Letter from the Executive Director for April 2022: Technical Improvements, Lawsuit Waiting

In March 2022 we made numerous technical improvements. We also put out lots of great educational content. Policy-wise, we wait for the state on our lawsuit while we educate the public about zoning.

Our transition from dues “per person” to dues “per unit” is off to a strong start. We’ve iterated on our join page and analyzed each change. We are now presenting custom membership dues to each visitor based on both their business size and regional market. This has sustained new member signups at the same rate as the lower normal range under “per unit” dues. More improvements for credit-card signups are in the works.

We also have a “pay by check” invoice generator. We have had a few members choose to pay in this slower way. We’ll wait! Our goal is to be accessible to all who need us.

A final technical improvement to mention is our MassCourts docket analyzer. We publish eviction data for Massachusetts on a weekly basis. Previously, we were waiting for the courts to mark a case disposition before publishing that outcome. But some cases, especially mediated agreements, are held open for more than 18 months. In this situation, we now infer that mediation has succeeded and report that as a disposition. We can always update our reports later.

Services-wise, our Home Depot savings rate is now on average 8.4%, up from the sevens last year.

We were pleased to publish our rent payment software review article. Our goal is to maintain this page on an ongoing basis. We now have over 1,800 pages. We should arrive at the 2,000-mark next year. We think we have nearly covered all the bases! Landlording is complicated.

We had some very worthwhile events in March, not least of all in my view was the Water Heater: Heat Pump Technology Introduction put together in coordination with the Advanced Water Heating Institute, Bradford White, A. O. Smith, and Rheem, among others. We also repeated our comprehensive hour-and-a-half review of the state sanitary code.

For the first time ever, we hosted a panel discussion on going full time. We had four experienced landlords share their expertise and varied approaches.

Turning to policy, we are waiting for the state to schedule the first of two hearings on our rental assistance public records lawsuit. Delay plays into our hand, as the state’s primary reason for refusing our request is they are too busy. The state will be too busy no longer once new applications for rental assistance stop April 15.

MassLandlords will keep advocating for you to create better rental housing for all, particularly in strong opposition to rent control and strong support of zoning reform. Please join as a member, become a property rights supporter or increase your level of support.

Sincerely,

Douglas Quattrochi

Executive Director

MassLandlords, Inc.

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