The law says displacement through evictions is a "serious public emergency" and officials said they needed to take action. "We are aware that not everyone in the real estate community will support this or be happy it is being filed," said city Chief of Housing and Director of Neighborhood Development Sheila Dillon in a press briefing. "However, we feel like we need to start a conversation on this issue." Walsh's proposed law lists allowable reasons for eviction -- including failing to pay rent, violating terms of lease or refusing to sign a lease extension or renewal, or using a unit for illegal purposes -- and requires the landlord to state the reason for eviction. It does not place any restriction on rent increases, unlike a previous proposal by tenant groups that would have required landlords to hold mediation with tenants before increasing rents. The law also would require landlords to send a copy of any eviction notice or lease nonrenewal to the city's Office of Housing and Stability within two days of serving it on tenants. In turn, the city would send affected tenants a notice of their housing rights and a list of tenants' rights organizations. Failing to notify the city, and failing to state a "good cause" for eviction, "shall constitute grounds for dismissal" of the eviction, according to the proposed law. Rents across the city have skyrocketed in recent years, and many rental units have been converted to pricey condos in the red-hot real estate market that has seen some of Boston's neighborhoods swiftlygentrify -- spurring concerns by low- and middle-income tenants. The law exempts various landlords -- including owner-occupants, owners of public housing and treatment facilities and landlords who own fewer than seven units in the city -- from those provisions. But if a tenant takes a landlord who is bound by the law to court for violating those provisions, the law says the landlord would have to pay court costs. "Failure by a non-exempt landlord or foreclosing owner to comply ...
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