With an abysmal 20% compliance rate, the City of Boston Inspectional Services Department is giving Boston area landlords until August 31, 2013 to register their rental units under a new registration and inspection ordinance. Under the recently-approved ordinance, every private rental unit in Boston was supposed to have been registered by Aug. 1.
According to Boston.com, since the registration period began on May 1, only about 26,150 units have been registered with the city, said department spokeswoman Lisa Timberlake. That represents less than 20 percent of the estimated 140,000 total units that are required to register.
Under the new ordinance, rental units will be inspected by ISD every five years. Owner-occupied dwellings with 6 or less units are exempt from the inspection requirements (but still must register). Rented out condominium units must register as well.
For more information about the City of Boston Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance, read our prior post here.
Landlords who fail to register will be subject to fines and other action from the city, officials said. But, the city will likely use discretion in deciding whether to discipline landlords, according to Brian Swett, Boston’s Chief of Environment and Energy. “We’ll have to make an assessment as we get closer to Aug. 31,” he said. “If there are folks who are willfully not registering their properties that’s different from someone who hasn’t been informed about this yet by our outreach.”