Letter from the Executive Director for December 2019

This month I’ll share updates on certification, our annual business meeting and elections, and some meetings I’ve had to discuss policy in Boston.

First, note that our first-in-the-nation Massachusetts-specific certification program is now live. Any member can become a Certified Massachusetts Landlord™ by logging in at MassLandlords.net/certification and agreeing to follow our best practices. These best practices have been developed with member input from across Massachusetts. They differentiate our participating members from those of us who may be unprepared.

The very first best practice is to know and understand the legal basics of landlording, including Fair Housing Laws and lead paint. If adopted widely, this best practice alone would make an enormous difference toward our mission to create better rental housing. And it would help many small business owners, who without this knowledge are likely to be fined for discrimination, to lose time in court due to code violations, and to experience financial losses. Our properties are businesses worthy of our professional attention and engagement.

Engagement is important, both in certification and in our annual elections. We are democratically governed, with a form of term limits and preference voting. Members are required to vote for our next Director. We have two excellent candidates for the one open seat. Please look for our announcement, and/or log into MassLandlords.net/member-home between December 4 and 17.

If we are to be effective policy advocates, it is imperative that we know what we are talking about and communicate it clearly to legislators in state and city office. I am pleased to report that I have survived a difficult rent control conversation with Representative Elugardo and Representative Connolly in November, and also a difficult eviction sealing conversation with Boston City Councilor Edwards. On these matters the membership are clear: these policies are anathema to free markets and free societies. But on the human equation we are equally clear: we can solve the housing crisis, and it is diversity of thought and experience that will lead us to a workable solution for all.

Please tell a friend about all the great work we’re doing. Get certified. Vote. Talk to your elected officials about what it’s like to be a landlord. It’s a meaningful and rewarding business, and together we will make Massachusetts the best place to own and to rent.

Douglas Quattrochi
Executive Director
MassLandlords, Inc.

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