Real Estate

Ask Toni & Maria – Real Estate Column #3

“Ask Toni & Maria” is a new column written by Toni Gilardi and Maria DiTullio from Elite Boston Landmark Realty. Email to have them answer your questions in an upcoming column.

1. Hi Toni and Maria, thanks for answering my real estate tax question last week. I have one more question. I heard the City of Boston credits a residential discount if you live in the property you own. Is this correct information?
Lisa, again from Orlando Florida

Hi Lisa, glad to help you the first time! The answer to your second question is quite simply … yes. You can receive an owner occupant exemption from the City of Boston. After you occupy the property for 1 year you may apply for this exemption the following November.

2. Hi Toni and Maria, I own a building on Commercial Street and was shocked when I opened my tax bill for November. It seems the city has increased the value of my property and I am not sure that it is a fair assessment. What can I do?
Maria, Commercial Street

Hi Maria, thanks for writing in. We both own properties in the neighborhood and understand your initial shock. In January, you are allowed to apply for a reassessment of the property value. Have your real estate broker prepare a market analysis/CMA for your property to determine fair market value. Bring it to the assessing department at City Hall they will give you direction from there. NOTE: Our property values have increased substantially in the last couple of years. Don’t be surprised if the city’s evaluation is right on target.

3. Hello, I own a building in the North End. My son is moving back home. All my apartments are leased until August 2012. Can I terminate a tenancy since it is my immediate family?
Emily, North End

Emily sorry to inform you….Your son is out of luck until next September 1st.

4. I am thinking about getting a pet since I live alone. I see lots of dogs in the neighborhood but not sure how hard it is to find an apartment that allows dogs. Can you direct me?
Dog lover, North End

Most of the apartments do not accept dogs. However,if you decide to buy it is a little easier.

5. Hi Toni and Maria. I own a building in the North End and I have a problem with my tenants going up to the roof to smoke. There is no deck and I am afraid someone is going to get hurt. Can I lock the roof door?


Sorry Connie, No can do. Roof access is a second means of egress and cannot be locked. However, you can install an alarm which would go off every time the door opens unless you have the key/code. This should deter your tenants.

Don’t be shy…We would love to hear from you! Send in your real estate questions to: And don’t forget to check out our website at Call 617-227-1000 or 617 523-5400 to chat with a friendly agent.

It is that time of year again when we hold our annual “Toys for Totstoy drive. Please feel free to drop off an unwrapped gift for an unfortunate child at our office anytime. We will be holding our traditional cocktail party on Thursday, December 8th, 6:00 to 9:00p.m. @ our office 350 Commercial Street. We hope to see you all there for some Holiday Cheer! BTW: J.G. is pre-heating her oven as she prepares for the most lavish appetizer display to date.

3 Replies to “Ask Toni & Maria – Real Estate Column #3

  1. Emily, Maybe you can write a letter to your tenants explaining the situation and ASK them if any of them would be willing to move out early…. I would tell them they have no obligations to do so, but if they were actually hoping to move out early this might be the perfect chance for them…The only issue I can think of with this, is that if more than one want to move out, you may have to let them…

    I think a lot of people at some time or another want to terminate a lease early, but are afraid they are going to have to pay extra money to do so. You never know..

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