Category: Landlords

Evicting the victim: Part 2, “I was afraid I’d lose my house, my job, and my daughter”

6 September, 2013 (09:00) | Affordability, Apartments, Constitution, domestic violence, Enforcement, Eviction, Families, gender dynamics, informality, Landlords, Law, nuisance ordinance, Regulation, Rental, SROs, Supportive housing, US News |

[Continued from yesterday's Part 1.]   By:David A. Smith   Yesterday’s post, taking off from an article in the New York Times (August 17, 2013), demonstrated the real-world consequences of an abstract-legal-principle law that simplifies a lawmaker’s job by deciding that if there’s “too many” disturbances at someone’s apartment, then either the tenant or the […]

Evicting the victim: Part 1, “If I called the police, I’d be evicted”

5 September, 2013 (09:00) | Affordability, Apartments, Constitution, domestic violence, Enforcement, Eviction, Families, gender dynamics, informality, Landlords, Law, nuisance ordinance, Regulation, Rental, SROs, Supportive housing, US News |

By:David A. Smith   In the realm of law, boundaries are neatly drawn and readily discernible.  Landlords rent to families, and violence in an apartment must of necessity be someone’s fault – either the family’s or the landlord’s.  So broken-windows theory laws like this one, reported in the New York Times (August 17, 2013), appear […]

Dangerous, overcrowded, invisible, informal, unenforced: Part 3, unenforced and invisible

8 May, 2013 (09:00) | Allston, Apartments, Boston, Building Codes, egress, Enforcement, fire, informality, Landlords, overcrowding, Regulation, Rental, Student housing, Zoning |

By:David A. Smith   [Continued from yesterday's Part 2 and the preceding Part 1.]   Now we know that 87 Linden Street, where Binland Lee died in the April 28 fire, was way over-occupied, because that was in the unstated but manifest interest of both landlord and residents.    As I’ve observed elsewhere, in any […]

Dangerous, overcrowded, invisible, informal, unenforced: Part 2, blocked and uninspected for ten years

7 May, 2013 (09:00) | Allston, Apartments, Boston, Building Codes, egress, Enforcement, fire, informality, Landlords, overcrowding, Regulation, Rental, Student housing, Zoning |

By:David A. Smith   [Continued from yesterday's Part 1.]   Yesterday’s post on the tragic death of Binland Lee, in her attic room in an overcrowded student rental, dealt with the fire’s facts – and if that were all to the story, it would simply be a tragic incident.  But everything is connected to everything […]

Dangerous, overcrowded, invisible, informal, unenforced: Part 1, dying in the attic

6 May, 2013 (14:42) | Allston, Apartments, Boston, Building Codes, egress, Enforcement, fire, informality, Landlords, negligence, overcrowding, Regulation, Rental, Student housing, Zoning |

By:David A. Smith   Tragedy exposes an ecosystem’s weaknesses.  A rowdy college party, a lit cigarette, an overcrowded student house, a remote and small-scale landlord, informal subdivisions and excess occupancy, and a building inspection system that gives the illusion of enforcement.  Combine them and a young woman is dead.   Binland Lee, BU senior … […]