When dealing with tenants in Massachusetts, it’s caveat landlord
Aug 2011 24

Being a landlord gives you the opportunity to earn income on a regular basis while your property, your investment, increases in value over a period of years, eventually allowing you to sell it for a handsome capital gain.

It can also be a living hell.

Dealing with tenants is something I would never wish on any loved one … or even people I hate. It can be a nightmare. All it takes is one bad tenant to undo the good ones. Late rent payments, noisy / disruptive / illegal behavior, tenants can cause major headaches.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, from what I have read and learned over the years, has very stringent tenant – landlords laws that most people would conclude favor the tenant. (I’m not suggesting the laws are wrong, mind you, just stating what I believe to be fact.)

It is very hard to evict a tenant, even one who isn’t paying his/her rent. Even one who is breaking the law.

I mention this because there was an article in yesterday’s New York Post about a .. well, a squatter is what you would call him.

He is accused of living in an apartment that he’s not paying rent on, nor has he paid a dime for at least four months. He is believed to be employed at a “swanky Manhattan steakhouse” and therefore capable of paying, he just chooses not to. At least that’s what his landlord claims.

The landlord has tried to get the tenant out of the apartment. He even changed the locks. The tenant called the police and they told the landlord to hand over a key and let the tenant in. They said, “Take it up with housing court.”

If you’re thinking of becoming a landlord, please contact us to learn more about tenant – landlord law. We can refer you to a good lawyer and also help find you a suitable investment.

We can never guarantee you the perfect tenant, however.

Seaport District apartments and condominiums available for sale
Jul 2011 06

The Seaport District is one of the hottest neighborhoods in Boston. Alternatively known as the South Boston Waterfront / Innovation District, and, by its neighbor’s name of Fort Point Channel, it borders the city’s Financial District and the South Boston neighborhood.

Liberty Wharf was recently completed. There are five new restaurants in this one building, alone, including a Jerry Remy’s Sports Bar and Grill and a Legal Seafoods. There are at least a dozen other restaurants and bars within that immediate area.

The Seaport is also home to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center and three hotels, the Seaport, Renaissance, and Westin hotels.

Residential housing is in limited supply, however. The Park Lane Seaport apartments are a series of mid-rise buildings located across the street from Liberty Wharf. There are a couple hundred units in this building, with prices from the $2,000′s for a studio up to $4,000 and more for two-bedrooms. There is parking on-site and access to the Ted Williams Tunnel, Route 93 and Route 1, and the Silver Line bus line to South Station and to MBTA subway lines.

There is just one condo project in the Seaport District, located off D Street near the Convention Center. You’re best hope is to find something in the Fort Point Channel area, a short walk from the Seaport District. There are condos in historic, brick and beam loft style buildings on Melcher and Summer streets, and newly constructed condos in the Channel Center building, on A Street between the Channel and South Boston.

Several large development projects are on tap for the neighborhood, which will bring a vibrancy to the area 24 hours a day. When these will break ground and how big they will end up being are unknowns, right now.

A (partial) list of proposed developments

Waterside Place: Originally a 1.157 million square foot, 10.3 acre project, the developer is now proposing to build in phases. Phase I is made up of 372,000 square feet with 235 apartments, retail space and an “innovation center”.

Seaport Square: Originally a $3 billion project covering 23 acres of land with 19 new office buildings, hotels and apartments, the first phase of this (3 buildings including two 20-story residential towers) is currently being designed.

Pier 4: There’s been no news in several years on this one million square foot project, consisting of hotel, residential, office, retail and civic uses on approximately 9.5 acres (including about 4 acres of water).

If you’re interested in learning more about the Seaport District and learning about housing options in the neighborhood, please let me know.

Meanwhile, here’s a column I wrote this week for Patch.com about the challenges facing the Seaport District.

Dog-friendly apartments in Boston hard to find
Jun 2011 27

Have you been searching for a Boston apartment for yourself, and maybe your dog?

Chances are, you’ve had some difficulty.

Many times, landlords don’t want pets in their units. They are certainly within their legal rights to do so. Even though many people have pets and are good owners, landlords can point to bad tenants who have let their dogs and cats destroy common hallways.

The solution if you can’t find an apartment that accepts pets is to buy, instead. Of course, not everyone has the option or desire to do so.

The New York Times had an article over the weekend about a couple who owned a co-op in the city and who decided to rent out their current home while renting another, larger place somewhere else. Not only did they have trouble finding a pet-friendly apartment building, they found it hard to rent out their co-op, since their building’s rules forbid renters from having dogs or cats. Owners could, just not renters. This isn’t that uncommon.

Almost always, condo buildings allow pets. It used to be less common but as dog ownership has increased over the years, many buildings have modified their condo docs.

If you’re looking to rent an apartment, it’s best to find out ahead of time the pet policies. Too many times, it’s not brought up until too late. Heartbreak results.

Please let me know if I can help.

Luxury high-end Boston rentals available for every taste
Jun 2011 21

There are currently at least 37 apartments for rent in Boston priced over $7,000 per month.

I’d say this qualifies as “high-end”, even in Boston’s heated and pricey real estate market.

A beautiful penthouse home at the Four Seasons is available for $12,000.

A wonderful home overlooking the Public Garden is available in The Carlton House, next door to the Ritz-Carlton sic (I mean, Taj), priced at $15,000 per month.

If you prefer single-family living, there is a Beacon Hill home for rent on Pinckney Street with ~3,200 square feet of space, priced at $10,500.

The most expensive rental is at the Residences at the Mandarin Oriental. It is a 9th-floor, ~2,600 square foot home with two beds, two and a half baths and comes furnished.

Please contact me for complete details on these and other luxury apartments for rent in Boston.

To search through all apartment listings, both inexpensive and expensive, in any Boston neighborhood, please click here:

Boston apartment rentals

Mandarin Oriental apartment is listed with Stephen Schlom of Modern Real Estate.

The Pinckney apartment is listed with Neda Vander Stoep of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

The Four Seasons home is listed with Beth Dickerson of Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty.

The Carlton House apartment is listed with Marilyn Brandt of Hammond Residential.

NorthPoint Cambridge condos selling, rental complex planned
May 2011 18

NorthPoint in Cambridge was a massive billion-dollar+ mixed-use development proposed for railyards located at the edge of Boston / Cambridge / Somerville across the street from the MBTA Lechmere Green Line station.

Due to timing issues, however, (followed-up by some nasty lawsuits from nearby residents and some between the project’s partners), only two mid-rise buildings were constructed before all development stopped.

The Sierra and Tango condo buildings share 428 units between them (I believe they are separate condo associations).

Since the time that the lawsuits were settled, little has been heard from there. I didn’t even know they were still marketing the condos for sale. But, there’s been news.

From the archboston.org boards:

The latest update that we have was from the spring 2011 newsletter. The developers are in the initial phase of designing a rental high rise which is expected to start construction within the next 18 months. Lot U has opened up for parking. Over one-third of the units (there are 329 total) have been sold and they closed on 17 units since January 2011.

It’s not encouraging that only a third have sold, five years after the first closing. That 17 have closed since January (I’ll take them at their word) is impressive, however.

Prices for many of the one-bedrooms are in the $350,000 – $450,00 range, and many have separate dens. That’s really good for new construction.

The advantage of having a rental building go up is that there at least will be more density. Making the area more of a neighborhood means it will be more appealing. There are several other residential projects in the area, including the Regatta Riverview and the Archstone NorthPoint. It makes the neighborhood feel less industrial. With the landscaping going on, it will be an attractive place to live, convenient to downtown Boston as well as the suburbs.

Please contact me for more information on NorthPoint as well as to set up private showings.

Above image from the MLSPIN listings.

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