December 21 , 2012

On Wednesday, December 19th the Boston City Council voted 9-4 to approve rental registration law which captures condominiums, apartments and office buildings. Councilors Michael Ross of Mission Hill, Frank Baker of Dorchester, Bill Linehan of South Boston and At Large City Councilor John Connolly, all voted in opposition to the new law, expressing concern that it would not address the issue of substandard housing. GBREB was successful in obtaining several changes to the bill including an amendment that would require ISD to report back to the City Council on the laws effectiveness.

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 Inspectional Services Department (“ than July 1 of 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.

Owners must register their property by July 1, 2013.

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.