Inspectors in Boston close student housing for safety reasons

With many college students returning to student housing across the state of Massachusetts, there is that annual fear that the property they are returning to may not be maintained properly. We see stories in the news nearly every year of dangerous conditions that often result in injury or the wrongful death of a college student. And it’s a liability the Inspectional Services Department wanted to reduce this year.

Just last week, as many students returned to school, roughly 60 officials from the ISD and other city departments inspected dozens of student housing properties, writing violations for everything from unsanitary conditions to missing smoke detectors. In the end, agents wrote more than 2,000 tickets for violations that could have resulted in serious premises liability charges down the road.

Because of the violations, this meant that some 30 units in two buildings were condemned because of unsafe living conditions in the Boston area. Fines ranged from $25 to $1,000, though it’s important to point out that landlords may have had to pay out significantly more than that if any of their tenants had become injured or killed as a result of their negligent maintenance.

While violations appear to be down from previous years — in 2010, more than 6,200 violations were issued over the move-in weekend — it’s important to point out that inspectors are still finding these violations, meaning some landlords are still negligently ignoring their duty to keep their tenants reasonably safe from harm.

Although building inspectors may have discovered and prevented a number of dangerous situations, the investigation was limited and may not have found everything. That means that someone could still be injured as a result of unsafe conditions down the road. An accident from which many hope the person is able to seek compensation.

Source: The Boston Globe, “As students return, inspectors find more than 2,000 violations,” Jasper Craven, Sept. 4, 2013