Boston Officials Cracking Down on Housing Violations - NECN

Boston Officials Cracking Down on Housing Violations



    Inspectional Services Dept. officials wrote more than 2,000 tickets during last weekend's big move-in for college students (Published Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014)

    (NECN: Alysha Palumbo, Boston) - As hordes of college students flocked to Boston this past weekend to move into their apartments for fall semester, the city stepped up its enforcement of code violations in an effort to crack down on deadbeat landlords, rodent infestations and overflowing garbage.

    "You’re moving 60,000 or more people into the city over the course of a couple of days, there’s going to be some problems, but I think things went much better this year than last year, then last year was much better than the year before that," Inspectional Services Commissioner Bryan Glascock says.

    Glascock says in 2010 there were more than 6,200 violations, two years later that number was down to roughly 4,500 violations, and this year, ISD officers wrote just over 2,000 tickets.

    He said landlords "realize if they’re getting the tickets they’re going to have to pay them, if they don’t pay them the tickets go over onto their tax bill."

    And ISD has gone one step further, requiring rental properties to register with the city so they’re inspected at least once every five years.

    "It’s definitely a positive thing, I mean the laws are there for a reason," Northeastern student Zach Stromer says.

    Third year Mass College of Pharmacy student Natalie Rayes says, "There’s not much trash left out and if there is people are getting fined for it so it’s definitely been improving."

    "It’s definitely gotten better, it’s taking steps in the right direction," Kevin Goldthwaite, a sixth year Northeastern student who moved in this past weekend, says.

    Even long-time residents of student housing dominated neighborhoods such as Mission Hill say the city’s efforts have paid off.

    "Occasionally the garbage needs a little attention but you know what, you call the city and then they’re out there and then there’s no problem," Mission Hill resident Amy says.

    Commissioner Glascock says the enforcement efforts not only aim to keep the city cleaner, but safer too.

    "We’ve had some tragedies in the last few years, fires, we’ve had porch collapses, we’ve had things that were entirely preventable," Commissioner Glascock said, "we make sure that those landlords that are doing things the right way are not being undercut by the folks that are cutting corners."
    Rental housing properties were supposed to be registered with the city by August 31.

    Commissioner Glascock says ISD will focus on properties with a history of violations and complaints and will fine them if they’re not registered.

    He says they will give a "gentle reminder" to rental property owners who are otherwise good landlords.