Small Landlord Letter
Rental housing policy has failed in Massachusetts & nationwide
Lenore Monello Schloming M.A.
Skip Schloming Ph.D.
How to Rapidly Increase the Supply
of Smaller-Sized, Lower-Rent Apartments:
Our favorite idea
Allow the private rental market to adjust unit sizes in existing buildings
In August 2018, we circulated to all Cambridge residential owners the idea of allowing owners to subdivide existing large apartments into.... read more
Who We Are
Small Landlord Letter is an email publication of Skip Schloming and Lenore Monello Schloming, 50 years as small landlords, 23 years as executive director and president of the Cambridge-based Small Property Owners Association.
The Letter is free to subscribers. To subscribe, send an email with your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org with "Subscribe" in the subject.
We plan to incorporate soon as the Small Landlord Institute, as a nonprofit 501(c)(4) organization, to advocate for and conduct research on small landlords and their critical role in providing the vast bulk of housing for America's moderate- and low-income renter households as well as for many middle-income tenants. Small landlords and their tenants are a major sector in every city and town in America, yet the landlords are utterly excluded from all policymaking that affects them.
Small landlords are defined as families who own one or more rental units on a part-time or full-time basis, do their own management and repairs without hired employees, and sometimes have full-time jobs with benefits -- all factors that allow them to keep their rents lower. Small landlords also keep rents below market value for reliable, long-term tenants.
Unfortunately, every law and regulation on behalf of "tenant rights" and "tenant protections" tends to push rents UP and push housing conditions DOWN. The laws also often force small landlords out of the rental housing market, usually replaced by distant corporate owners. The Small Landlord Letter aims to explore the impacts of various landlord-tenant regulation and alert subscribers to pending legislation.
For 23 years, Lenore Monello Schloming, M.A., and Skip Schloming, Ph.D., were president and executive director, respectively, of the Small Property Owners Association (SPOA). During our tenure, we published over 200 monthly newsletters on nearly every aspect of landlord-tenant law and regulation in Massachusetts. We resigned from SPOA in October 2021. We are also sociologists and met as graduate students in sociology at Brandeis University. We wrote linked doctoral dissertations, now presented in a website (see below). We homesteaded in rural Maine and homeschooled our three sons. We returned to Cambridge to manage rental housing in the family and soon became activists in SPOA. We continue our advocacy through the Small Landlord Letter and, eventually, the Small Landlord Institute.
Our Other Writings:
Wild to Civilized, human movement patterns from the prehistoric African wilderness to today’s global industrial civilization, based on our doctoral dissertations in sociology (www.wildtocivilized.com).
That Emperor’s Fool, a musical for all ages, a fantasy satire based on the Emperor’s New Clothes, ready for premiere production (www.thatemperorsfool.com).
In progress: Rents in America: The failure of rental housing policy in Massachusetts and nationwide, based on experience in Boston, Cambridge, and Massachusetts, and on nationwide laws usually drafted by free lawyers for tenants, the socialist legal-services lawyers in every U.S. state and territory, funded by tax dollars.
See our Bios on the Bios & Contact page.
Oppose tenant right to purchase (“right of first refusal”)
A “tenant right to purchase,” also called “tenant right of first refusal,”gives a tenant or group of tenants the ability to purchase the property they live in before the owner can sell it to a willing private buyer who the owner has already found, a buyer who has signed a Purchase & Sale (P&S) agreement and made a deposit. The result is delays of six months and longer... Read more...
Rent control: All about power, not housing
What ARE the rents?
Rent control rejected 5 times in Massachusetts
Miscellaneous Shorts Comments short & longer on various topics
Why we never got the science about Covid
Covid funds for rental assistance go to nonprofits, not small landlords