The owner of a building in Boston consisting of rental units may convert his building to condominiums. However, in most buildings which contain at least four housing units and are occupied by tenants, the landlord must comply with the City ordinance as below. An owner should check with DND’s Boston Rental Housing Center(BRHC), at 617-635-RENT (4200), to see if the ordinance applies to his/her building.
Notice Periods: Elderly, disabled and low or moderate-income tenants must be given a five-year condominium conversion eviction notice before they are evicted for condominium conversion. All other tenants are entitled to a one-year notice.
Right of First Refusal To Purchase Unit: Tenants are entitled to purchase their units before anyone else has a chance to buy them, on the same or more favorable terms than those that are offered to the public.
Relocation Assistance: A landlord should attempt to provide low or moderate income, elderly or disabled tenants with help in locating accessible and comparable apartments within Boston.
Limitations on Rent Increases: Rent increases are restricted during the notice period to the lesser of the percentage increase of the Consumer Price Index or 10%.
Just Cause Evictions: Tenants under notice cannot be evicted without a good reason. Landlords must prove such reason, or “just cause”, in court.
Relocation Benefit: Tenants who voluntarily vacate their units during the notice period and are current in their rent are entitled to a relocation benefit from their landlords. The relocation benefit is $5000 for households in which one or more tenants are elderly or disabled and for low to moderate-income households. The relocation benefit for other households is $3000.53
53. Chapter 8, City of Boston Ordinances of 1999, amended by Chapter 12, City of Boston Ordinances of 2004