RHAGS Past Meetings
For events in 2018, visit the main Events page and press “back” on the calendar. Past events now remain on the calendar.
February 2018: Judge Abrashkin: Perspectives on a Lifetime of Public Service
Retired Judge Abrashkin, now of Springfield Housing Authority, shared his thoughts on public service. Summarized in the March 2018 newsletter.
January 2018: HAP Housing is now Wayfinders, Use Lines of Credit to Become a Cash Buyer, Trump Tax Reform
Representatives from Wayfinders joined us to talk about the differences between HAP and Wayfinders. They also explained the difference between Section 8 and MRVP subsidy programs. We ended with a longer segment from Andrew Komarow of Talcott Financial based on what we’ve learned of Trump tax reform. The key message was how to use lines of credit to become a cash buyer in a hot market. Click here to learn more about this meeting
December 2017: Judge Robert G. Fields & Chief Housing Specialist Donna Zundell
Judge Fields reviewed the top mistakes he sees landlords make. Of equal and extreme importance is Donna Zundell, Chief Housing Specialist aka Mediator. Mediation is your last chance to resolve an eviction before you see the judge and all your sins are laid bare. Click here to learn more about this meeting
November 2017: Disaster Show and Tell, Ways to Make More Money
In the Disaster “Show and Tell”, Katie Daviau of BayState Restoration motivated each of us to prevent fire, smoke and water damage with many before and after pictures of devastated properties that were restored by BayState. In “Ways to Make More Money,” in Doug Quattrochi presented the best tips and tricks we’ve learned from talking with hundreds of landlords over the years. Click here for full details and downloads
October 2017: The Western Mass. Economy with Dr. Mark Melnik
RHAGS was excited to welcome Dr. Mark Melnik, Director of Economic and Public Policy Research at UMass Donahue Institute, to join us for a discussion focused on the Western MA economy. He touched on the demographic and economic issues in the region, factors that lead an area to grow or decline, lessons to be learned from history and more! Two representatives from the Mass Save program also joined us to tell us how to get up to $250,000 of building upgrades for 90% off. Click here for full details and downloads
September 2017: Notice to Quit Do’s and Don’t’s & Making Solar Work for You
We were very happy to have Attorney Katharine Higgins-Shea from Lyon & Fitzpatrick join us to kick off our first meeting of the fall with a talk on Notices to Quit. We were also very excited for our interview between General Manager of SunBug Solar, Aaron Simms and Executive Director, Doug Quattrochi. Click here for full details
June 2017: Security Deposit Update with Attorney Larry Farber
Are you at risk of triple damages? How can we reform security deposit law? Attorney Larry Farber joined us to talk about the security deposit issue that was highly relevant given the recent movement in both the courts and legislature on the issue. Click here for full details
May 2017: De-leading and Lead Law Changes with Dave Burgess
Lead Expert Dave Burgess, President of Emerald Lead Testing, joined us to dive into de-leading and to give us an update on the new lead laws. Massachusetts has some of the toughest lead laws in the country. However, the lead laws were just recently comprehensively overhauled and many major changes were made which might leave your certification of compliance void! Click here for full details and downloads
April 2017: In the Know – Building Codes & Marijuana
We were pleased to welcome Springfield City Code Enforcement Commissioner Steven T. Desilets to give us the in on how to keep our Buildings up to Code. We were also happy to have Attorney Dick Evans join us to give us a run-down of and an update on Marijuana Laws. Click here for full details and downloads
March 2017: New Leases and Cabinets 101
Our local legal expert, Attorney Katharine Higgins-Shea, joined us to dive into the new lease that she’s helped us to form. She delved into clauses, legal language and reasonable accommodation. Every landlord and property manager should know and fully understand their lease agreements in order to avoid problems down the road. We were also joined by Bob Brown and Bill Dryden from Grossman’s Bargain Outlet who gave us the inside scoop on cabinetry. They also gave us a huge, landlords only discount! Click here for full details and downloads
February 2017: Serving Notices and Mold Issues
We were proud to welcome the Chief Deputy of the Hampden County Sheriff, Robert Hoffman, to talk to us about serving notices to quit. He recounted jaw-dropping eviction tales and elaborate on common problems. Eviction can be a complex process, learning the best methods of carrying out an eviction will save you time, money and a headache. We were also delighted to have David Charbonneau, owner of Advantaclean, join us to educate us on mold. He answered questions like: How long does it take to get mold? What are the effects of mold to tenants? What issues can mold cause? What are the common causes of mold growth? Click here for full details and downloads
January 2017: Insurance and Evictions
Risk is always an issue as a landlord, but the right insurance plan can help you to manage your risks. Mat Geffin from Webber & Grinell Insurance, educated us on insurance issues, such as: slips, trips, falls, dog breeds, and replacement costs. Executive Director Doug Quattrochi, also gave an overview of the eviction process. It was part 1 of 2, to be continued at the February meeting with a presentation on serving notices given by the sheriff. Click here for full details and downloads
December 2016: Tenant Attorney Joel Feldman
This is unprecedented: an attorney who represents tenants came to speak to us about what he looks for when building a case against a landlord. Attorney Joel Feldman of Heisler, Feldman, and McCormick, P.C. addressed Springfield landlords thanks to long-time MassLandlords.net/RHAGS supporter and landlord attorney Stanley Komack, who arranged for his court rival to present.
November 2016: MCAD Chairwoman Jamie Williamson
The chair of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination returned to her home territory of western Mass to make us laugh, cry, and succeed under our tough discrimination laws. Chairwoman Williamson is a refreshingly accessible and honest public figure and a delight to listen to. She also won the 2015 MassLandlords Good Neighbor Award, for her time in front of landlord groups. Jamie gave concrete advice about what to say or not to say, how to advertise, and how to pass federal and state-funded testing.
October 2016: Candidates’ Night
Owners and residents of all regions were welcomed to attend to decide who would be their representation in the state legislature, deciding which landlord-tenant and housing policies make it into law. We hosted Senate candidates for both First and Second Hampden & Hampshire Districts and we asked our candidates to discuss a variety of topics affecting rental housing, including zoning reform, road and rail infrastructure, Housing Court expansion, and landlord-tenant law.
September 2016: Chief Justice of the Housing Court
Tim Sullivan, Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Housing Court, took time to speak to RHAGS at Springfield’s September meeting. He spoke about the housing court expansion as well as how best to prepare for appearing in housing court. Chief Justice Sullivan will also answered pre-submitted questions. This was a valuable learning opportunity!
June 2016: Maintenance
Experienced landlord and licensed electrician Norm Lachance shared his tips and tricks for DIY property maintenance. This was a chance to learn from someone who has been there, done that!
May 2016: Ask the Experts
Two attorneys and one 300 unit+ manager were on stage to answer any and all questions attendees could throw at them. We were lucky to have such knowledgeable speakers as Attorney Stanley Komack, Attorney Katharine Higgins-Shea, and Landlord Extraordinaire Sheryl Chase.
April 2016: Fire Safety
Did you know there were 17,395 building fires in Massachusetts in 2014 alone? The three largest causes of fires are things you as a landlord have control over. We were proud to welcome the Springfield Fire Department to discuss smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and what we can do as landlords to help keep our customers and properties safe.
March 2016: Don’t Let the Bedbugs Bite!
Our guest speakers were Shawn Bradley and Rich Smith of Braman Chemical. RHAGS gathered to learn about bed bugs, what to do when a tenant makes a complaint, effective methods on how to get rid of them and your role as the property owner.
February 2016: Legalized Marijuana
On February 11th we learned what the new dispensaries and medical marijuana law means for landlords, tenants, and property values. We also gathered to speculate on the likelihood of legalized recreational marijuana and whether landlords will be able to deal with the consequences of increased personal freedom. Attorney Richard Evans has worked as a member of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), received its lifetime achievement award in 2011, and shared his perspective on these changing times.
January 2016: Notices to Quit
RHAGS gathered to learn what to do when good tenancies go bad. Attorney Katharine Higgins-Shea spoke about 7-day, 14-day, and 30-day eviction notices.
October 2015: Healthy Homes
At this meeting, the members of RHAGS talked about the federal healthy homes program and the Pioneer Valley Asthma Coalition.
September 2015: Ask the Experts
“Ask the experts” about anything and everything. No materials.