Letter from the Executive Director for November 2021: Act Before Dues Increase

In October, we vocally opposed tenant right of first refusal at a hearing. We continued to work towards roll out of our dues increase.

Policy-wise, Massachusetts remains a somewhat broken community. Would that we had ranked choice voting and some consensus-colored light were building over the horizon. As it stands now, anyone can win office by appealing to the angriest partisan group that will get them a majority of votes. Housing providers and every other voting minority remain at risk of having their rights voted away under false pretense of a popular mandate. Meanwhile the housing crisis deepens for many.

We saw this clearly in the dynamic around right of first refusal, also known as a “tenant opportunity to purchase act” (TOPA). These bills (192 H.1426 S.890) would require landlords wait 220 days to close any sale of rental property. Meanwhile renters would be able to conduct small amounts of demolition. Anyone who owns real estate (which is two-thirds of Massachusetts residents) can see the problem. Yet the hearing on Oct. 12 took place as if the idea were the serious work of housing experts. The nonprofit community development corporations and others advocating for it ought to have made themselves laughingstocks.

Our viewpoint remains marginalized not by renters but by their advocates, who are paid by state funding. But our membership value proposition is huge: Home Depot savings, rental forms, eviction records search and 11 more benefits. We shouldn’t have to be marginalized. To correct the policy imbalance, we are implementing the first dues increase since MassLandlords, Inc. was formed out of the Worcester Property Owners Association in 2013.

The evening of Sunday, Nov. 14/morning of Monday, Nov. 15, the site will be updated to accept dues payments under the new schedule only. This means a base price and a “per unit” component. It will vary by location in the state to reflect different rental markets.

If you are a member in good standing, you can have your current dues price grandfathered in for a time. Visit MassLandlords.net/account before Monday, Nov. 15. Scroll down for full instructions.

If you are not a member, you can join under the current price before Monday, Nov. 15. Visit MassLandlords.net/join.

A hardship waiver will be available to anyone who cannot afford the new dues.  Otherwise, after Nov. 15, dues must be paid according to the “price per unit” schedule.

Remember we offer an impressive array of services, including a test of landlording knowledge through our Certified Massachusetts Landlord™ program. Thank you for supporting our mission to create better rental housing.

Sincerely,

Douglas Quattrochi

Executive Director

MassLandlords, Inc.

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