Housing Code Violation Information
The first thing you should do as a tenant who has a concern about a housing code violation is contact the landlord. A landlord may not be aware that the unit needs repair or is not up to code. The best way to do this is to send the landlord a request for repairs in writing and mail it via certified mail.
Once the landlord is notified, he or she has a “reasonable” length of time to address the problem (approximately ten days). If the landlord doesn’t respond or come up with a plan to make repairs, you can request that the local health department conduct an inspection. The Board of Health is required to conduct an inspection within five business days of the request and will order the landlord to make repairs or improvements. Be sure to request a copy of the inspector’s report.
If any of the violations that are documented by the inspector are certified as endangering or materially impairing health or well-being of the tenants, you may be able to take additional steps against the landlord. You should contact a legal aid service for additional information.
To request a Board of Health inspection, contact:
- Boston Housing Inspection Department: 617.635.5322
- Cambridge Building Department: 617.349.6100
Somerville Board of Health: 617.776.6120