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GBREB Foundation aims to eclipse fundraising goals for Greater Boston kids as Mayor Walsh and Arthur Winn will be honored

On June 12, 2018 the Greater Boston Real Estate Board Foundation will hold its annual scholarship breakfast at the Westin, Copley Place. Mayor Martin Walsh will be honored as a "first One," being the first in his family to graduate from college, and Arthur Winn will receive the Humanitarian of the Year Award for his passionate commitment to education, housing and improving the quality of life for people in the Greater Boston area. They also hope to announce that the Greater Boston Real Estate Board has met is goal of raising 1 million dollars over the last 4 years to help students in Greater Boston attend the academic institutions of their dreams.

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board Scholarship Fund was established in 2012 with the goal of helping economically disadvantaged young people attend and graduate from college by providing them with scholarship assistance and financial aid counseling. In order to accomplish their mission, GBREB partnered with uAspire, a Boston-based organization that has been helping students from low-income families find an affordable path to a postsecondary education since 1985.

Now in its fifth year, the GBREB Foundation has awarded over $500,000 in 'last dollar' scholarships that are granted for the purpose of filling the gap between students' financial aid and the costs of college beyond tuition – such as room and board, computers, books and supplies to graduating seniors in the Greater Boston area.

Scholarships of $1,000-$5,000 are awarded to students each spring based on financial need, academic achievement, leadership, extra-curricular involvement, and short written essays, and are guaranteed for two years. These scholarships can sometimes be the determining factor as to whether or not a low-income student will attend college.

The GBREB Foundation Scholarship Fund Leadership Breakfast, first held in 2015, was envisioned as a way to honor the students receiving the GBREB Foundation scholarship awards as well as the donors who contributed to the fund. Now held annually, the breakfast simultaneously recognizes Massachusetts business, government, education, nonprofit and community leaders with the uAspire First One Award, given to those individuals who were the first in their families to graduate from college and make noteworthy contributions to their field and society at large.

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John F. Dolan III Named President of Commercial Brokers Association

John F. Dolan III, a Senior Vice President at McCall & Almy in Boston, recently was sworn in as the 2018 president of the Commercial Brokers Association, which represents more than 400 members in the commercial real estate brokerage community throughout Massachusetts.

Dolan has worked at McCall & Almy since 2012, advising and representing office and industrial tenants locally, nationally and beyond. He previously was an Assistant Vice President at Meredith & Grew (now Colliers International) in Boston from 2007 to 2012. Prior to joining Meredith & Grew, he worked for several years in various media and brand management positions, including as a radio producer in Boston and New Business Development Manager at Cramer.

With a very early interest in broadcasting, at age 12 Dolan became a news reporter for WBZ Radio’s Peabody Award-winning “Kid Company” program. Among his notable experiences was traveling to the 1992 Democratic National Convention where he interviewed such well-known attendees as Hillary Clinton, Dr. Ruth Westheimer and then-New York City Mayor David Dinkins. He continued his broadcasting pursuits while a student at Scituate High School as a sports reporter at South Shore radio station WATD.

Dolan has retained his connection to broadcasting, serving for many years as a public address announcer at Madison Square Garden for the Knicks, at TD Garden for the Boston Bruins, Hockey East and Beanpot, and at Gillette Stadium for both the Patriots and Revolution.

Dolan earned both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Business Administration degrees from Providence College. In addition to his role as President of the Commercial Brokers Association, he is a member of the board of directors of the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund, which provides need-based college scholarship aid to students who have demonstrated a strong work ethic by having completed at least two years of service to golf.

About the Commercial Brokers Association

Founded in 1991, the Commercial Brokers Association represents over 400 members in the commercial brokerage community throughout Massachusetts. CBA is deeply committed to providing relevant educational programs, promoting professionalism and cooperation, and creating an atmosphere where knowledge and ideas are easily exchanged.

John Dolan Named President of CBA
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NextGen Member Newsletter Jan/Feb
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GBREB Foundation aims to eclipse fundraising goals for Greater Boston kids as Mayor Walsh and Arthur Winn will be honored

On June 12, 2018 the Greater Boston Real Estate Board Foundation will hold its annual scholarship breakfast at the Westin, Copley Place. Mayor Martin Walsh will be honored as a "first One," being the first in his family to graduate from college, and Arthur Winn will receive the Humanitarian of the Year Award for his passionate commitment to education, housing and improving the quality of life for people in the Greater Boston area. They also hope to announce that the Greater Boston Real Estate Board has met is goal of raising 1 million dollars over the last 4 years to help students in Greater Boston attend the academic institutions of their dreams.

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board Scholarship Fund was established in 2012 with the goal of helping economically disadvantaged young people attend and graduate from college by providing them with scholarship assistance and financial aid counseling. In order to accomplish their mission, GBREB partnered with uAspire, a Boston-based organization that has been helping students from low-income families find an affordable path to a postsecondary education since 1985.

Now in its fifth year, the GBREB Foundation has awarded over $500,000 in 'last dollar' scholarships that are granted for the purpose of filling the gap between students' financial aid and the costs of college beyond tuition – such as room and board, computers, books and supplies to graduating seniors in the Greater Boston area.

Scholarships of $1,000-$5,000 are awarded to students each spring based on financial need, academic achievement, leadership, extra-curricular involvement, and short written essays, and are guaranteed for two years. These scholarships can sometimes be the determining factor as to whether or not a low-income student will attend college.

The GBREB Foundation Scholarship Fund Leadership Breakfast, first held in 2015, was envisioned as a way to honor the students receiving the GBREB Foundation scholarship awards as well as the donors who contributed to the fund. Now held annually, the breakfast simultaneously recognizes Massachusetts business, government, education, nonprofit and community leaders with the uAspire First One Award, given to those individuals who were the first in their families to graduate from college and make noteworthy contributions to their field and society at large.

GBREB Scholarship
GBREB
BOMA Benefit Banner

The BOMA Benefit is back! Join us on Saturday, March 10th for a fun night of casino gaming, heavy hors d'oeuvres and charitable giving benefiting Bridge Over Troubled Waters. The event will take place at the Marriott Long Wharf from 7:00pm to 11:00pm. The theme is Great Gatsby/ Roaring 20's and theme attire is encouraged. For more information, please click here.


Sponsorships are now available, please contact Heather Dupont via email or (617) 399-7863 to register.  

BOMA Benefit is Back!
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Did you miss our February Newsletter? Find out what BOMA Boston is offering for 2018 events and educational opportunities! Read more about BOMA's 2018 Benefit and many more upcoming events!

Download this month's ENews

February E-News
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No, a landlord cannot charge tenants an additional fee for having a pet. Massachusetts General Laws 186 § 15B  states that a landlord is only permitted to collect: 

(i) rent for the first full month of occupancy; and, 
(ii) rent for the last full month of occupancy calculated at the same rate as the first month; and, 
(iii) a security deposit equal to the first month's rent provided that such security deposit is deposited as required by subsection (3) and that the tenant is given the statement of condition as required by subsection (2); and, 
(iv) the purchase and installation cost for a key and lock. 

We see and hear examples where the law is not followed by landlord and real estate licensee alike.  More commonly, we hear that many of the large, commercial apartment complexes and property management companies and landlords throughout the country charge additional fees such as an application fee, a move in fee or pet fee to tenants as a matter of ordinary business. “Company policy” for these entities must be followed, despite protests from tenants and real estate licensees.  In their defense, they state the Massachusetts law is silent as to these types of fees and that these additional fees help defray costs and sometimes add additional revenue for landlords. As discussed below, this practice is illegal in Massachusetts.

In an October 2014 ruling, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts found in Perry v. Equity Residential Management, LLC, (“ERM”) that ERM violated MGL 186 § 15B when it collected from its tenants an application fee, amenity fee (which was subsequently changed to a move-in fee), community fee and initial pet fee. In the court’s decision, Federal District Judge Zobel commented “Giving the statute’s words their ordinary meaning “consonant with sound reason and common sense,” Harvard Crimson, Inc. v. President & Fellows of Harvard College, 840 N.E.2d 518, 522 (Mass. 2006), section 15B(1)(b) simply is not susceptible of more than one reasonable construction. The statute is a list. If a fee is on the list then it is a permissible up-front charge; if it is not on the list, then it is impermissible.”

The court found that while MGL 186 § 15B does not explicitly forbid application fees, move-in fees or pet fees, it does state that “no lessor may require a tenant or prospective tenant to pay any amount in excess of” the four permissible charges mentioned in the statute. Noting this restrictive language, and analyzing similar Massachusetts case law, Judge Zobel ruled that the collection of such fees violates both MGL 186 § 15B and Massachusetts’s Consumer Protection Act (MGL 93a), which could expose a landlord to triple damages plus attorney fees.

Additional fees, such as pet fees or deposits and smoker’s fees are not allowable even if a tenant agrees to the charge. If a landlord allows pets and the pets cause damage to the unit beyond reasonable wear and tear, the landlord may use the security deposit to make repairs so long as the landlord has complied with all applicable security deposit laws.  It should be noted that it is not unlawful for a landlord to refuse to rent to a prospective tenant that has a pet unless that pet is a service or assistance animal needed for a disability in life.  

Even if a landlord has a “no pets” policy, they must make reasonable accommodation for a tenant with a disability in life who has the need for a service or assistance animal.  A landlord may require a tenant with a service or assistance animal to comply with certain rules, such as keeping an animal on a leash and cleaning up after it; however, a landlord cannot require that tenant to pay any additional fees associated with having the service or assistance animal in the leased premises. Generally, landlords must also permit owners of service and assistance animals to make modifications to the leased premises (such as a fenced-in yard) which may be borne at the sole expense of the tenant; who may be required by the landlord to return the property to its original condition at the termination of the lease.  Placing additional burdens on a tenant who needs a service or assistance animal due to a disability in life is contrary to both Massachusetts law and the Americans With Disabilities Act.

It is interesting to note that Massachusetts fair housing laws may protect persons with a disability in life that use “emotional support” animals which are not trained as service or assistance animals.  Additionally, trainers or owners of “service dogs in training” that will be placed into a new home for someone with a disability in life are afforded the same protections under Massachusetts law as is an owner of a service or assistance animal with a disability in life.  This is an evolving area of the law and consultation with a knowledgeable professional adviser or discussion with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination is suggested before denying rental housing to anyone with an animal that they claim to be used for a disability in life or for medical or emotional reasons.

The decision of Perry v. Equity Residential Management, LLC case should be followed by all landlords, property managers and real estate licensees in Massachusetts. Landlords who continue to charge fees to tenants which are not explicitly allowed for under the law are exposing themselves to the risk of many thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars in damages for each additional fee that they charge a prospective or current tenant.  

If you would like to discuss any of the points raised in this article, please contact GBAR Legal Counsel William G Mullen, III at 617-399-7842 or via email at wmullen@gbreb.com.
Can a Landlord Charge Tenants a “Pet Fee”?
GBAR
This year, GBAR is forming a new task force that aligns with the existing National Association of REALTORS® consumer awareness campaign and the “Get REALTOR®” message which promotes the association and difference between non-members and REALTOR® members. The campaign is designed to communicate the REALTOR® brand value to consumers, targeting up-and-coming generations of home buyers, sellers, owners and investors.

 As with the current NAR campaign, this task force will focus on developing a strategy for today’s consumers to understand that REALTORS® have committed their career to helping people find the home of their dreams. We are looking for members who are passionate about the REALTOR® brand and want to help us generate thoughts on our messaging, how we can expand our reach to more consumers and showcase the associations work for REALTOR® advocacy for public policy issues that promote the preservation of property rights and homeownership.

If you are interested in serving on this task force, please contact Kevin at kbutler@gbreb.com
 
Seeking Volunteers for Consumer Awareness Task Force
GBAR
REAL Trends has announced they are now accepting applications for their annual REAL Trends 500 Survey which is a report that ranks the performance of the top residential real estate brokerage firms. The survey ranks companies based on a variety of factors including sales volume, affiliation, top movers, core services, the Billionaires’ Club and Up-and-Comers. To complete a survey of your brokerage, view these instructions on how to submit a survey and visit the REAL Trends 500 webpage. The survey closes on March 1, 2018.

Additionally, REAL Trends is accepting applications for it’s The Thousand, which is a ranking of real estate agents across the U.S., based on transaction sides, individuals by sales volumes, teams by transaction sides and teams by sales volume. Click here to enter a submission, before the June 29th deadline.
REAL Trends Accepting Submissions 500 Survey & The Thousand
GBAR

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REALTOUR - Southern Norfolk Region (Randolph, MA)
Lantana
9:30am
 
NAAEI CAPS Credential
Apartments.Com/Co-Star Office
9:00am
 
REALTOUR - Metro West Region (Natick, MA)
Crowne Plaza
9:30am
 
BOMI:Design, Operations, & Maintenance Of Building Systems I
BOMA Office
4:00pm
 
BOMA New Member Breakfast
BOMA Boston Office
7:45am