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Bills of Interest to Massachusetts Landlords

Landlord-Related Bills

The more landlords are reached the higher chance we have to change the anti-landlord MA laws so please forward this to other landlords.

Recent State House Activity:

HB386 – An Act relative to housing rights for victims of domestic violence
Action: H Reported favorablyby Joint Committee on Housing as redrafted, carrying SB586

HB586 – An Act relative to housing rights for victims of domestic violence.
Action: S Attached to favorable reportby Joint Committee of HB386

HB2273 – An Act relative to the modification of late fees
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

HB2274 – An Act requiring the use of escrow accounts during rent disputes
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

SB779 – An Act relative to rent escrow.
Action: S Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

SB855 – An Act relative to modification to summary process.
Action: S Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

HB2283 – An Act relative to consumer protection laws
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

SB759 – An Act relative to the proximity of storage facilities utilized in possession of land or tenement cases.
Action: S Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

HB2257 – An Act relating to lead poisoning regulations
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

HB2274 – An Act requiring the use of escrow accounts during rent disputes
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

Bill Text for HB438 (HD869) of 2011-2012 Session
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

Bill Text for HB489 (HD347) of 2011-2012 Session An Act to require actual injury under 93A – unfair and deceptive and a right to a Jury.
A Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

HB518 – An Act to require verified complaints in summary process actions
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

HB1284 – An Act relative to the withholding of rent
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

HB520 – An Act requiring rent escrow
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

HB2164 – An Act relative to the proximity of storage facilities utilized in possession of land or tenement cases
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

HB2257 – An Act relating to lead poisoning regulations
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

HB2273 – An Act relative to the modification of late fees
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

HB2274 – An Act requiring the use of escrow accounts during rent disputes
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

HB1275 – An Act relative to rent escrowing
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

Bill Text for HB1275 (HD1553) of 2011-2012 Session
An Act relative to rent escrowing

HB1274 – An Act relative summary to process modification
Action: H Extension order filed until April 27, 2012

HB1261 – An Act relative to capital relief in a counterclaim
Action: H Accompanied study order Joint Committee on Housing

HB2124 – An Act relative to rent escrow
Action: H Accompanied study order Joint Committee on Housing

SB1134 – An Act relative to Cimex Lectularius. (an act about bedbugs)
Action: S Accompanied study order Joint Committee on Public Health

Call to Action. Click http://www.malegislature.gov/ find your legislator and tell them how you feel.

We oppose the domestic violence bill because we are not social workers o members of Law Enforcement. We must protect our right to evict tenants who are loud and inconvenience other tenants or destroy our property.

As far as the rent escrow bills we need mandatory rent escrow to show that the tenant called the Health Board in good faith and not in retaliation to our Notice or a Letter or something we said or simply because they ran out of money for the rent. If they can’t show that they have the rent in escrow (minus legitimate receipts to repair and deduct) then they cannot use that Health Board report against us to claim habitational counterclaims. This abuse of process happens quite often and it is the most important overall issue for landlords in MA. WE NEED MANDATORY RENT ESCROW NOW.

As far as the storage laws we want the law to change so that we¬† can choose any mover and/or storage company and they don’t need to be a public bonded warehouse. Additionally, after Legislators added the “20 mile radius” modification in 2011 the choice has decreased and currently we only have 15 storage companies that we can use for evictions and that is for the whole state! Two years ago they were 29 which was too low to begin with. So…as we were warning the legislators the moving/storage companies have monopolies now in many areas of MA (for example there is only one in Worcester!). Two years ago they were asking the landlord to pre-pay 2-3 months storage fees and now many of them are asking for all 6 months of storage fees. In fact some people from the Department of Public Safety are telling them that “that’s the law.” Ask your legislator two questions:

a) If we pre-pay the full 6 months as many of these monopolies storage/moving companies insist, what happens if the tenant shows up on the 2nd month and collects their furniture. Who pockets the 4 pre-paid months of storage fees?

b) the law says that after 6 months if unclaimed the storage company can auction the property and pay any unpaid storage fees only. If we had pre-paid the full 6 months who pockets the auction money?

As far as 93A unfair and deceptive practices tell them that the Supreme Judicial Court already said that actual injuries are required but enforcement is sporadic in Housing Court and some judges are still clinging to the past. We need better clarification of the law. In addition, it is un-American and un-Constitutional not to give 93A to the Jury even in factual cases with legal claims where at stake are double and triple damages and attorney fees. Such cases should always go to the Jury per our Constitution.

As far as lead poisoning tell your Legislator that before anybody automatically points their finger at the Big Bad Landlord an investigation needs to be conducted. We now know that lead can be found in many things unrelated to the landlord. The law needs to be updated.

As far as late fees tell them that if a bank is allowed to charge us late fees on the 15th for the mortgage then we should be allowed to do the same for the rent (where do they think the money for the mortgage comes from if not from the rents?). It is inherently unfair to allow banks to charge late fees on the rent of their property (the money that they rent to us) while we cannot do the same thing on the rent of our property (the apartments that we rent to tenants.)