Letter from the Executive Director for May 2021: Participate in RAFT/ERAP

Over the last month we have worked very hard on services, core operations, and policy.

We are in the process of piloting preferred pricing with the Home Depot. Presently our Home Depot program only gives discounts on paint or via the PRO desk. The pilot is evaluating whether we can extend preferred pricing to most products without stopping at the PRO desk. This means the pricing will be applied at checkout in store or online.

We continue on schedule toward a May roll-out of the Certified Massachusetts Landlord Level Two™ test of competence. We have written, at time of publication, over 500 questions for four modules and seven difficulties. This large question bank will allow us to quickly identify strengths and weaknesses. We will be able to apply the certification automatically and with a minimum of test time for landlords who are prepared, especially those who have taken our crash course.

The last month has been busy operationally. We have onboarded two Spanish language translators, applied for another grant, covered for a team member on leave, and migrated from Dropbox to Tresorit. I will say to any Dropbox Business users: make sure your Dropbox “Top-level editing” setting is set to “admins only.” If set to “Everyone,” then any team member will have the ability to delete all your files, even on folders for which they have no access. If this makes no sense to you, then you now understand part of the reason why MassLandlords has switched from Dropbox to Tresorit.

Policy-wise we continue to watch with disbelief as cosponsor after cosponsor signs onto 192 HD3030, a third eviction moratorium (second for the state, third after the CDC). This bill would delete the Davis v. Comerford case law, prevent judgments from entering, and prevent new cases from being filed. There might be a rational basis for this, if landlords were cruelly refusing to wait for renters to reach the safety net. But this is not an option in Massachusetts:

Last winter we gave a warning about RAFT not being optional. In April I wrote that Landlords Should Take RAFT because it’s mandatory for many of us. Tying this back to Eviction Moratorium 3.0, there is no justification for 192 HD3030. Our safety net is strong and enforceable.

Overall, we seem to be doing a good job of helping the safety net work better. We were well represented at a March 25 stakeholder meeting, following which on April 12 I spoke with the Governor at his request. We continue to be invited to participate in stories told via the Boston Globe, CNBC, WBUR, and WMLP 22, to name the ones that come to mind.

Forward this newsletter to a friend. Encourage them to read and join. Thank you for supporting our mission to create better rental housing.

Stay safe,

Douglas Quattrochi

Executive Director

MassLandlords, Inc.

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