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Massachusetts lawmakers reconsider rent control

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2022 | Residential Real Estate

In the state of Massachusetts it has been over 25 years since rent control was in place. However, state lawmakers are considering lifting the ban on rent control in response to growing concerns from tenants across the state. The policy, which is being championed by representatives from areas such as Boston, Cambridge, and Somerville, is now being discussed the state legislature and may have legal implications for tenants and landlords alike. 

The bill currently being discussed aims to take a balanced approach by:  

  • Allowing municipalities to pass rent control if they choose, lifting a previous ban that existed across the state 
  • Safeguarding the interests of small owner occupied landlords by making them exempt from any rent control programs 
  • Allowing municipalities to pass rent control that excludes new construction so as to not interfere with new development 

Some lawmakers feel this proposal offers reasonable exceptions, however others are skeptical about the effectiveness of rent control overall. A representative for Boston has assembled a committee specifically to study the issue of rent control, which was a key component of her platform.  

Supporters point to precedents set by states such as New York, California, and Oregon who passed rent stabilization in 2019. Those critical of rent control include the current governor of Massachusetts as well as landlords and the National Apartment Association. As laws pertaining to landlords and tenants continued to shift, it is a good idea for anyone owning commercial or residential real estate for rents to work with a Massachusetts real estate lawyer.