Letter from the Executive Director for July 2019

Letter from the Executive Director for July 2019, discussing certification, rent control, and server upgrades supporting our early warning system.

In June we continued work on our certification plan, started to oppose the Massachusetts rent control bill, and completed our server upgrades.

Previously we announced that the Certified Massachusetts Landlord™ would have four levels, based on feedback from the membership. The state-wide Board of Directors met on June 20 and confirmed the membership’s basic plan. We discussed a well-reasoned membership minority viewpoint that the levels were misordered. We reordered the four levels into three levels of greater significance. As discussed at length in this edition, the three certification levels will reflect what we do, what we know, and how we stay current.

This voluntary certification program will clearly differentiate good landlords from the slumlords who don’t support our mission to create better rental housing. It will show that housing policy merits a collaborative approach with the best minds from each perspective at the table.

Rent control has been filed in Massachusetts, and this bill decidedly does not reflect a collaborative approach, the best minds, or a wide variety of perspective. This bill, discussed at great length in this edition, ought to be considered an embarrassment by those who drafted and cosponsored it. Not only is it ineloquent in its drafting, but should it pass, it would violate state and federal fair debt collection practices acts, exacerbate problems of systemic racism, and handcuff our efforts as landlords to maintain housing. We hope to meet with the drafters to share our perspective.

Regardless of whether anyone listens to us, we are doing what we need to do to serve the membership and create better rental housing. We have finished migrating our email servers, the last server work to be done. Onto this new framework we are building our policy early warning system, which will help notify grassroots volunteers of what is going on in your local cities and towns, and also turn members out for hearings.

We may not be holding regular networking and training events in July and August, but we will be working straight through the summer to deliver on our certification program and to hold the line against any policy proposal that doesn’t reflect our input.

If the rent control discussion in this edition concerns you, as I hope it should, please become a Property Rights Supporter by visiting masslandlords.net/property. We need these donations, which are specifically earmarked for policy advocacy, to advocate for your business and create better rental housing in Massachusetts.

Douglas Quattrochi
Executive Director
MassLandlords, Inc.