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Town of Lexington, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Condominium Conversion Board of the Town of Lexington 11-1-1989. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Housing conversion and eviction — See Ch. 63.
A. 
Purpose. These regulations implement the Town of Lexington Housing Conversion and Eviction By-Law,[1] Chapter 527 of the Acts of 1983, and other statutes regulating the conversion of residential housing into condominium or cooperative units in the Town of Lexington.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 63, Housing Conversion and Eviction.
B. 
Scope. These regulations provide for various rights, duties and obligations pursuant to the Town of Lexington Housing Conversion and Eviction By-Law, as amended, and shall apply to the conversion of housing accommodations in the Town of Lexington into condominium or cooperative units or accommodations, as defined herein. Provisions of the by-law or these regulations which impose requirements in addition to those set forth in Chapter 527 of the Acts of 1983, as amended, shall be inapplicable to:
(1) 
Housing accommodations constructed or converted from a nonhousing to a housing use after November 30, 1983;
(2) 
Housing accommodations which were constructed or substantially rehabilitated pursuant to any federal mortgage insurance program, without any interest subsidy or tenant subsidy attached thereto; or
(3) 
Housing accommodations financed through the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, with an interest subsidy attached thereto.
These regulations are meant to supplement, and not to limit, the protections and benefits available to tenants under the Town of Lexington Housing Conversion and Eviction By-Law, as amended, Chapter 527 of the Acts of 1983, as amended, MGL c. 183A; as amended; and any other statute of the commonwealth or court decision.
As used in these regulations, the following words shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
APPLICANT
The owner or purchaser of a housing accommodation applying for a conversion or eviction license under these regulations and the by-law.
BOARD
The Condominium Conversion Board, consisting of five members appointed by the Town of Lexington Board of Selectmen who are responsible for the administration of the by-law and these regulations.
BY-LAW
The Town of Lexington Housing Conversion and Eviction By-Law, as amended.[1]
CONDOMINIUM OR COOPERATIVE CONVERSION EVICTION
An eviction of a tenant (a) for the purpose of removing such tenant from a housing accommodation in order to facilitate the initial sale and transfer of legal title to that housing accommodation as a condominium or cooperative unit to a prospective purchaser, or (b) for the purpose of removing such tenant from a housing accommodation in order to facilitate the sale and transfer of legal title to that housing accommodation after a binding purchase and sale agreement has been validly executed for the sale of such condominium or cooperative unit; provided, however, that the eviction of a tenant for nonpayment of rent or other violation of a rental agreement for which a tenant may be evicted under applicable law shall in no event be deemed a condominium or cooperative conversion eviction.
CONDOMINIUM UNIT OR ACCOMMODATION
A unit, as that term is defined in MGL c. 183A, in a housing condominium.
CONSUMER PRICE INDEX
As used in § 63-4E(2) of this Code and Chapter 527 of the Acts of 1983, shall be the United States Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers, U.S. City Average, as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
CONVERSION
The recording of a master deed or master lease in order to make the initial sale and transfer of title to a housing accommodation as one or more condominium units pursuant to an individual unit deed or deeds, or, as one or more cooperative units pursuant to an individual proprietary lease or leases, as the case may be.
CONVERSION LICENSE
The license required by the by-law and § 144-4A of these regulations prior to the conversion of any housing accommodation into condominium or cooperative forms of ownership.
CONVERSION NOTICE
The notice given by the owner to the tenant as required by § 144-4B of these regulations.
COOPERATIVE UNIT OR ACCOMMODATION
A unit, as set forth in MGL c. 156B, 157, or 157B, in a housing cooperative.
ELDERLY TENANT
A tenant or group of tenants of the same housing accommodation, any of whom has reached the age of 62 years or over as of the date of the conversion of such housing accommodation prior to the adoption of this by-law or the receipt by such tenant or group of tenants of any conversion notice provided for herein, whichever is earlier.
EVICTION LICENSE
The license required by the by-law and § 144-5A of these regulations prior to the eviction of any handicapped, elderly or low- to moderate-income tenant from any housing accommodation.
HANDICAPPED TENANT
A tenant or group of tenants of the same housing accommodation, any of whom is physically handicapped as defined in MGL c. 22, § 13A, as of the date of the conversion of such housing accommodation prior to the adoption of this by-law or the receipt by such tenant or group of tenants of any conversion notice provided for herein, whichever is earlier.
HOUSING ACCOMMODATION
Any building, structure, or part thereof or land appurtenant thereto, or any other real or personal property rented or offered for rent for living or dwelling purposes which has been used in whole or in part for residential purposes within one year prior to the date of submission of an application for a conversion license provided for herein or within one year prior to the time of the conversion of such housing accommodation prior to the adoption of this by-law, whichever is earlier, together with all services connected with the use or occupancy of property, but not including the following:
A. 
Housing accommodations which the United States or the commonwealth or any authority created under the laws thereof either owns or operates;
B. 
Housing accommodations in any hospital, convent. monastery, asylum, public institution or college or school dormitory operated exclusively for charitable or educational purposes; or in any nursing or rest home for the aged;
C. 
Buildings containing fewer than four housing accommodations; or
D. 
Housing accommodations in hotels, motels, inns, tourist homes, and rooming houses and boardinghouses which are occupied by transient guests staying for a period of fewer than 14 consecutive calendar days.
INTEREST SUBSIDY
Any payment made by the federal or state government to reduce the effective interest rate payable by a mortgagor.
LOW- or MODERATE-INCOME TENANT
A tenant or group of tenants entitled to occupy the same housing accommodation as of the date of the conversion of such housing accommodation prior to the adoption of this by-law or the receipt by such tenant or group of tenants of any conversion notice provided for herein, whichever is earlier, so long as the total income for such tenant or group of tenants for the 12 months immediately preceding the date of the conversion of such housing accommodation prior to the adoption of this by-law or the receipt by such tenant or group of tenants of any conversion notice provided for herein, whichever is earlier, is less than 80% of the median income for the area set forth in regulations promulgated from time to time by the Department of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1437 et seq., and calculated pursuant to said regulations; or, a tenant or group of tenants entitled to occupy the same housing accommodation as of the date of the conversion of such housing accommodation prior to the adoption of this by-law or the receipt by such tenant or group of tenants of any conversion notice provided for herein, whichever is earlier, so long as the total income for such tenant or group of tenants for the 12 months immediately preceding the date of the conversion of such housing accommodation prior to the adoption of this by-law or the receipt by such tenant or group of tenants of any conversion notice provided for herein, whichever is earlier, falls within 50% to 120% of the Boston SMSA median income as calculated from time to time by the Department of Housing and Urban Development pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1437 et seq., as amended; whichever shall apply.
OWNER
The individual or entity which holds title to any housing accommodation subject to conversion, including the individual or entity which holds title to any condominium or cooperative accommodation after such conversion but prior to the execution, delivery and recording of a unit deed (in the case of condominium conversion) or a unit lease (in the case of a cooperative conversion) for such accommodation, including without limitation, a partnership, corporation, or trust.
PURCHASER
An individual or entity other than the owner which has validly executed a binding purchase and sale agreement for a condominium or cooperative unit, including without limitation, a partnership, corporation, or trust. For the purposes of these regulations, a purchase and sale agreement shall be considered binding even though the purchaser's obligation to purchase the condominium or cooperative unit is subject to the customary contingencies as to financing and inspection.
TENANT
A person or group of persons collectively entitled to occupy a housing accommodation pursuant to a written, oral or implied rental agreement existing at the date of the conversion of such housing accommodation prior to the adoption of this by-law or the receipt by such tenant or group of tenants of any conversion notice, whichever is earlier. Any tenant or group of tenants who first becomes entitled to occupy a housing accommodation after the date of the conversion of such housing accommodation prior to the adoption of this by-law or the granting of any conversion license for such housing accommodation shall not be entitled to the protections afforded by the by-law or these regulations.
TENANT SUBSIDY
Any payment made by the federal or state government for or on behalf of any tenant to be applied toward the reduction of the tenant's rental payment.
TOTAL INCOME
The total combined income from all sources for a tenant or group of tenants of a housing accommodation for the 12 months immediately preceding the date of the conversion of such housing accommodation prior to the adoption of this by-law, or the receipt by such tenant or group of tenants of any conversion notice provided for herein, whichever is earlier, or the exercising of any right, whichever may occur later, excluding income which is temporary, nonrecurring or sporadic as defined in H.U.D. Regulation 24 CFR 860.403(n)(1)-(7). Total income shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
A. 
The gross amount, before any payroll deductions, of wages and salaries, overtime pay, commissions, fees, tips and bonuses;
B. 
Net income from the operation of a business or profession;
C. 
Interest, dividends, and net income of any kind from real or personal property;
D. 
The full amount of periodic payments received from social security, annuities, insurance policies, retirement funds, pensions, disability or death benefits and other similar types of periodic receipts;
E. 
Payments in lieu of earnings, such as unemployment compensation and severance pay;
F. 
Welfare assistance payments;
G. 
Periodic and determinable allowances, such as alimony and child support payments, and payments nominally to a minor for his support and controlled for his benefit by another;
H. 
Regular contributions or gifts received from persons not residing in the housing accommodation; and
I. 
All regular pay, special payments, and allowance received by a member of the Armed Forces.
TOWN
The Town of Lexington, Massachusetts.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 63, Housing Conversion and Eviction.
A. 
License required. No housing accommodation in the Town shall be converted to condominium or cooperative units after May 13, 1987, unless the owner or purchaser, as the case may be, of such housing accommodation shall have first secured a conversion license from the Board. The Board shall grant a conversion license, provided the applicant has complied with all requirements of federal, state and local law and regulations.
B. 
License applications. Applications for conversion licenses shall be made on forms established by the Board. Application forms shall be signed by the applicant and shall be accompanied by evidence satisfactory to the Board that the applicant has notified the Lexington Housing Authority, the Lexington Housing Assistance Board and all affected tenants of the applicant's intent to convert the subject housing accommodations to condominium or cooperative units; which notice to affected tenants shall include, at a minimum, all information required by Section 4 of Chapter 527 of the Acts of 1983, as amended, as can be provided prior to the creation of the condominium or cooperative units, together with such other information as the Board may from time to time require.
C. 
Public hearing notice. Upon receipt of the completed conversion license application, the materials described in Subsection B, and payment of the application filing fee as provided in § 144-9, the Board shall serve notice of a public hearing to all tenants of the subject housing accommodation by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, and by publication in a newspaper of general circulation within the Town.
D. 
Form of notice. The notice of the public hearing shall schedule the date for a public hearing not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days from the date of that notice. By agreement of a majority of the Board and the applicant, the public hearing may be reasonably postponed for up to an additional 60 days beyond the initial public hearing date; provided, however, that no postponement shall be made during the seven days prior to the public hearing. In the event of a postponement, the Board shall renotify the parties entitled to receive notice pursuant to this section and shall republish the notice of the public hearing in the same newspaper.
E. 
Decisions. Except as provided for in this section, the Board shall issue a written decision within 60 days of the public hearing, which shall be duly filed with the Town Clerk and served to the applicant and all tenants entitled to receive notice pursuant to Subsection C by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested. In the event that the Board does not so issue a written decision within 60 days of the public hearing, the Board shall be deemed to have granted the conversion license requested without condition, except those imposed by state law. The Board shall, upon request of any party, issue a written confirmation of its deemed decision within seven days of such request.
F. 
Conversion license conditions.
(1) 
Any conversion license issued by the Board may contain reasonable conditions for the protection of tenants. The Board shall consider the following factors in determining whether to impose any conditions and in deciding what conditions may be appropriate in connection with a particular conversion:
(a) 
The protection of the public interest of the Town of Lexington in preserving the existing rental housing accommodations available for use by tenants, particularly those who are elderly, handicapped, or of low to moderate income;
(b) 
The hardships imposed on the tenants residing in the housing accommodations proposed to be converted;
(c) 
The aggravation of the shortage of rental housing accommodations in the Town which may result from the conversion, especially housing accommodations suitable for low- and moderate-income tenants, single-parent household tenants, elderly tenants, handicapped tenants, or fixed-income tenants;
(d) 
The hardships imposed on the owner or purchaser of the unit; and
(e) 
Reasonable arrangements by the owner, purchaser, or third parties, to alleviate the hardships on the tenants affected by the proposed conversion.
(2) 
The conversion license conditions imposed may include, but are not limited to:
(a) 
Specified schedules for the sale of individual units; or
(b) 
The offering of a specified percentage of units to the Lexington Housing Authority, the Lexington Housing Assistance Board or other entity approved by the Board for low- and moderate-income rental units as provided in § 144-7 of these regulations.
A. 
License required. No condominium or cooperative conversion eviction shall be instituted against any elderly, handicapped, or low- or moderate-income tenant unless the owner or purchaser seeking to evict any such tenant shall have first secured an eviction license from the Board. The Board shall grant an eviction license, provided the applicant has complied with all requirements of federal, state, and local law and regulations, and with the requirements of these regulations. No eviction license shall be granted unless (a) either the conversion occurred prior to May 13, 1987, or a valid conversion license has been issued for the subject housing accommodation, and (b) either a binding purchase and sale agreement for the subject housing accommodation unit has been validly executed or the owner in good faith desires to occupy the subject housing accommodation unit. Any tenant or group of tenants who first becomes entitled to occupy a housing accommodation after the date of the conversion of such housing accommodation prior to the adoption of this by-law or the granting of any conversion license for such housing accommodation shall not be entitled to the protections afforded by the by-law or these regulations.
B. 
License applications. Applications for eviction licenses shall be made on forms established by the Board. Application forms shall be signed by the applicant and shall be accompanied by the following materials:
(1) 
A copy of the conversion license previously granted by the Board or evidence that the conversion occurred prior to May 13, 1987;
(2) 
Evidence reasonably satisfactory to the Board that the applicant has complied with all applicable provisions of Chapter 527 of the Acts of 1983, as amended, as can be satisfied prior to the eviction of the tenant, specifically including written evidence that the condominium or cooperative unit was offered for sale to the tenant and that the tenant has waived his or her right to acquire such unit; and
(3) 
Such other information as the Board may from time to time require.
C. 
Public hearing notice. Upon receipt of (a) the completed eviction license application, (b) the materials described in Subsection B, and (c) a copy of an executed, binding purchase and sale agreement covering the subject housing accommodation, or an affidavit from the owner as to his or her desire to occupy said accommodation, as the case may be, and upon payment of the application filing fee as provided in § 144-9, the Board shall serve notice of a public hearing to all tenants of the subject housing accommodation whose eviction the applicant seeks by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, and by publication in a newspaper of general circulation within the Town.
D. 
Form of notice. The notice of the public hearing shall schedule the date for a public hearing not less than 30 days nor more than 60 days from the date of that notice. By agreement of a majority of the Board and the applicant, the public hearing may be reasonably postponed for up to an additional 60 days beyond the initial public hearing date; provided, however, that no postponement shall be made during the seven days prior to the public hearing. In the event of a postponement, the Board shall renotify the parties entitled to receive notice pursuant to Subsection C and shall republish the notice of the public hearing in the same newspaper.
E. 
Decisions. Except as provided for in this section, the Board shall issue a written decision within 60 days of the public hearing, which shall be duly filed with the Town Clerk and served to the applicant and all tenants entitled to receive notice pursuant to Subsection C hereof by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested. In the event that the Board does not issue a written decision within 60 days of the public hearing, the Board shall be deemed to have granted the eviction license requested.
F. 
Eviction license conditions.
(1) 
Any eviction license issued by the Board may contain reasonable conditions for the protection of tenants. The Board shall consider the following factors in determining whether to impose any conditions and in deciding what conditions may be appropriate in connection with a particular eviction:
(a) 
The hardships on the tenant and the owner or purchaser of the unit, including, but not limited to, finances, health, age, family problems, and the desirability of tenant children continuing to attend Town schools;
(b) 
The availability of affordable housing for the tenant in the Town; and
(c) 
The housing situation of the owner or purchaser of the unit.
(2) 
Eviction license conditions may include, but are not limited to:
(a) 
Prohibiting the eviction for a period of time, not less than one year or any other period of time to which the tenant is entitled under the provision of any other law, court decision, regulation, or by-law, and not more than a period of five years from the date of the application for a license to evict.
(b) 
Requiring the applicant to extend the rental agreement for a period of time not less than one year or any other period of time which the tenant is entitled to under the provision of any other law, court decision, regulation, or by-law, and not more than a period of five years from the date of the application for a license to evict, as provided for in § 144-6.
(3) 
Such conditions imposed by the Board on an eviction license shall be in addition to, and not in limitation of, any right, protection, or benefit available to any tenant under any statute of the commonwealth or court decision.
Pursuant to § 144-5F(2)(b), the Board may grant an eviction license on the condition that the applicant extend the applicable rental agreement for a period of time not less than one year or for any other period of time to which the tenant is entitled under the provision of any other law, court decision, regulation, or by-law, but not for more than a period of five years from the date of the application for the eviction license. In connection with any such extension, the provisions of such a rental agreement may not otherwise be modified, except with respect to the amount of annual rent, any increase in which shall not exceed an amount equal to the sum which would result by multiplying said rent by the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, during the calendar year immediately preceding the date upon which such rental agreement is commenced, or 10%, whichever is less. This restriction, however, shall not limit the right of an owner or purchaser to any reasonable amounts which may be due under a valid tax escalation clause in the rental agreement.
Pursuant to § 144-4F(1)(e), the Board may grant a conversion license on the condition that the applicant offer a reasonable percentage (not less than 10% and not more than 20%) of the housing accommodations to the Lexington Housing Authority, the Lexington Housing Assistance Board, or a limited profit or nonprofit legal entity approved by the Board upon reasonable terms and conditions as will make the offeree eligible for state or federal subsidies and as will make it economically feasible for the unit to be purchased for rental to persons of low- or moderate-income. Such units shall be permanently maintained as rental housing accommodations for low- and moderate-income tenants.
A. 
Scope. All Board decisions as to conversion and eviction licenses shall be preceded by a public hearing held pursuant to the requirements of this section.
B. 
Hearings. The Board, or any hearing officer the Board may appoint, shall conduct the hearing in as informal and open a manner as possible while ensuring that all parties entitled to receive notice have an opportunity to present their positions and to contest the issues. Neither the Board nor any hearing officer it might appoint shall have any interest in or relationship to the housing accommodation or parties involved.
C. 
Notice of hearing. The Board shall notify the parties of the time, date, and place of the public hearing pursuant to § 144-4 or 144-5.
D. 
Counsel. Any party may appear on his or her behalf or has the right to be accompanied, represented, and advised by any person authorized by that party.
E. 
Evidence. Rules of evidence observed by courts of law need not apply in the hearing. Evidence may be admitted and given probative effect only if it is the kind of evidence on which reasonable persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs. Unduly repetitious, irrelevant, incomprehensible or illegible evidence may be excluded. The Board or any hearing officer it might appoint may conduct investigations and question such parties as it shall deem necessary.
F. 
Records. The Board or any hearing officer it may appoint shall maintain brief written records of the hearing proceedings and any Board decisions or actions. Such records shall be available for public inspection during normal business hours.
G. 
Decisions. The Board or hearing officer shall issue a written decision with supporting reasons pursuant to § 144-4 for conversion licenses and to § 144-5 for eviction licenses.
A. 
Conversion licenses. Applications for conversion licenses will only be accepted by the Board upon the receipt of a filing fee in the amount of $50 for each such application.
B. 
Eviction licenses. Applications for eviction licenses will only be accepted by the Board upon the receipt of a filing fee in the amount of $50 for each such application.
C. 
Waiver of filing fees. The Board, in its sole discretion, may waive the filing fee for any applicant upon the filing of an affidavit of indigency setting forth the applicant's income and expenses.
A. 
Review and appeal. Decisions of the Board or any hearing officer it may appoint shall be final. A person aggrieved by any action or decision of the Board may appeal to any court of competent jurisdiction such action or decision within 30 days of the date the decision was filed with the Town Clerk or within such time as state law permits.
B. 
Enforcement. Failure to comply with the provisions of the by-law or these regulations may result in the initiation of both civil and criminal actions against any violator pursuant to Chapter 527 of the Acts of 1983. Other Town, state, or federal laws may also provide penalties for violations of the by-law and these regulations. Any violation of the by-law or these regulations by an owner of a housing accommodation shall not affect the validity of a conveyance of a condominium unit or an interest in a housing cooperative to a purchaser for value who has no knowledge of the violation.
C. 
Severability. The provisions of these regulations are severable, and if any provisions shall be held unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by any court of competent jurisdiction, the decision of such court shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions.
D. 
Effective date. These regulations shall take effect on November 1, 1989.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Copies of Appendix A, Notice Forms, which immediately followed, are on file in the Town offices.