Task Force tracks loud parties, shifts burden onto landlords

Any time a Mission Hill resident calls 911 to report a loud house party, the address is added to a database managed by the Mission Hill Problem Properties Task Force.  

The database was created by Task Force member Dave Greenup. He told the Gazette he was “moved to action” after a resident was attacked for asking neighbors to lower their music.

“Hearing of this incident made me get into it,” he said.

The problem properties database lists the date and time of each incident, the nature of the complaint, the property address, and the owner’s name. It also includes every subsequent interaction with law enforcement, landlords and university officials, and what their responses were. Properties are classified as “open” until action is taken.

Until recently, the Task Force had been focusing on tenant behavior deterrence, which Greenup said was “clearly not working.” Now, it’s holding landlords accountable for the behavior of their tenants by imposing increasing fines and even liens on their properties. So far, the majority of landlords have been cooperative.

“Most have complied with the request that they speak to their tenants and take other necessary actions,” Greenup said.

The owner of a Parker Street building confronted his tenants after being informed of a noise complaint. He also provided information about the tenants to their schools and the police. Another landlord reported that he sent out warnings to his tenants and will be installing security cameras to monitor their behavior.

However, there are still some landlords who have ignored Task Force communications. These have been placed on the City’s problem properties list, which has greater resources.

Members of the Community Alliance of Mission Hill applauded the Task Force’s efforts to address this long-standing issue.

“[Community] members are excited to have someone spearheading this project because these parties have been over the top,” Greenup said, adding that he hopes the City will step in and take over the database in 2022.

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