Rent Control, TOPA and More Tue 11/14

Hello MassLandlords Reader,

On Monday I learned there's a State Housing hearing Tuesday November 14 on hot-button landlord-tenant issues, including rent control for both Boston and statewide. (I've been super sick, though, and we're still understaffed, so we've lost a couple days on notifying you.) Out of 29 bills scheduled, 23 have been written without housing provider perspective. The Boston one is the one we're in court over.

If you find politics exhausting, then re-hire us to build out our policy machine for you! Suggested contribution $45 one-time. Or else, read on! Because you have a short bit of civic duty to perform.

1.) Block off 30 minutes of time on your calendar Monday.

2.) Email us at and tell us what you want to submit testimony on. Your choices are:

  1. Rent control, in particular, making us ask for city permission to make repairs, go to court or breathe.
  2. Rent control another way, by creating an extrajudicial process for renters.
  3. Restricting the ability to sell your property on the market (TOPA).
  4. Eliminating security deposits.
  5. Eliminating tenant screening by credit score.
  6. Penalizing landlords when a renter breaks the lease by smoking.
  7. Having to install window guards at the drop of a hat on any property even if other safety measures are in place.
  8. Or, there's actually one good thing on the heap: Requiring utilities to notify us when the renter gets shut off.

Those eight bullets represent the deduplicated list of 24 bills that most directly impact you. We are indifferent to the five other bills.

If you're a Boston landlord, pick #1. If you're a Somerville landlord, pick #3.

Meanwhile, we'll be writing talking points like a team possessed. We'll email you this weekend with those talking points and instructions. You have to write some custom testimony in that 30-minute block and submit it. We will make it very easy even if you write bad are a bad writer.

I would tell you to testify by Zoom, but honestly, they've taken landlords last every g*%$#!n time since 2019. You'll be on the computer for 8+ hours. Assuming I'm recovered, I will be there in-person to represent us. I train for this.

Want more information? Here's the official hearing page.

Like so many things, this is serious business because the world is seriously broken. But it doesn't get fixed without everyone at the table. Buy us the $45 ticket to the metaphorical State House lobby. Or get in line to testify.

If everyone reading this note donated, I could hire a full-time policy person. If everyone testified, our voice would be thunderous. Pick one and either way we'll do something good.

Thank you for your support in our mission to create better rental housing.

Doug Quattrochi
Executive Director
MassLandlords, Inc.