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Housing Inspections

Inspectional Services

Inspectional Services Department enforces the State Sanitary Code (105 CMR 410). The most common types of complaints are: no heat, insufficient hot water, plumbing problems, cross metering, egress obstruction, rodent infestation, hoarding, rubbish, landlord maintenance responsibilities.

Inspectional Services investigates all complaints received.

Additional Information

After performing an inspection where a violation(s) exists, the inspector will cite the property owner and give him or her a time period, according to code, to correct the violation(s). Inspectors will perform a re-inspection to confirm that the violation(s) has been corrected. If the violation(s) still exists at the time of re-inspection and determines that the property owner is not going to correct the violation, the inspector will enter the citation into court. If it is determined that the property owner is in the process of correcting the violation, the inspector will schedule another re-inspection.

Should bathrooms be heated?


What are heat requirements in a rental unit?

The owner shall provide heat in every habitable room and every room containing a toilet, shower, or bathtub to at least 68°F (20° C) between 7:00 A.M. and 11:00 P.M. and at least 64°F (17° C) between 11:01 P.M. and 6:59 A.M. every day other than during the period from June 15th to September 15th.

The temperature shall at no time exceed 78°F (25° C) during the heating season.

Who pays for boiler repairs?


What should the temperature of the hot water be?

110 - 130 degrees.

Should the owner provide lights for the outside porch and passageways?

Yes, at the owner's expense.

What is the minimum square footage for living spaces?

  • sleeping - 70 sq. ft. for one person and 50 sq. ft. for each additional person
  • other - 150 sq. ft. for one person and 100 sq. ft. for each additional person

Are locks required on windows?

Yes, every exterior window that has the ability to be opened requires a lock.

Are screens required?

Screens are required to be in place between April 1st and October 30th.

What type of help is available for a Hoarding situation?

The Housing inspectors will inspect units that have been reported as a hoarding situation. They will only enter the unit with permission from the occupant. The Housing inspectors will suggest options for the occupant to obtain help. City agencies such as Elderly Services, Public Health and Multi Services work with the Housing inspectors in regards to hoarding issues.

Who is responsible for pest control when there is a bedbug infestation?

The owner of a dwelling containing two or more dwelling units shall maintain it and its premises free from all rodents, skunks, cockroaches and insect infestation and shall be responsible for exterminating them.

The occupant of a dwelling containing one dwelling unit shall maintain the unit free from all rodents, skunks, cockroaches and insect infestation, and shall be responsible for exterminating them, provided, however, that the owner shall maintain any screen, fence or other structural element necessary to keep rodents and skunks from entering the dwelling.

What actions are recommended to control rodents?

  • Store garbage in metal or heavy plastic containers with tight lids.
  • Place trash outside shortly before pickup. Don't leave plastic garbage bags out overnight.
  • Remove weeds and debris near buildings. Don't give rodents a place to hide.
  • Store open food in metal or glass containers with tight lids.
  • Don't leave extra pet food out. Store it in a tight container.
  • Sweep up food remains, litter, and trash inside and outside your home.
  • Inspect your basement and house for cracks and holes; seal them with mortar.
  • Make sure you have screens on windows; inspect windows and screens for holes.
  • Keep outside doors closed; use metal trim to prevent rodents from gnawing and entering underneath.
Don't provide hiding places for rodents; store materials such as lumber and boxes on a rack with a clean, open area underneath. Get rid of unused materials.
Page was last modified on 7/24/2023 8:09 PM
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