Second Semiannual Policy Forum Planned for April 14

The second MassLandlords Policy Forum is planned for Saturday, April 14, 2018. The first Policy Forum was held last September.

The Policy Forum is held at the Beautiful Southbridge Hotel and Conference Center, close to the geographic center of the Commonwealth. It is one hour and ten minutes from Boston, one hour and forty from Pittsfield, and has accommodation for anyone looking to stay the night before.

Rent escrow is intended to be a major focus of the second forum. The purpose is to close the “free rent trick” loophole, whereby a tenant can purposefully damage their apartment to defend against eviction for nonpayment. House 980 is a compromise between tenant and landlord advocates and would be good public policy. At the first forum, MassLandlords trained a team of grassroots supporters for H 980.

At the second policy forum, we will review several other areas. The RPM Services Appeal will have been argued before the Supreme Judicial Court, and may or may not have been decided. We will also look at Just Cause Eviction, whether it is permitted state-wide, rejected by the legislature, or in the middle of a court battle.

The purpose of the Policy Forum long-term is to engage the entire housing community, including tenant advocates. Areas of interest at this time include the tenancy preservation program and insurance against homelessness.

Since taxes are due April 17, we may also bring in a tax consultant to help attendees answer any last minute questions about preparing their own Schedule E for rental income, Schedule LP for deleading credits, or deductions for charitable contributions made to homeless shelters, victims of domestic violence, etc.

Suggestions for break-out sessions are welcome. The final agenda remains to be determined.

In the days leading up to the Policy Forum in Southbridge, the Fair Housing Conference will be held in Springfield.

Mark your calendar now as a placeholder. Registration for the event will open in February.