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Governor Baker Pocket Vetoes Two Key Tenant Protection Provisions Within the New Stimulus Bill

By Bernkopf Goodman on 01.16.2021
Posted In: Client Alerts

In recently signing legislation providing for $626.5 million to be spread around the Massachusetts economy over the next five years, Governor Baker exercised his pocket veto to strike certain provisions within House Bill 5250 (https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/H5250). Bill H.5250 included a controversial provision that would have granted tenants a right of first refusal over the sale of rental and multifamily properties throughout Massachusetts with limited exceptions. In a letter to the legislature, Baker said the change would make the sales of multifamily housing more “unpredictable” and that “these requirements would significantly delay the sale of multifamily homes throughout the Commonwealth, and potentially chill the production of new housing when we desperately need to produce more.” Baker also vetoed a section that would have allowed certain eviction records to be sealed, and thus not discoverable by landlords, arguing it was overbroad and would create a “significant administrative burden” on our court system.

COVID-19 Response Team