South End Investment Property Owners Face New Landlord Ordinance

In 2012, the Boston City Council passed an ordinance that requires all rental apartments to be registered with the city.

The original target date for registration had been set at August 1st but sluggish response prompted the city to stretch the deadline to August 31st, 2013.

What does this mean for South End real estate owners?

If you own and occupy your home, there is no requirement to register your property.

If you own an investment property in the city of Boston that is either vacant or occupied by tenants, you must register by August 31st. The fee for registration is $25 per unit.

Note: There is an option provided on the City of Boston website to register online, but so many users reported issues with the application process that officials have posted a warning for non-Internet Explorer users. We recommend registering by mail or in person, to be on the safe side.

The ordinance states that owners who fail to register all units will be fined $300 per unit, per month that they are not in compliance.  Along with the fine, a “point” will be added to the landlord’s file in the city's Chronic Offender system.

Starting in January 2014, Boston apartments (except owner-occupied building with 6 units or less) will be inspected every 5 years.

The city's stated goal is to hold property owners accountable for the conditions of the units and to make sure that tenants have adequate housing. Landlords of units in notoriously poor condition or those with a high number of past complaints will be added to a list for the first round of inspections. Officials hope to inspect approximately 30,000 units each year. In order to meet demand the city is planning to hire more inspectors.

Boston investment real estate owners can register on the City of Boston website.

Learn more about the new landlord registration regulation: