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New Boston Rental Registration Law Takes Effect Aug. 31

A new rental registration law that was scheduled to take effect in Boston on July 1st, is now set to be implemented August 31. The ordinance applies to all apartments not occupied by the owner, including condominium units. Categorical exemptions are provided in the case of licensed lodging houses, units owned or operated by federal, state or city governments and owner-occupied buildings containing no more than six units.

Landlords will be required to submit registration forms to the City's Inspectional Services Department each year, identifying the property by street address and listing the number of units in the building. A fee of $25 per unit will be charged for the initial registration; thereafter, the fee for annually renewing the registration of each unit will be $15. Any owner who does not live in Massachusetts must also designate a Boston-based resident agent to accept service of process on the owner’s behalf.

Mayor Menino sponsored the legislation which was approved by the Boston City Council by a vote of 9-4 in December.  GBREB opposed the measure out of concern it would not adequately address the issue of substandard housing or focus city resources on problem properties.

Click here to see a general legal advisory. Members are encouraged to also consult with an attorney.  Click here to see a text of the new law.

Individuals experiencing problems with the City’s website while attempting to register properties should contact the Inspectional Services Department at 617-635-5300.