Advisory Board Policies and Guidelines (Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons)

Date: 12/11/2017
Referenced Sources: Division of Professional Licensure

Table of Contents

Advisory / Apartment Rentals

Recently concerns over broker conduct in renting apartments to an impermissible number of unrelated individuals were directed to the Board.

Public health and safety concerns related to the over-crowding of residences have resulted in a number of legal restrictions that brokers should be aware of when leasing apartments.


The Board advises that real estate brokers and salesmen become familiar with the following laws concerning rentals to unrelated individuals. These provisions are Massachusetts General Laws chapter 140, section 22, 105 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 410 (the State Sanitary Code), 780 Code of Massachusetts 310 (the State Building Code) and the local Boston zoning code, cited as Article 2, Section 2-1(19) and Article 2A - Definition of Family, Boston Zoning Code.


The Board suggests that you obtain copies of the above-cited statutory and regulatory provisions for a more comprehensive understanding of Boston's occupancy restrictions and building restrictions.


You can access the state statutes on the Internet at . You can also contact the Regulation's Division of the Massachusetts Secretary of State at (617) 727-2831 for copies of the regulatory codes. Questions regarding the Boston Zoning Code concerning maximum apartment occupancy should be directed to the City of Boston, Division of Inspectional Services at (617) 635-5322. You can access the zoning code on line at

If you have questions in particular rental situations you may want to consult with the City and State authorities noted herein and seek legal advice. The Board thanks you for your attention to this matter.

Determination of Good Moral Character Compliance for Initial Broker or Salesperson Licensure by Examination, Reciprocity, Waiver of Educational Requirement or as an Attorney Broker

Determination of Good Moral Character Compliance for Initial Broker or Salesperson Licensure by Examination, Reciprocity, Waiver of Educational Requirement or as an Attorney Broker

Licensure Policy 04-07-08

Date Adopted/Revised: First Adopted April 7, 2008; revised November 14, 2016.


Determination of Good Moral Character Compliance for Initial Broker or Salesperson Licensure by Examination, Reciprocity, Waiver of Educational Requirement or as an Attorney Broker. This policy also applies to the renewal of a license.


The Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons (Board) establishes this policy to identify its criteria for determining whether an applicant for initial licensure by examination, reciprocity, waiver of educational requirement or as an attorney broker (permitted by the licensing law)meets the prerequisite for licensure that such applicant be "of good moral character" (GMC) as required by Massachusetts General Laws (G.L.) Chapter 112, section 87AAA and the Board's regulations at 254 CMR 2.00. The Board will also use this policy as a guide for determinations of GMC of salespersons and brokers licensed by the Board if and when such questions arise.

Application of Policy

The Board will evaluate each application for initial licensure permitted by the licensing law under the policy governing the determination of GMC in effect on the date the Board receives the application.

GMC is Prerequisite for Licensure and licensure Renewal


Each applicant must be "of good moral character" for the Board to approve the applicant for licensure. The word "applicant" shall hereinafter be used to mean any applicant for initial Massachusetts licensure as a real estate salesperson or broker.

Attributes of GMC

The Board shall determine whether an applicant possesses the GMC essential for the safe and competent practice as a real estate agent by evaluating the applicant's demonstrated honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, accountability, reliability, ability to distinguish between right and wrong and to observe the difference between the two, avoidance of aggression to self and others, and avoidance of injustice and deceit, among other relevant attributes.

Conduct Demonstrating Absence of GMC

The Board has determined that certain conduct demonstrates the absence of the GMC essential for safe and competent practice as a real estate agent. Such conduct includes hostile or destructive conduct to another or to self and conduct that demonstrates a disregard for the welfare, safety or rights of another or disregard for honesty, integrity or trustworthiness. Examples of such conduct include, but are not limited to, the conduct underlying certain criminal convictions and disciplinary actions taken by a licensing authority, commission or board in another jurisdiction based on a criminal conviction.

Burden of Demonstrating GMC is on the Applicant

The burden of demonstrating that an applicant for initial licensure or renewal licensure is of "good moral character" is on the applicant. The applicant bears the burden of submitting to the Board for its evaluation documentation and other information upon which the Board may rely in determining whether the applicant possesses the requisite GMC. In evaluating an applicant's GMC, the Board considers all available pertinent information as to the applicant's present and past conduct

"Conviction" Defined

For the purpose of this Policy, "conviction" means the final judgment on a verdict or finding of guilty, a plea of guilty, a plea of nolo contendere (no contest), or a plea treated by the court as a guilty plea, regardless of the jurisdiction in which the conviction was entered.

Board CORI Policy

Referenced Sources: