Boston's legislators have been doing some thinking in terms of landlords and their rental properties. Though no absolute rule has been fully established yet, the city is considering having rental property owners pay an annual registration fee of $15 for all individual units in their possession.
This proof of ownership would include agent contact information and a list of all owned rental units. For the owners who live out of state, they would be required to have a local rental agent to represent them. For all owners who do not reside in the same establishment (absentee owners), they will be required to have their information posted in the building.
In addition to these proposed rental unit fees, there may also be inspections (given by the Inspectional Services Department, Boston Leased Housing Inspectors or private inspectors), which will potentially be held once every three years. GBAR (Greater Boston Association of Realtors) members suggested as an incentive for landlord's to keep rental units well maintained and create strong management plans, landlord in good standing may qualify for an exemption of the 3-year inspection.
These fees could range anywhere from $50-$75. Fines would be $300 for landlords who fail to meet the proposed guidelines.
With all the extra costs, this could cause rents to rise even further for tenants.
For tenants, this could hopefully cause landlords to be more responsive to their needs.
Boston City officials have not yet decided on all the nuances of the plan and when in fact it will take effect. We'll keep you posted on any updates from GBAR so be on the lookout.