Mayor Signs Ordinance Extending Tenant Protection

January 8, 2015
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Several weeks ago the Boston City Council, including the North End/Waterfront Councilor Sal LaMattina, voted to double the amount of compensation offered to tenants when their units become converted into condominiums, forcing them to relocate to new housing.

Quickly following the ordinance approval by the Council, Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed it, to ensure that every Bostonian is able to find safe, affordable housing, delivering on a commitment on a housing plan by his administration.

The new law will double the amount of relocation compensation offered to tenants when they are displaced by providing a stipend of $6,000 or $10,000 if they are low income, elderly or disabled.

“The amount of these relocation benefits have not been adjusted in 10 years,” Councilor LaMattina said. “These increased stipends will provide additional protection for low income to moderate income renters, the elderly and tenants with disabilities.”

The ordinance filed by Counselor Josh Zakim will enable displaced tenants to better secure comparable rental housing and affordable move-in costs like first and last month rent and a security deposit.

“We in city government must do everything in our power to support tenants when they are at risk,” Zakim noted in a press release.

Delivering on a commitment by his administrative staff, Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed the ordinance that ensures that no Bostonians are unexpectedly left without housing and adequate resources.

In addition to doubling the amount of relocation compensation, the ordinance also provides other tenant protections, including:

  • Notice Requirements: All tenants receive one year of notice prior to termination of tenancy. Elderly, low-income or handicapped tenants receive 5 years notice.
  • Rent Increases Limited: During the one-or five-year notice period, annual rent increases cannot exceed the lower of 10 percent or the Consumer Price Index.
  • Right to Purchase: The tenant has the right to purchase the unit on the same or more favorable terms as being offered to the general public.
  • Relocation Assistance: The landlord is required to probe five assistance in relocating comparable replacement housing to elderly, low-income or handicapped tenants.