Mayor Menino begins Student Turnover Campaign with walk-through in Allston

Accompanied by workers from several city departments, Mayor Thomas M. Menino began the annual Student Turnover Campaign today with a walk-through of an Allston neighborhood.

City officials covered the areas around Pratt, Gardner, and Linden streets looking for illegal trash disposal, housing code violations, and to meet those moving out in order to get a feel of what living conditions are like in their buildings. Tens of thousands of students are arriving as the fall term begins at local colleges.

“Those moving out are more likely to give us the real truth about what’s going on the building,” said Bryan Glascock, acting commissioner for the city’s Department of Inspectional Services.

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Officials found problems, he said, at 45 Ashford St. Inspectors fielded numerous complaints of pests from rodents to roaches to bedbugs. Walking through the building, they uncovered more problems like spilled oil and asbestos.

“The Public Health Commission is now involved, and we taped off the area,” Glascock said. He said he hoped that the new residents would postpone moving in and give the management company time to fix the issues.

“Tenants have rights. They do not have to accept sub-standard housing that compromises their health and safety,” Glascock said.

Menino today also proposed changes to the city’s rental inspection ordinance, saying the revised ordinance would provide “a fair, predictable, and proactive system” of ensuring the health, safety, and maintenance of Boston’s rental units.