Letter from the Executive Director for September 2019

This month we discuss two upcoming rental forms as well as our evolving certification plan.

In August many of our team took some much needed rest and relaxation, but there are still achievements to report.

We reviewed and redrafted our animal addendum, which was out of date and not very comprehensive. We also drafted our first water submetering addendum. These forms are under attorney review and will be released this month.

Our certification work continues on all fronts. We have started drafting the additional terms and conditions to which members will agree. We have refined the definition of our certification levels based on continuing community input. Our website now offers a “professional profile,” onto which we will affix certification badges. And we have at least notionally designed the certification badge and pin.

The Certified Massachusetts Landlord™ will be a three-level designation available to all members. The levels will be cumulative, and they will indicate the year of completion.

cML Level One™ will be based on our willingness to adopt a set of best practices. The best practices are being crafted in small group sessions with landlords around the state. So far we have met in Newton, West Springfield, and Pittsfield. Level One certifications will be provisional, in the sense that we can only hold Level One for 18 months before we will have to advance to Level Two. Level One will be awarded starting in October.

cML Level Two™ will require following the Level One best practices, but it will also require demonstrating knowledge of the business and the laws. Specifically, Level Two will mean passing an exam covering lead paint safety, fair housing, security deposits, and much more. The Level Two designation will show the year in which you first passed your exam, for instance, “cML Level Two™ 2020.” Level Two will be awarded starting by January 2020. This is a delay from our original roadmap, but we are taking the time to do it right.

cML Level Three™ will signify a commitment to continuing education. We will recognize members who attend at least ten hours of events in a rolling 12-month period. Our attendance tracking cards have already been automatically recording arrival and departure times at events for the past year. The Level Three designation will show both the year in which you first passed your exam and the current year. For instance, five years from now a certified Massachusetts Landlord might be able to say, “cML Level Three™ 2020 – 2024.”  Level Three will be awarded starting in January 2020.

This certification and all our other work will guide new landlords to success, demonstrate to renters that they are making a wise choice renting from a cML, and raise the bar for our industry. The program will help us succeed in our mission to create better rental housing.

Share this newsletter with one person who should know about it. We are on to great things.

Douglas Quattrochi
Executive Director
MassLandlords, Inc.