What we know about rent control in Boston

We’re breaking down Mayor Wu’s proposal to bring back rent control.


The average cost of rent for an apartment in Boston is $3,800.

Photo by @photosbyj2

In a city where approximately 65% of the residents rent, it was only a matter of time before the door opened for a rent stabilization plan. This week, Mayor Wu shared a rent control proposal to an advisory board.

Here’s what we know:

  • The plan would limit annual rent increases to 6%, plus the consumer price index, and landlords could not surpass the maximum of a 10% raise per year.
  • It would include “just cause” eviction protection for tenants.
  • The policy would not apply to newer apartment buildings built within the last 15 years and small owner-occupied properties, like triple-deckers.

This is the first rent control proposal in Boston in 30 years. In 1994, Massachusetts residents voted to ban rent control across the state, which was only in place in Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline at the time. Any proposal would require approval from the City Council + lawmakers on Beacon Hill.