As students return to colleges, Menino promises crackdown on problem properties

With thousands of college students beginning to return to school in Boston, Mayor Thomas M. Menino pledged today that the city will crack down on the problem properties where students on a tight budget may find themselves in unsafe conditions.

“We are going to make sure all the units meet all the requirements,” he said at a news conference on Ashford Street in Allston, where inspectors were preparing to enter a home that has been cited for problems in the past.

A new ordinance requires landlords to register their properties with the city annually, and requires inspections every five years (unless the buildings are owner-occupied buildings, with six or fewer units).

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“We’re serious and we’re going to make it work,” Menino said. Property owners have criticized the new ordinance as intrusive and costly.

Brian Swett, who oversees the Inspectional Services Department as the city’s chief of environment and energy, said inspectors will be out this weekend to make sure apartments meet “basic health and safety standards.”

He also said the city was going to establish a list of landlords who have chronic problems.

City officials believe they’ve made progress in recent years in reducing the number of problem properties.

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