Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:
SECTION 1. The town of Acushnet may, by vote of its selectmen or by by-law, establish a rent board for the purpose of regulating rents for the use or occupancy of manufactured housing accommodations within the town and for regulating units, minimum standards for use or occupancy of manufactured housing communities and eviction of tenants therefrom. The rent board shall consist of 3 members, which shall be the board of selectmen or their appointees. Rents, standards and evictions may be regulated by the rent board so as to remove hardships or correct inequities for both the owners and tenants of manufactured housing communities. The rent board shall have all the powers necessary or convenient to perform its functions. The rent board may: make rules and regulations; require the registration, by owners of manufactured housing communities under penalty of perjury, of information relating to manufactured housing communities; sue and be sued; compel the attendance of persons and the production of papers and information; and issue appropriate orders which shall be binding on both the owners and tenants of manufactured housing communities. Violations of any regulation adopted under this act or any order of the rent board shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000.
SECTION 2. In regulating rents for manufactured housing communities, the rent board, established under section 1, may make individual or general adjustments, either upward or downward, as may be necessary to assure that rents for manufactured housing communities within the town are established at levels, which yield owners a fair net operating income that will yield a return, after all reasonable operating expenses, on the fair market value of the property equal to the debt service rate generally available from the institutional first mortgage lenders or such other rates of return as the board, on the basis of evidence presented before it, deems more appropriate to the circumstances of the case. The fair market value of the property shall be the assessed valuation of the property or another valuation as the board, on the basis of evidence presented before it, deems more appropriate to the circumstances of the case. The town of Acushnet in its by-laws or the rent board by regulations may establish further standards and rules consistent with this act.
SECTION 3. Review of the proceedings of the rent control board shall be conducted under section 4 of chapter 249 of the General Laws.
SECTION 4. The superior court shall have jurisdiction to enforce this act and any regulations adopted thereunder and may restrain violations thereof.
SECTION 5. The town of Acushnet may regulate the eviction of tenants and the rent board, established under section 1, may issue orders which shall be a defense to actions of summary process for possession and the orders shall be reviewable under sections 3 and 4.
SECTION 7. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
Approved, September 26, 2013.