Richard Vetstein Testifies Before Legislature In Support of Rent Escrow Bill

by Rich Vetstein on February 26, 2014 · 1 comment

in Housing Court, Landlord Tenant Law, Rental Housing

1240410_10152181877527492_1822384462_nJoint Committee on Housing Considering Tenant Abuse Reform

Yesterday I was honored to testify before the Massachusetts Legislature’s Joint Housing Committee in favor of House Bill 1131, the Rent Escrow Bill. The bill will level the playing field between landlords and tenants and make Massachusetts more hospitable to rental property owners.

The bill prevents tenants from being allowed to withhold rent for minor or cosmetic property condition issues through the entire pendency of an eviction case. Instead, tenants would have to pay the withheld rent into an escrow account administered by the court or the attorneys until such time as the judge rules on the property conditions. Both landlord and tenant would have “skin in the game,” and it would cut way down on the expense and length of evictions.

For more detailed information about the bill please read my prior post:  Massachusetts Tenant Rent Escrow Bill Set To Pass This Term?

As a landlord tenant attorney who has handled over 5,000 evictions, I told legislators some horror stories about how “professional tenants” have victimized my landlord clients by creating minor code issues, withholding rent, then attempting to extort my clients out of thousands of dollars. It certainly appeared to resonate with the lawmakers and I even got a nice round of applause from the gallery after my testimony!

If you are a landlord, please contact your state rep and senator to support House Bill 1131. After many years trying to get this bill through, we may finally have the best environment to pass this much-needed reform to the eviction system.

  • mia culpa

    “Level the playing field” is an over statement of this win for landlords – NOT to lessen the impact and my personal joy at the only one thing that is in a landlords favor now – THANK YOU DEARLY, It is still hardly a leveling of the relationship bewteen landlord and tenant but truly appreciated. Its also overdue on the part of the state. Remains to be seen who will actually get the money most likely the court.

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