There will be a new scrap metal registry in Massachusetts to help combat copper and metal theft from homes and businesses. Today the House of Representatives passed H3806, An Act regulating secondary metals dealings, by a unanimous vote of 151-0. The passage is a step toward preventing copper pipe and other scrap metal theft from homes. This bill requires secondary metals dealers to register with a municipality’s chief of police or designee. It also require dealers to keep certain records and prohibit them from accepting certain kinds of metals. The goal is to make sure that legitimate scrap can be sold, but dissuade thieves from stealing plumbing and wiring from homes since the sale will be registered and documented.
This has been an ongoing community problem, hurting home values in neighborhoods in which thefts occur. The problem is widespread, and cities and towns in the Commonwealth as well as across the US have become targets for metal thieves. Vacant houses are an increasing concern in many communities of the Commonwealth because many fall into disrepair, attract crime, and create safety issues in neighborhoods. Further, the stripping of metal piping and other fixtures from the structure will likely make the home ineligible for conventional mortgage financing.
Thanks to our Reps Smitty Pignatelli, Tricia Farley Bouvier, Paul Mark, and Gail Cariddi for listening! Berkshire REALTORS talked to all of them at REALTOR Day on Beacon Hill, specifically about homes that have been robbed of plumbing and wiring and the havoc and hardship it has caused. We also commend the House and Majority Leader Mariano for their quick action on this issue.
(Please note: This blog post was prepared in part by MAR Legal Staff: Michael McDonagh, General Counsel; Ashley Stolba, Associate Counsel; Justin Davidson, Legislative & Regulatory Counsel; and Christine Howe, Public Policy and Finance Coordinator)