By Robert Nislick
Pursuant to the Framingham Health Department’s Rental Unit Certification Regulation, most landlords of residential properties in Framingham are required to apply for and obtain a certificate from the Board of Health before commencing any new tenancy or occupancy in a rental unit.
The regulation is, “intended to protect the public health and general welfare, and the health, safety and well-being of the occupants of rental housing.” (See Regulation, § A).
The landlord has to file an Application for a Dwelling Unit Certificate and pay a non-refundable $75.00 fee, at the Memorial Building, 150 Concord Street, Framingham. The Health Department will then inspect the “rental unit to assure compliance with Minimum Standards of Fitness for Human Habitation, as set forth in the State Sanitary Code, and Housing Standards and regulations, as adopted by the Framingham Board of Health.” (See Regulation, § D).
“The Director of Public Health . . . shall issue a Rental Unit Inspection Certificate for each unit found to be in compliance or, if a rental unit fails to meet the minimum standards . . . shall issue a Housing Inspection Report and an Order to Correct Deficiencies. Said order shall establish the date by which corrections must be completed and shall provide notice that proper permits must be obtained for any work done under the order.” (Regulation, § D).
If an Order to Correct Deficiencies has been issued, the owner may request a re-inspection, and pay a $25.00 re-inspection fee. (See Regulation, § D).
“Upon completion of the required corrections and verification that proper permits have been obtained, a Rental Unit Inspection Certificate shall be issued.” (Regulation, § D).
Landlords in Framingham would be well advised to go through the inspection and certification process before renting their units. The Health Department’s inspection criteria matches with the State Sanitary Code, with which every landlord is obligated to comply. One benefit to landlords is that if the inspector comes out and certifies that the premises are fine, the landlord will have a benchmark in the event that a tenant complains later about bad conditions.
Robert Nislick is a Massachusetts landlord-tenant lawyer who practices regularly in the Framingham District Court, and also in Boston Housing Court, Worcester Housing Court, Northeast Housing Court, Southeast Housing Court, and Western Housing Court.