelmsford, Nutting Lake, Pinehurst, Tyngsboro, Village Of Nagog Woods, Westford and Wilmington.

Greater New Bedford

Acushnet, Buzzards Bay, Dartmouth, East Wareham, Elmwood, Fairhaven, Fall River, Marion, Mattapoisett, New Bedford, North Dartmouth, Onset, Rochester, Somerset, South Carver, South Dartmouth, Wareham, West Wareham, Westport and Westport Point.

Greater Springfield

Springfield, West Springfield, Holyoke, Chicopee, Ludlow, Wilbraham, East Longmeadow, Longmeadow, Agawam, Southwick, Southampton, Easthampton, Northampton, Westhampton, Hadley, South Hadley, Granby, Amherst, Belchertown, Ware, Palmer, Warren, Monson, and Hampden.

Greater Taunton-Attleboro

Assonet, Attleboro, Attleboro Falls, Berkley, Bridgewater, Carver, Chartley, Dighton, East Freetown, East Mansfield, East Taunton, Foxboro, Franklin, Halifax, Lakeville, Mansfield, Medway, Middleboro, Monponsett, Norfolk, North Attleboro, North Dighton, Norton, Plainville, Raynham, Raynham Center, Rehoboth, Seekonk, Sharon, Sheldonville, South Walpole, Swansea and Taunton.


MetroWest Property Owners Association

Framingham, Marlborough, Southborough, Ashland, Natick, Wayland, Sudbury, Maynard, Hudson, Berlin, Northborough, Westborough, Hopkinton, Stow, Bolton.

North Shore

Amesbury, Beverly, Danvers, Essex, Gloucester, Hathorne, Ipswich, Lynn, Manchester, Marblehead, Nahant, Newbury, Newburyport, Peabody, Prides Crossing, Revere, Rockport, Rowley, Salem, Salisbury, Saugus, Swampscott and Winthrop.

Northern Worcester County

Fitchburg, Gardner, Leominster, Athol, Holden, Ayer, Orange, Ashburnham, Spencer, Ashby, Lunenburg, Townsend, Westminster, Princeton, Sterling, Lancaster, Shirley, Groton, Pepperell, Winchedon, Templeton, and Hubbardston.

South Shore

Brant Rock, Cohasset, Dorchester, Dorchester Center, Duxbury, Green Harbor, Greenbush, Hull, Humarock, Kingston, Manomet, Marshfield, Marshfield Hills, Minot, North Scituate, Ocean Bluff, Plymouth, Scituate and White Horse Beach.

Southern Worcester County Landlord Association

Southbridge, Sturbridge, Charlton, Dudley, Holland, Brimfield, Warren, Brookfield, East Brookfield, Spencer, Leicester, Auburn, Oxford, Webster, Wales, Monson, Palmer, West Brookfield, North Brookfield, Millbury, Sutton, Douglas, Grafton, Northbridge, Uxbridge, Westborough, Hopkinton, Upton, Milford, Hopedale, Mendon, Millville, Blackstone, Bellingham.

Early Internet Years (1998 to 2014)

Real estate was not an early focus of Internet-related investment, particularly not when viewed in comparison with the tech investments made in search engines, travel websites and e-commerce. For this reason, it was not possible to find recommendations for contractors online, legal information, renter court records or even apartments. For many years the only source of online apartment listings was Craigslist, run by Craig himself. And the only source of contractor recommendations was Angie's List, run by Angie herself. The world was a simpler place.

Each of the organizations in each of the regional markets operated monthly local dinner meetings, provided rental forms that would work in the local courts and introduced members to local contractors, attorneys, insurance brokers and more. Some were very professionally run, others were more like clubs. Each organization kept its own books. Most produced their own newsletter and some had their own website.

Each organization earned approximately $10,000 a year in membership dues. This is how the first MassLandlords goal was established: unite the 20 organizations and we'd have an operating budget of approximately $200,000 per year.

Berkshire CountyThe Rental Housing Association of Berkshire County
Cambridge and SomervilleThe Small Property Owners Association
Cape and IslandsCape Cod Property Owners and Managers Association
FraminghamMetro West Property Owners Association
Franklin CountyThe Landlords Business Association of Franklin County
HaverhillThe Greater Haverhill Landlord Guild
HolyokeThe Greater Holyoke Rental Housing Association
LowellThe Greater Lowell Landlords Association
New BedfordThe Greater New Bedford Landlords Association
North ShoreSalem Landlords
South Shoren/a
SpringfieldThe Rental Housing Association of Greater Springfield
WalthamThe Waltham Rental Housing Association, The Charles River Rental Housing Association
WorcesterThe Worcester Property Owners Association
Worcester County, NorthernThe Northern Worcester County Landlords Association
Worcester County, SouthernThe Southern Worcester County Landlords Association
StatewideThe Massachusetts Rental Housing Association


2013 WPOA Restructured to replace MRHA

Every Sunday throughout 2013, a team of local landlords met at the home of Sandra Katz, then president of the Worcester Property Owners Association. This series of "breakfast at Sandra's" began a comprehensive review of what landlording organizations were and needed to be. Those landlords, who ought to be thought of as MassLandlords' founders, reaffirmed our choice of a 501(c)6 tax-exempt designation. But they decided to step into what they perceived as a statewide vacuum left by the Massachusetts Rental Housing Association (MRHA). MRHA was mostly volunteer. After leading the MRHA for decades, the volunteers were tiring. Participation in civic organizations was declining sharply as previous in-person social interaction moved online. It was hard to get new volunteers. So the WPOA hired a law firm to redraft its bylaws with a statewide mission and a new model with paid staff.

2014 MassLandlords Launch, the "Digital-only Membership" was launched in 2014 by the restructured Worcester Property Owners Association. At time of launch, the website was intended to provide rental forms to WPOA members and anyone who didn’t already identify with a regional association. We sold "Digital-only Memberships.” This geographically unbranded membership encouraged members to pay dues without specifying a local association.

The rental forms came with other management features of the website. These helped us take our first online payments and manage renewals automatically. All in all, the set of services was in high demand. The Southern Worcester County Landlord Association signed our first service contract, followed by the Small Property Owners Association and others.

2015 – 2017 New Service Contract Partnerships

For several years we focused on incorporating the existing landlord groups under our umbrella. Membership multiplied times eight to a 2017 high of 1,475 members counting members of service contract partners. Then things changed course.

A faction of landlords at the Small Property Owners Association had been discontent with the conciliatory and centrist approach MassLandlords was taking. In a set of actions chronicled elsewhere, they rapidly ousted SPOA leadership and terminated the MassLandlords service contract. They threatened to sue MassLandlords and libeled us in front of our dual members, such that by 2018 membership had fallen for the first time.

We learned we are powerless to correct governance deficiencies at partner associations, so new service contract partnership talks were called off. We would resume growth on our own terms.

2018 to 2021 Growth

Growth resumed and remained at approximately 20% per year through the pandemic, despite sell-outs doubling in the late 2020 to early 2021 timeframe. This "year of sellouts" started in April 2020 when the state told renters they could stop paying rent. It ended when rental assistance and the courts arrived back on the scene. Despite the loss of so many landlords, our services, including policy advocacy, were attracting more attention than ever. Growth continued as long-term members left.

2022 Post-pandemic to Present

We resumed in-person events to find the landscape changed in seemingly permanent ways. Many of those we knew as regular event attendees had retired and sold out. Others strongly preferred to get their information online. Suffice it to say the monthly dinner meetings held in 20 locations were now a thing of the past.

We continue to operate our local chapters and brands. The lesson of the last 20 years is that information is moving online, and therefore so are we. And brands consolidate, so many more identify as "MassLandlords" members than identify by a local chapter affiliation. We turned this page from a listing of chapters into "Chapters and History" in May 2024 and will update it as needed.

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