Boston Real Estate

Heads Up, Landlords! Here's How to Register Your Rental Property (Before the July 1 Deadline)

Heads Up, Landlords! Here's How to Register Your Rental Property (Before the July 1 Deadline)

Attention all landlords! In accordance with the City of Boston's Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance, all rental property owners are required to register their private rental units with the Boston Inspectional Services Department (ISD) each year by July 1st. There are three ways to register.

The purpose of the Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance is to ensure that all rental units are safe, sanitary and comply with the Massachusetts State Sanitary Code. In addition, the registration program allows the department to clearly identify landlords and ensure property owners are aware of rental housing regulations.

 

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If you don't register and pay the fee by the deadline, you may be charged a penalty of $300 each month until you do. If you haven't registered your property, you'll want to do so right away as you will need to pay registration fees back to 2013. Once the property is registered, the City of Boston will have it inspected at least once ever five years.

You still have to register even if:

  • Your property is vacant or being renovated

  • Your tenants are relatives who are 18 or older and not on the deed

  • You don't collect rent on the unit

You don't have to register if the property is:

  • Owned by a City, state, or federal agency

  • It's a rooming house, dorm, or lodging house (with valid license)

Step One - Paying the Fees

You will need to pay a fee to register your property. The fees are:

  • $25 for each unit for first-time registration

  • $15 per unit for renewal registrations

The most that you will have to pay if $2,500 for each building, or $5,000 foe each complex you own. Payment can be completed through American Express, Master Card, Visa, and Discover. Register via the link below.

Completing the Application (Online)

To register, you will need to have:

  • The contact information for the property owner (if the owner lives outside of Massachusetts, they must pick a Boston-area person who the City of Boston can contact in an emergency). 

  • The contact information for the property manager, if applicable

  • The number of units you are registering

  • The total number of units at the property (If you are registering one condo in a complex, you must also give them the total number of units in the complex)

  • If the owner bought the property after January 1, 2013, you must give them the purchase date so that they do not overcharge you for registration fees

  • Whether the property was built before or after 1978

  • Whether there are any external fire escapes attached to the building(s)

  • Whether the property has a smoke-free policy with smoking prohibited in all units and common areas.

Register Online

 

Completing the Application (By Mail)

To register, you will need to include:

  • Your contact information

  • The number of units you own at each address

  • A signed agreement to follow all State and City regulations

Print and Complete the Mail-In Registration Form

You need to include a check or money order made payable to the City of Boston. The registration fees are:

  • $25 for each unit for first-time registrations, and

  • $15 for each unit for renewal registrations.

The most you'll have to pay is $2,500 for each building or $5,000 for each complex you own.

Mail the application, payment and documents to:

Inspectional Services Department, Housing Division

1010 Massachusetts Ave, 5th Floor

Boston, MA 02118

United States

Completing the Application (In Person)

Due to COVID restrictions, the city is holding in-person meetings by appointment only. Please contact them ahead of time at 617-635-5300 or rentalprogram@boston.gov to schedule an appointment. 

To register, you will need to include:

  • Your contact information

  • The number of units you own at each address

  • A signed agreement to follow all State and City regulations

Print and Complete the Mail-In Registration Form

 

You need to include a check or money order made payable to the City of Boston. The registration fees are:

  • $25 for each unit for first-time registrations, and

  • $15 for each unit for renewal registrations.

The most you'll have to pay is $2,500 for each building or $5,000 for each complex you own.

 

Schedule an appointment via the above phone number / email address and bring the completed application, payment and documents to:

Inspectional Services Department, Housing Division

1010 Massachusetts Ave, 5th Floor

Boston, MA 02118

United States

Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00am - 4:00pm.

Contact Inspectional Services at 617.635.5300 or isd@boston.gov for more information.

 

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