Existing Tenants & Owners

Existing Tenants & Owners

Information for tenants and owners of BPDA-monitored properties.

Below is a list of updates for landlords with BPDA-restricted rental units regarding landlord requirements and eligibility guidelines.

New Temporary Policy for the Pandemic

Verification of Non-Filing Requirement - The BPDA has a longstanding policy which requires any adult applicant household member to provide a verification of non-filing from the IRS if they have not filed taxes for specific tax years. Effective immediately, for household members who are unable to get a verification of non-filing from the IRS due to the IRS' pandemic backlog and other limitations, the BPDA is temporarily offering an alternative option to fulfil the household's tax documentation requirements. The household member may instead provide a transcript or confirmation of non-filing from the Massachusetts Department of Revenue ("DOR"), which they may obtain electronically from this DOR contact. To make this request from the DOR, they must specify that they are looking for confirmation on whether or not the DOR has any record of an income tax return for specific years (e.g. 2018 and 2019), and must be able to provide the DOR with their SSN and full name. For new applicants, this alternative to BPDA documentation requirements will need to be accompanied by proof of Massachusetts residency for the years corresponding with the requested tax years. If they cannot provide proof of Massachusetts residency for the corresponding tax years, a verification from the IRS will be required. BPDA will accept the same types of documents to verify Massachusetts residency that are generally part of the Boston residency preference described in the Affidavit of Eligibility. For renewing tenants, confirmation of non-filing from the DOR will be sufficient without the proof of residency documents.

Extended Temporary Pandemic Policies for BPDA-restricted Rental Units

  1. Notary Requirement - The BPDA's notary requirement for the Affidavit of Eligibility for rental applications had been waived through December 31st, 2020, and this waiver is being extended until further notice. This notary requirement waiver will be revisited by February 28th, 2021 for any updates. Sections 16 and 18 of the Affidavit, however, are still required to be signed by all applicants or renewing tenants age 18 or older.
  2. Income Floors - A number of BPDA-restricted units have income floors, or restricted minimum incomes, which the BPDA had waived enforcing through August 31st, 2020. This waiver of the income floors is extended until February 28th, 2021, and the BPDA will revisit any possible extensions at that time. If you are unsure if your units have income floors (i.e. 80-100%, 80-120%, or 100-120% AMI), please check your Affordable Rental Housing Agreement and Restrictions ("ARHAR"), which can be viewed publicly on the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds. This waiver by the BPDA does not supersede the landlord's minimum income requirement for the unit as part of their standard screening process.

Temporary Pandemic Policies Extended with Revisions

  1. Unemployment Eligibility - On June 4th, 2020, the BPDA announced a temporary policy for determining income eligibility for applicants receiving unemployment benefits at the time of applying, which may be viewed here. This temporary policy has been extended until further notice, however, there is one revision: The 2019 W2 will no longer be used to determine income for applicants receiving unemployment benefits, and the income eligibility will be determined from the last two pay stubs prior to the applicant becoming unemployed.
  2. Hazard Pay and Overtime - Hazard pay or overtime that the employer has documented as specifically related to COVID-19 will not be considered towards income.

Temporary Pandemic Policies NOT Extended

Recertifications - On April 1st 2020, the BPDA temporarily waived recertification requirements for renewing tenants. This waver ended August 31st 2020 and has NOT been extended. All tenant recertifications will need to continue as usual.

New Policies, Updates, and Reminders (not temporary for pandemic)

  1. Online File Submission for Applicant Certifications - BPDA began accepting online submissions of certification files on April 1st, 2020. Please do not send certification files or materials via mail or email. If you have a certification file that is complete and ready to send, please fill out the form here. You then will receive an email from a BPDA staff member inviting you to upload your documents to a secure folder. These submissions will be processed via Box, a secure document sharing platform which makes accounts available to users at no cost. You must complete a new form for each individual file.
  2. 2020 Income Limits - The updated income limits are posted to the BPDA website here. Maximum rents have not changed from 2019.
  3. BPDA Maximum Rents - While most buildings charge rents equal to the relevant BPDA limits, please keep in mind that these published figures are a cap - the maximum amount of rent which can be charged. We do not require that you charge exactly the maximum limit. Landlords always have the discretion under BPDA guidelines to charge less than the maximum limit. Especially at this time, we recommend that landlords remain open to discussing rents lower with their tenants.
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