The Town of Brattleboro will vote on a ban to No Cause Evictions in a referendum on March 7, 2023. Landlords and managers of rental properties are strongly opposed to this ban.
The term “No Cause Evictions” is a bit of a misnomer. There is always a cause when a property owner or manager does not renew a lease. And these are not exactly evictions, they are non-renewal of leases at the lease terminations. Tenants are able to leave at the end of a lease, why should the owner or manager not be allowed to ask the tenant to leave?
No Cause Evictions are a tool used by property owners and managers to ensure the safe and quiet enjoyment of rental properties by all tenants. Taking a tenant to court for a “For Cause Eviction” is extremely costly ($5,000 to get started), take many months and offer no guarantee of results.
The Brattleboro Selectboard will hold two public hearings to discuss a Charter Amendment. The first public hearing will be held on Friday, February 3, 2023 at 6:15pm in the Selectboard Meeting Room at the Municipal Center (230 Main Street) and the second public hearing will be held during a scheduled Selectboard meeting on Tuesday, February 7, 2023 at 6:15pm in the Selectboard meeting room.
Here’s an interesting idea to curb speculative investing: Create a rule that any new homebuyer must wait a year or two before renting out a property.
The Washington Post has a story about it being tried in a few places. Not a perfect solution, but slows that out-of-state speculation and the big investment companies are squealing so it must be working to some degree.
Housing and getting around will be discussed at the next meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. There is a new affordable housing project planned for Flat Street, the Tenant’s Union is asking for an ordinance to regulate security deposits, the DPW needs some vehicles and will apply for some road erosion grants, and there is a “interim zoning bylaw public hearing.”
It’s all on Zoom and you can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
The Brattleboro Selectboard took up a full agenda, though with only three members present, they themselves were not quite full.
The big discussion of the evening centered on landlords and a new rental housing inspection system soon to take effect, but the exciting news came during public participation when it was announced that a day work program, legal and with dignity, will soon be getting started.
The Brattleboro Selectboard cancelled a few possible contentious items on the agenda (the Harmony Lot mural and the Health Code violation) but still got an earful from a couple concerned that blinking safety lights on Western Ave are unnecessary and lower the value of their home. The Wessel Baffle might prove to be the solution.
Town Manager Elwell gave the board an overview of the coming budget request from Town staff. Of note: the expected 4% health insurance increase is actually more like 17%. Ouch. Call a doctor. Police cars are being uplifted, a new solar project is being considered, and more.