It’s been a long nearly ten months and first and foremost, I must apologize for not being present and seemingly dropping off the face of the earth. I hadn’t forgotten this blog, I just realized two posts in that in order to really be a bastion of information one can readily use, I would need more than just my own rage. So I hit the pause button and went off in search of much needed learning and education. But to my dismay, Massachusetts only likes to share its toys with tenants, allowing landlords on the playground only if they accept the squalor of information measured out by the state and its conspiring agencies. Not giving in, I kept prodding and managed to find a light shining off in the far distance within this dark long tunnel. There are allies among us! But the quest to find these gems must be ours and I have found them in the HUD office and different associations that rally landlords together. No honeymooning here though, I totally understand I must dig beyond the surface of Landlording 101 to get to the gristle, bone and marrow that will allow us to arm ourselves. That being said, I attended a workshop a few months ago on the laws governing the landlord and tenant legal relationship. It was informative but skimmed the surface leaving eager landlords unknowingly in the dark (was that the plan all along??). I left the workshop with more clarity on certain issues but was stunned by the gaps and holes in the information disseminated. I am not an attorney but experience has driven me to an attorney or two and the intel I received just didn’t match some of what the workshop was presenting. I understand these presenters cannot officially give legal advice but can only merely lay out basic facts within the limited timeframe of the workshop. However, many landlords never take the initiative to know more unless faced with housing court. This workshop and all the others I will attend will always cement one thing in me: ARM YOURSELF. I have to be my own advocate for my business because I am the CEO of my multi family property and the buck ends solely with me. That is why I strive to know and educate myself and pass it on to you. My first must-do advice to my fellow SPLs…get involved. Join a landlord group or association. Why? Because such groups have experienced and even professional forerunners who keep their fingers on the pulse of city and state actions that may affect you negatively. Because connecting with like minded others opens you to support, new ideas and knowhow you may not have been aware of. These associations do not cater to the success of the big whigs with thousands of units across the city but to all property owners whether of the one unit condo, two family home or apartment building. Regardless of what you own, we are all affected and sooner or later all actions will trickle down to you, the single property landlord (SPL). Take the time to investigate groups in your area and attend a meeting. I’ve recently joined one and will happily share what I’ve learned. But nothing beats knowing for yourself. Take the Just Cause Eviction issue, for example. I recently listened to a SPL rally for it because to her, it was a legal action against the big whig greedy property owners looking to dump their long standing poor tenants in favor of six figure occupants who could pay the higher prices. But her perception was wrong as I learned in a property owner association meeting. If approved, Just Cause Eviction will affect us ALL negatively. But I’ll dish on that in a later post. For now, arm yourself and get involved.