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How to register a rental property

How to register a rental property

If you own a rental property, you must register it with the City each year. There are three ways to register.

Step
1

Before you get started online

You must register your rental property every year. The deadline to register is July 1.

If you don't register and pay the fee by the deadline, we may charge you a penalty of $300 each month until you do. If you've never registered your property, please do so right away. You need to pay registration fees back to 2013.

You still have to register even if:

  • your property is vacant or being renovated
  • your tenants are relatives who are 18 or older and not on the deed, or
  • you don't collect rent on the units.

You don’t have to register if the property is:

  • owned by a City, state, or federal agency, or
  • it’s a rooming house, dorm, or lodging house (with a valid lodging license).

Once you register your property, we'll inspect it at least once every five years. Learn more about inspections.

Step
2

Prepare to pay the fees

You need to pay a fee to register your property. The fees are:

  • $25 for each unit for first-time registrations, and
  • $15 for each unit for renewal registrations.

The most you'll have to pay is $2,500 for each building, or $5,000 for each complex you own. Our online system accepts Master Card, Visa, and Discover.

Step
3

Complete the application online

Complete your registration through our online system. To register, we need to know:

  • the contact information for the property owner (if the owner lives outside of Massachusetts, they must pick a Boston-area person who we can contact in an emergency)
  • the contact information for the property manager, if there is one
  • the number of units you are registering
  • the total number of units at the property  (For example, if you are registering one condo in a complex, you must also give us the total number of units in the complex)
  • if the owner bought the property after January 1, 2013, you must give us the purchase date so that we do not overcharge you for the registration fees
  • whether the property was built before or after 1978.
  • whether there are any external fire escapes attached to the building or buildings, and
  • whether the property has a smoke-free policy with smoking prohibited in all units and common areas.

If you’ve used our system before, you need to use the same username and password.

Step
1

Before you get started by mail

You must register your rental property every year. The deadline to register is July 1.

If you don't register and pay the fee by the deadline, we may charge you a penalty of $300 each month until you do. If you've never registered your property, please do so right away. You need to pay registration fees back to 2013.

You still have to register even if:

  • your property is vacant or being renovated
  • your tenants are relatives who are 18 or older and not on the deed, or
  • you don't collect rent on the units.

You don’t have to register if the property is:

  • owned by a City, state, or federal agency, or
  • it’s a rooming house, dorm, or lodging house (with a valid lodging license).

Once you register your property, we'll inspect it at least once every five years. Learn more about inspections.

Step
2

Get your info together

Print out and complete the rental registration form. Please remember to include:

  • your contact information
  • the number of units you own at each address, and
  • a signed agreement to follow all State and City regulations.

You need to include a check or money order made payable to the City of Boston. The registration fees are:

  • $25 for each unit for first-time registrations, and
  • $15 for each unit for renewal registrations.

The most you'll have to pay is $2,500 for each building or $5,000 for each complex you own.

Step
3

Mail your registration to us

You can send your application, documents, and payment to:

Inspectional Services Department, Housing Division
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02118
United States
Step
1

Before you get started in person

You must register your rental property every year. The deadline to register is July 1.

If you don't register and pay the fee by the deadline, we may charge you a penalty of $300 each month until you do. If you've never registered your property, please do so right away. You need to pay registration fees back to 2013.

You still have to register even if:

  • your property is vacant or being renovated
  • your tenants are relatives who are 18 or older and not on the deed, or
  • you don't collect rent on the units.

You don’t have to register if the property is:

  • owned by a City, state, or federal agency, or
  • it’s a rooming house, dorm, or lodging house (with a valid lodging license).

Once you register your property, we'll inspect it at least once every five years. Learn more about inspections.

Step
2

Get your info together

Print out and complete the rental registration form. Please remember to include:

  • your contact information
  • the number of units you own at each address, and
  • a signed agreement to follow all State and City regulations.

You need to include a check or money order made payable to the City of Boston. The registration fees are:

  • $25 for each unit for first-time registrations, and
  • $15 for each unit for renewal registrations.

The most you'll have to pay is $2,500 for each building or $5,000 for each complex you own.

Step
3

Bring us your registration

You can bring your application, documents, and payment to:

Inspectional Services, Housing Division
1010 Massachusetts Ave, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02118
United States
Office hours
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Need to Know:

Still have questions? Call us at 617-635-1010, and select option 3.

Contact:
Inspectional Services
1010 Massachusetts Avenue
5th Floor
Boston, MA 02118
United States

Tips for using the online system

Existing registrations

Want to use our online system to renew existing registrations? If you’ve never signed up for an online account, we will need to associate your properties with your account before you can start.  Please contact us at 617-635-1010.

Online issues

If you already registered online, please contact us at 617-635-1010 if:

  • you do not see your properties when you sign in, or
  • you do not see a "Renew" option next to one or more of your properties.

There could be duplicate registrations on the property.  We can work this out quickly and get you on your way.  Please do NOT create a new online account — this will just confuse your records in our system, and you may be overcharged.