“Landlords need to Act on Evictions”, Skip Schloming SPOA
Dear SPOA Friends and Followers,
BIG NEWS: Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker just announced the end of the Massachusetts eviction moratorium, the strictest moratorium in the country, ending on October 17 (my error corrected). In its place, however, is a new federal eviction moratorium, enacted several weeks ago, that runs to December 31 of this year.
SPOA has already written President Trump, urging him to end the federal moratorium on December 31 (if not sooner). We have also asked that he make free Covid testing widely available for tenants so that they can move safely into shared or congregate housing (become a roommate, take in a roommate, two smaller households sharing one larger apartment, etc.).
BIG PROBLEM: Two dangerous (identical) bills (HB5018 and SB2918) are moving forward at the Massachusetts Legislature. This bill and other “tenant protection” bills propose
- rent cancellation for ONE FULL YEAR,
- just-cause eviction (a form of rent control),
- local-option rent control,
- tenant right to counsel,
- real estate transfer taxes (to fund “affordable housing”), and
- tenant right to purchase (when you want to sell your property).
Please write the Governor and your Massachusetts legislators and oppose these two bills or any bills establishing the other so-called “tenant protections.”
Bill numbers are not needed if you use the names of these issues as we state them above. All the legislators will know what you are talking about.
BOSTON GLOBE POLL GOES IN OUR FAVOR !!!
Several weeks ago, the Boston Globe asked its readers: Should the eviction moratorium be extended for one full additional year? YES or NO? Within a few days, the poll tipped in our favor and has stayed there ever since. It now stands at 1,028 NO votes to 717 YES votes. That’s 59% in our favor, 41% against us, a “landslide” vote in our favor!
STOP a “TENANT RIGHT TO COUNSEL” – A nationwide campaign
A “tenant right to counsel” sounds so nice. It would destroy small landlords. It would destroy our neighborhoods. It is all about getting nonpaying tenants to have free lawyers that will slow down the eviction process, give the tenants months and months of more free rent — and kill us small landlords, run us out of business.
Click here to read it: “Statement on Tenant Right to Counsel”
This is a revised version. It is not short, but you will never think of “right to counsel” the same.
Urge your state legislators to oppose any and all forms of “tenant right to counsel.” (Contact info below.)
SPOA’s goal for the future
Our goal is to make SPOA a strong statewide organization with funding to support our current lobbyist, our new social media person, and a full-time executive director to replace Skip Schloming, who has been a volunteer for his 22 years as SPOA’s executive director.
Over its 33-year history, SPOA has ended rent control in Massachusetts and stopped numerous attempts to bring rent control back, including a landslide victory in Cambridge when we defeated a citywide referendum (61% to 39% vote) to bring rent control back to the city that once loved rent control.
We have also published “Regulatory Barriers to Housing Affordability,” a 60-page review of all landlord-tenant laws and how they push rents up and even destroy housing. You can read it at our website: www.spoa.com.
Our goal is to make SPOA a strong statewide organization with funding to support our current lobbyist, our new social media person, and a full-time executive director to replace Skip Schloming, who has been a volunteer (except for 2 years) over his 22 years as SPOA’s executive director.
We need everyone to double, triple, or quadruple your former donations to SPOA. If SPOA keeps rent control out and stops harmful “tenant protections” like tenant right to counsel, your donation will pay you back many times over.
Please click here to go to SPOA’s join/donate page on our website: Join/Donate to SPOA. It takes you to PayPal, but you can use your personal credit card.
What you can say about HB5018 and SB2918, “Housing Stability Act”:
Tell the Governor and your own State Legislators that you OPPOSE HB5018 and SB2918, the “Housing Stability Act.” Here are the critical problems with it.
One-year continuing eviction moratorium or rent cancellation:Prolonged nonpayment of rent is a death sentence for many, many small landlords, especially in lower-income neighborhoods.
Just-cause eviction: Advocates play on the idea that “no-fault” evictions are frivolous, impulsive evictions. NEVER! Eviction is always a serious step for any landlord, who knows it will cause, at minimum, several more months of no rent, obstructions from the tenant over repairs, and a vacant unit at the end. “No-fault” evictions are a polite way to get rid of a bad tenant (other than nonpayment). Just-cause eviction would require a stated reason, and that opens the door to a long, costly court battle for the landlord to prove his/her case and get rid of an unwelcome tenant. Or be forced to keep the tenant, regardless of causing unwelcome behavior affecting all the other tenants.
One proposal, a rent freeze with no ending date, is ridiculous, clearly a message to landlords to get out of the business. It will destroy housing. It is not about protecting tenants. It is about creating a political power base in tenant voters.
A tenant right to counsel is all about prolonging nonpayment of rent as long as possible. Read all about it here: Tenant right to counsel.
Eviction-sealing: 95% of all evictions are for nonpayment of rent. So eviction sealing hides a tenant’s history of nonpayment — which should not be allowed. If tenants know they will have a lasting record of nonpayment, it will deter tenants-from-hell and nonpaying tenants who hang around living rent-free as long as possible instead of moving to a new, more affordable living situation.
Tax credits, promised financial assistance: Too little, too late, too complicated to save many small landlords.
Thank you for reading these Action Alert emails and taking Action!Please do not forget to donate to SPOA at this critical time.
Skip Schloming, Ph.D. Sociology
SPOA Executive Director
To Governor Charlie Baker: Veto any bill allowing rent cancellation or any other so-called “tenant protections.”
Governor’s phone number: 617-725-4005
To President Donald Trump: End the federal moratorium.
President’s phone number: 202-456-1111
President’s mailing address: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500
To find your own MA Senator and Representative:
Go to: www.wheredoivotema.com
Enter your address and find “Senate” and “Representative” in “General Court” (the official name of the State Legislature)
PLEASE FORWARD THIS EMAIL TO ALL YOUR FRIENDS AND CONTACTS AND GET THEM TO TAKE ACTION.
- End the eviction moratoriums!!!
- Pass a mandatory rent escrow requirement to stop the “free rent trick”
- Establish a Massachusetts Commission on Rental Housing Policy to bring all stakeholders together for reasonable policy discussion
- Enact zoning reform to allow some large apartments to be subdivided into two smaller, lower-rent units
- Defund legal services and use the funds for programs that really help poverty
- Restrict habitability codes (“state sanitary code”) to conditions that truly affect health or safety
- End and defend against landlord-tenant laws or proposals that harm small landlords and private rental housing, including rent control, rent cancellation, tenant right to counsel, eviction sealing, tenant right to purchase, and others
- Enact a federal rent control prohibition law that denies federal funding to jurisdictions with rent control
SPOA is nonpartisan
Small landlords are Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and a good number are Libertarians. We own and operate over half of all rental housing in America, working from our homes, without fancy offices or employees with benefits. We are the most efficient rental housing providers and can keep our rents lower. Many of us are minorities as are many of our tenants. We began as immigrant working-class owners, but now an increasing number of middle-class owners find owning rental property to be an excellent way to have a small family business, part-time or full-time, and improve their financial position. We do not have a greed gene. We are normal people. We want to work cooperatively with our tenants. We are, potentially, a foundation for strong, supportive neighborhoods.
PLEASE JOIN SPOA AND DONATE GENEROUSLY
PLEASE JOIN AND DONATE HERE:
www.spoa.com/join. You will go to a PayPal site, but you can USE YOUR PERSONAL CREDIT CARD to join and donate.
You can, alternatively, make your check out to “SPOA” and send it to:
P.O. Box 398115
Cambridge MA 02139