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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Boston’s crackdown on bad landlords is awesome

Bostons+crackdown+on+bad+landlords+is+awesome

I will be the first to admit that I am not the biggest fan of Mayor Menino. With that being said, credit needs to be given where credit is due.
Last Thursday The Boston Herald reported that the city of Boston had decided to combat bad landlords by using a new and unprecedented method. Lighted highway signs reading “Designated Problem Property” will be placed outside of any house that has been identified by the city as drug dens or nuisance properties.
The first of these signs has already been placed outside of a Dorchester multifamily that has been the site of constant criminal activity, including a stabbing, drug deals, and prostitution. It was reported that police have been called to the house 57 times in the past year. Officials also said that the landlord, Ed Franco, owes more than $2,000 in fines stemming from both of his properties.
This method of pressuring bad landlords to keep up with their properties, at least in my estimation, is ingenious. It is time for the city to step up their efforts on cleaning up these homes, and this represents a major step in the right direction. If the city has constantly cracked down on a particular property without any success, then it is time to get a little creative. Placing a highway sign outside of a house that lets everyone know who travels by that the property is a problem certainly sounds like an original and efficient way to get results.
City officials have said that so far 16 houses have been put on the list. What this tells me is that Boston has officially put all landlords on notice. Just the threat of embarrassment hopefully should be enough to keep all property owners in check and inspire them to constantly keep up with their properties.
I applaud the mayor for this effort. For a man who I often feel overreacts to certain situations, this shows a clear commitment to the residents of these areas who are most likely directly affected by the actions of some questionable characters living in their neighborhoods. And I must say placing a highway sign outside of someone’s house is definitely a move that requires some you know what. To me, it is a clear message to the entire city that this sort of behavior will not be tolerated.
So for every bad thing that I have ever said about Mayor Menino, I will be the first one to say that this is great.  Not only does it help to start what hopefully will be a major clean-up process, it embarrasses and shames people that most likely deserve it. Landlords have a responsibility, not only to their tenants, but to the entire area in which they own property. Let’s not forget, matters like this can easily affect property values of an entire neighborhood. It’s time for something to be done, and giant highway signs may do the trick. If not, at least it’s a start.

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Boston’s crackdown on bad landlords is awesome