Rental Inspection Ordinance
City Councilor Bill Linehan has called for the immediate suspension of the recently enacted Rental Inspection Ordinance. Councilor Linehan voted against this ordinance when it was brought before the Council but it passed by a 9-4 margin. Since its enactment there has been much confusion regarding its implementation. Linehan’s office has been inundated with calls and emails from constituents sine notices began being mailed to affected property owners.
Councilor Linehan joined several of his colleagues in writing a letter to Mayor Menino asking for the ordinance to be suspended until it once again goes before the City Council. Councilor Charles Yancey called for a hearing on the matter at a recent City Council meeting and Councilor Linehan which ?Councilor Linehan supported.
The original deadline for registration was extended to August 31st because of the confusion around who was required to register, who was exempt and what the fees were.
Councilor Linehan added, “When this ordinance was first proposed I voted against it. I felt then, as I do now, that this is an unfair tax on property owners who already pay their fair share in property taxes. The way in which this ordinance has been implemented has been confusing and problematic. I would like to see this ordinance repealed and will continue to work toward that end. We owe it to the taxpaying residents of Boston to provide a clear explanation of the consequences of the ordinance which has not been provided as of yet.”
The City Council hearing on this matter should be held soon and we will spread the word throughout the district so those affected can attend and testify.
If you have any questions you can call Councilor Linehan’s Office at 617-635-3203. You can also follow him on facebook, Bill Linehan and Twitter @Linehanbill.
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I agree with Councillor Linehan to repeal this new “tax” on property owners who have rental units. I think that instead of going after every person who owns multi family rental properties in the city of Boston, the focus and energy should be targeted towards the property owners who do not maintain their properties. As we all know a lot of these properties are rented to college students and in some neighborhoods in the city families occupy these units. The city has identified the majority of these homeowners…There needs to be enforcement of the violations and hefty fines to these property owners. Take them to court and get the houses condemed…There are many ways to get these owners to comply with the laws and rules in Boston. It is unfair and unjustified to place another tax on those who comply and offer safe clean rentals to people. Property taxes are high enough as it is and this added into the mix is just plain wrong.
In theory, I think it’s a fine idea to have landlords register, and I say this as someone looking to buy a rental in the near future. The additional “tax” is not much in light of the tax write-offs a landlord gets and tennants pay alot for very little in the city. Landlords should provide maintainence and reasonable dilligence for the money you can make over the long term. That said, this law is too inclusive, because most rentals are well maintained. It is certain neighborhoods, usually renting to students or low income families, who are mercenary with rent raises and don’t do a thing in the way of improvements until the roof falls in (think the area around the BMC in South End). This is going to be a beurocratic nightmare, when it would be more effective to man a complaint hotline and hire more inspectors to enforce existing laws.