Friday, March 30, 2007

Deadbeat Landlords: The Back Story

The Allston-Brighton TAB recently reported that the City of Boston has named the top 20 landlord code violators who have unpaid fines on their properties. Everyone seems to be focusing on those top 20 violators. But read on:
In 2006, Inspectional Services Department code enforcement officers wrote more than 39,000 “green” tickets with fines ranging from $30 to $1,000, but collected just $269,000 of more than $3 million owed.
Why is the City of Boston only collecting on 9% of their citations? The uncollected $2.7 million would go a long way towards teacher's salaries, park improvements, etc. Isn't the city using metrics to evaluate the performance of their departments? A 9% collection rate is not something to be proud of.

The city is naming those top 20 violators hoping to shame them into paying. Five of the 20 own property in Allston-Brighton, and they owe a collective $55,000 city-wide on their properties. That means that all 20 violators probably owe a little more than $200,000. Shaming them only gets you from a 9% to 16% collection rate.

There have to be more effective methods at collecting a larger percentage of the unpaid citations. Maybe the City Council has hit upon it:
The City Council voted to pass a home-rule petition that would give the city authority to put a lien on the properties of the worst violators.

No comments: