Earlier today I received news that once again, Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino is pushing for onerous and unprecedented control over rental properties.
In November 2012, the Boston City Council struck down a similar measure as being duplicative of current rental housing laws (which are some of the most stringent and tenant-focused in the nation) that protect tenants for substandard rental properties that do not comply with the State Sanitary Code. The City has systems, staff, regulations and legal options already at their disposal to deal with sub-par landlords - this is clearly an effort to "kill a fly with a sledgehammer".
This new legislation would require all landlords (including individual condo owners who rent their units to others) to register their property with the City, undergo annual inspections by City employees, pay for inspection fees, post owners contact information in the common areas of the building, and notify the City of changes to ownership. The cost to expand the city government to conducted 140,000 annual inspections will be passed on to renters as well as the taxpayers.
Even if you are not a renter or landlord this measure will impact you. For starters, the fees collected via the inspections will not cover the increase in staff to perform the inspections ever year so taxes will need to be increased. Secondly, since the Mayor's rationale for this to "ensure safe housing conditions" it is possible that once the rental precedent is established that the program would be expanded to include ALL RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES IN THE CITY OF BOSTON, including owner-occupied properties. I am sure you want an annual walkthrough of your home by a City employee.
Please join me in sending a clear message to the City Council by clicking on this link, https://realtorparty.realtoractioncenter.com/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=2334 to send an electronic message to Boston City Councilors to oppose the passage of the bill. (there is a customizable section of the letter that you can edit).
Thank you for your support.
Gary Dwyer, Broker / Owner
Buyer Agents of Boston, LLC