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Massachusetts recently adopted a new law taxing and regulating the short-term rental market. The following information should help REALTORS® navigate the short-term rental market under these new laws and regulations. The law, H3454, An Act Regulating and Insuring Short-Term Rentals, governs short-term rentals in Massachusetts. These are defined to include occupancy for a period of not more than 31 consecutive calendar days of accommodations normally used for sleeping and living purposes, including without limitation an apartment, house, cottage, condominium unit or furnished accommodation other than a hotel, motel, lodging house or bed-and-breakfast establishment (all of which are already subject to regulation). Traditional tenancies at will are not covered, nor is the law meant to legitimize short-terms rentals by tenants in violation of their leases.

Short Term Rentals Member Advisory

2019 Installation of Officers, January 24th

 

GBREB Installation
GBREB NEWS

Massachusetts SJC Upholds Independent 3rd Party Appraisals

In September GBREB filed an Amicus Curiam , or “Friends the Court” brief in the case of Buffalo-Water, LLC V. Fidelity Real Estate Company LLC.  

In this case the two parties reached a contractual agreement on the purchase/sale of commercial property, with the price being established by a 3rd party appraiser. In this case, Buffalo Water did not like the number that the appraiser arrived at for the sale price and sought to extricate themselves from the transaction.

Under Massachusetts law, judicial review of an independent third party appraisal in a transaction like this was limited to cases of fraud, corruption, dishonesty or bad faith. This case is an attempt to create additional categories to discredit the third party appraisal and thwart a transaction.

The issue on appeal in this case  is whether we should modify this common-law rule and allow a judge to invalidate an appraisal intended by the parties to provide a final, binding valuation of a property where there is the appearance of bias, not on the part of the individual who conducted the appraisal, but on the part of the entity that employed the individual appraiser.

On November 26th,  the SJC concluded that the common-law rule established in Eliot v. Coulter, 322 Mass. 86, 91 (1947),  properly balances the need for fair valuations with the need for finality in the appraisal process, and that an appearance of bias alone is insufficient to invalidate an appraisal. Because the allegations in the complaint, if proved, do not warrant a finding of any violation of the agreements setting forth the terms of the appraisal, or a finding of fraud, corruption, dishonesty, or bad faith by the individual appraiser, or a finding of breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing by the defendant, the SJC affirmed the Superior Court judge's order allowing the defendant's motion to dismiss.

The Amicus Brief filed on behalf of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board states that the current law should be upheld and that no new categories or exceptions should be created judicially as that is best left to the Massachusetts Legislature.  The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision upheld GBREB's position.

 


 

Court Upholds Independent Appraisals
 

Education & Events

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Rentals The Right Way!
Feb 25, 2019
Greater Boston Real Estate Board
Three Center Plaza, Mezzanine Suite
Boston, MA
Trivia Night & NARPAF Fundraiser
Feb 28, 2019
Knights Of Columbus Hall
177 Bedford St.
Lexington, MA
Info Session On Concord Transfer Tax
Mar 01, 2019
Concord Colonial Inn- Hertiage Room
48 Monument Square
Concord, MA
GBAR New Member Orientation (Natick, MA)
Mar 02, 2019
Crowne Plaza
1360 Worcester Street
Natick, MA
REALTOURS- Eastern Middlesex Region
Mar 04, 2019
Four Points Sheraton Wakefiield
One Audubon Rd
Wakefield, MA
REALTOURS- Southern Norfolk Region
Mar 05, 2019
The Lantana
43 Scanlon Dr
Randolph, MA
REALTOURS- Metro West Region
Mar 06, 2019
Crowne Plaza
1360 Worcester St.
Natick, MA
CE Webinar- Fair Housing
Mar 11, 2019
REALTOUR- Metro Boston Region
Mar 11, 2019
WilmerHale
60 State St
Boston, MA
 

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Calendar

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Event
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Rentals The Right Way!
Greater Boston Real Estate Board
8:30am
 
Trivia Night & NARPAF Fundraiser
Knights Of Columbus Hall
6:00pm
 
Info Session On Concord Transfer Tax
Concord Colonial Inn- Hertiage Room
10:00am
 
GBAR New Member Orientation (Natick, MA)
Crowne Plaza
9:00am
 
REALTOURS- Eastern Middlesex Region
Four Points Sheraton Wakefiield
9:30am
 
REALTOURS- Southern Norfolk Region
The Lantana
9:30am