Boston inspectors find more than 2,000 violations as students return
More than 2,000 tickets were issued last weekend by the Inspectional Services Department as an army of students returned to Boston and moved into their apartments for the school year. Tenants were not allowed to move into 30 units at two buildings, which were condemned, department officials said.
Less than half as many violations were found as last year, continuing a downward trend. As recently as 2010, more than 6,200 violations were issued over the move-in weekend.
“We have been putting a lot of effort on the problem student neighborhoods,” said Inspectional Services Commissioner Bryan Glascock. “I think the landlords have gotten the message that we are not going away.”
The Allston-Brighton area recorded more than 800 violations over the weekend, the most of any neighborhood in Boston, according to figures from department. The Mission Hill area saw the second highest number of violations, nearly 300, and the Back Bay had 274 violations.
About 60 officials from Inspectional Services and other city departments worked over the weekend to inspect properties, Glascock said. Fines from the agency range from $25 to $1,000, said Inspectional Services spokeswoman Lisa Timberlake.
Inspectors wrote more than 50 housing violations for various reasons, including missing smoke detectors, unsanitary conditions, leaky ceilings, and cracked walls, Timberlake said.
Building inspectors wrote another 20 violations regarding structural issues, including missing balusters and unsafe porches. Fifty violations were issued for rodent infestations.
The two condemned properties — in Allston and the Fenway area — are owned by Wendy Wong and Anwar Faisal, respectively, Timberlake said. Wong could not be reached by phone for comment, and Faisal declined comment.
Faisal, the owner of Alpha Management Corp., had a Fenway property condemned last September, and has been scrutinized for his management practices in the past.
In addition, a property at 126 Calumet St. in Mission Hill, owned by Savage Properties, will be the subject of a condemnation hearing Sept. 12 Timberlake said. Jason Savage of Savage Properties declined to comment. Inspectional Services said the problems in the building included no ventilation for a dryer, no carbon monoxide detectors in the basement, and a possible illegal basement unit.
“Code enforcement officers know where there are problem sites,” Glascock said. “They are going to ensure those problems are getting resolved.”
Some violations were corrected quickly.
Bianca Bello, a college student living in Allston, said she used Boston’s Citizens Connect application — a mobile program run by the city that allows residents to file complaints — to alert the city of violations in her new apartment.
“Over the weekend, my apartment building became flooded with trash to the point that it was becoming a fire hazard,” Bello said in an e-mail. “Boxes, bags of food, and abandoned furniture filled the hallways, stairwells, and began blocking the exit to the building.”
Bello also said she saw roaches in her building. Bello said she filed her complaint Monday. When she returned home later that day, the trash was gone, and she assumes the city dealt with it.
“I was happy with the response,” Bello said. “I assumed it was someone from the city who organized the cleanup, but I’m not sure.”Jasper Craven can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @Jasper_Craven.