Friday, March 18, 2016

Attorney Virgilio Ong attended Boston City Hall’s public hearing on the “Just Cause Eviction Proposal” on Monday, which many argue is the return of rent control. Given the controversy surrounding this proposed bill, hundreds of people showed up and crammed into the public floor and two overflow rooms to voice their support or opposition. The hearing, which lasted over 4 hours, was filled with impassioned testimony from tenant and landlord advocates. The bill would limit the grounds by which landlords can evict tenants to arguably very problematic standards such as: only being able to evict a tenant for non-payment of rent if the tenant’s failure was habitual and without legal justification, and; only being able to evict if damage done by the tenant to the property is substantial and willful. Also, under the proposed bill, a landlord would have to justify rent increases to the City and endure an administrative procedure just to raise rents. In the end, it it clear that this bill will remain a hot button issue for the city councilors. A revised bill addressing some of the issues the opposition presented was not available for the councilors to review prior to or during the hearing but is forthcoming. Stay tuned for the next chapter in this hot button topic. To watch the videotaped hearing, click here.

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