BOSTON, MA – JANUARY 2: Boston Mayor Martin Walsh speaks with reporters at the State House on January 2, 2019, in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff Photo By Angela Rowlings/Boston Herald)
If passed, the legislation prepared by Walsh would “limit rent increases to 5 percent per year to prevent landlords from using large rent increases to get around just cause protections,” according to a description of the proposal.
“That sounds like rent control,” said Douglas Quattrochi, executive director of MassLandlords, an organization that represents over 1,400 landlords in the state. “Limiting increases is a form of rent control and it’ll create a shortage for people to find a place to live if enacted. When someone gets in through rent control the tenants will never leave.”
The Walsh Administration defended the proposal.
“We’re seeing many elders lose their home and ones that they have been able to enjoy for decades,” said Sheila Dillon, the city’s housing chief. “So we feel very strongly this a very, very vulnerable population that needs to be protected.”
The proposal would protect senior tenants 75 years or older against “arbitrary, unreasonable, discriminator, or and retaliatory evictions.” If passed, the law would only allow eviction for cases such as failure to pay rent or damage to the property.