Letter to the Speaker of the House, a Proposal From MassLandlords

Dear Mr. Speaker:

During the COVID19 emergency many tenants in Massachusetts will find themselves unable to pay their rent. Members of MassLandlords will continue to do their best to help by reducing and deferring rent when necessary and practicable, but will not be able to shoulder this burden themselves for long. Proposals to impose mandatory rent deferrals and halt summary-process cases would certainly alleviate short-term problems for tenants but only by directly transferring those problems to rental-property owners.

The knock-on effects would be significant. Like tenants, landlords have obligations to others, e.g. employees and lenders. Relieving tenants of the contractual duty to pay rent would reduce the ability of landlords to meet their own obligations. This, in turn, would tend to erode the very qualities that are essential for any society to endure and survive a crisis, namely civic virtue and social cohesion. The sense that legislators are siding with a larger group (tenants) at the expense of an economic minority (landlords) would further erode those qualities, making it harder both to maintain stability during the emergency and to recover afterwards.

We believe that there are three practical steps that the Legislature could take that would help stabilize the situation without unfairly burdening rental-property owners and thereby undermining trust in government and social cohesion:

1.Guarantee rents for the duration of the emergency. Tenants unable to pay rent would be secure in the knowledge that the Commonwealth as a whole will cover any shortfall, and landlords (in particular those who depend on rents to pay mortgages and make payroll) would be held harmless.

2. Make a monthly payment of at least $1,000.00 to each and every individual in Massachusetts for the duration of the emergency, i.e. an emergency universal basic income.

3. Guarantee landlords’ property tax payments, or allow them to defer payments until six months after the end of the emergency.

We hope that you will give these proposals prompt and serious consideration.

Thank you for your ongoing service to the people of Massachusetts.


Peter Vickery, Esq.

6 Responses to Letter to the Speaker of the House, a Proposal From MassLandlords

  1. LordZen says:

    This is a very good redacted letter, can we call any office or the speaker to support this letter or something?

  2. David Dorfman says:

    At least THIS makes sense. Not the idot Sanders jumping on the “just don’t pay rent” – . There are MANY people who rent, who work and are working full time and still getting paid. TENANTS do NOT need an excuse to NOT pay rent – when they are STILL working, STILL getting paid etc.

    Thank you.
    David Dorfman
    Publisher, RentLaw.com
    Long Time Follower of Mass Landlord .

  3. Claudia O says:

    Absolutely makes sense. Should we all copy and send individually. Yes tenants will take advantage of us and still need to be held accountable. In the UK all mortgage holders and renters have been given a three month no pay pass. Payments on loans are added on the end of the loan.

  4. steven trulli says:

    All these ideas are help full but each building owner is unique in their needs. First for those who have older mortgages it would be easier to pay just the interest delaying the principal to a later day. Have the state decree this possibility with the banks, we the tax payers bailed them out in 2008. Second.If the state would publish a letter in the newspapers and on line as to the rights of tenants regarding evictions but more importantly that they should discuss their particular situation with their landlord. Make every effort to send some rent, whatever they can afford, and ACKNOWLEDGING that they understand they will still be responsible for the balance within 90 days of the end of this NO WORK declaration from the state. This letter must be signed by both parties. Third. Some landlords are holding security deposits and possibly last months rent. Landlords can be allowed ,with written permission from the tenant and a pass from the state to move these monies from interest bearing accounts without penalty. Then the landlord can use some of these monies towards the rent and help pay their bills. This would help both tenant and landlord.Landlord would then repay those security accounts as time allows it.

  5. Libertarian Forever says:

    Ugh, the Founders would be ashamed of what we’ve (Massachusetts, and the US writ large) become.

    First, don’t ask the State for money–the State, like the Federal Government has No Money–they only take it from us taxpayers.
    Second, tell the State to go pound sand. Sue them, as they cannot negate a legal contract (lease) between a landlord and tenant.
    Third, leave it up to each individual landlord and tenant to agree upon a compromise. I have a mortgage to pay–should I tell my lender “sorry, Massachusetts won’t let me collect rent from my tenant so I can’t pay you this month.”? I’m OK with compromising a rent payment from my tenant, if they truly need it.

    This whole interference with private businesses will not end well. Landlords may decide to not renew their lease with their tenant, and take a financial loss rather than have State morons enact legislation that increases risk to landlords. Then of course the same morons will shout “we need more affordable housing.”

    Enough is enough.

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