August 3, 2021 SPOA Testifies at Mass. Joint Committee on the Judiciary

On August 3, 2021, representatives from SPOA testified to the Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary about a slew of adverse bills for housing providers, such as eviction records sealing, as well as proposed rent escrow bills.

Many of our members also wrote to the committee members and their State Representatives and Senators urging them to:

PLEASE PASS:  HOUSE, NO. 1784, “An Act to Promote Housing Stability,” (and similar bills H.1533; H.1546; H1677) because it creates a level playing field in cases where Massachusetts law allows for the withholding of rent by a tenant alleging breach of duty or contract by a property owner.

PLEASE REJECT:  HOUSE, NO. 799; HOUSE, NO. 1808 AND SENATE, NO. 921 andHOUSE, No. 1911 because these bills would require court records in any eviction action or other civil action to be sealed under certain conditions and provide a universal right to counsel for tenants in disputes with property owners (H.1911).  These bills create an unfair playfield for property owners and will make it even harder for us to continue to provide the housing we do.

The hearing was covered by the Statehouse News Service and included an excerpt from testimony delivered by  SPOA Vice President, Amir Shahsavari:       

” One landlord, however, said an apartment applicant’s rental history is important for both the property owner and the other residents of a building. He said existing tenants could be asked to pay higher rents to make up for someone who defaults. “We ask you not to put a blindfold on property owners as they enter into rental agreements and we urge you to consider the chilling effect this could have on people deciding to rent their properties,” said Amir Shahsavari, vice president of the Small Property Owners Association.”

Read the full article here:

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