See Press Release Below:
BOSTON – Boston City Councilor Ed Flynn & Councilor At-Large Michael Flaherty are calling for a hearing at this week’s City Council meeting to discuss increasing fines for large house parties, and ways to provide stricter enforcement rules regarding large house parties, indoor gatherings, and the city’s noise ordinance. There have been an overwhelming number of reports of large house parties in South Boston that are disruptive to their neighbors, with many residents highlighting noise and trash removal issues as negatively impacting their quality of life. This hearing order aims to discuss the possibility of substantially increasing the fines for large house parties, so that the city can ensure that both noise and public health regulations are followed.
Neighbors have reported large house parties, oftentimes between 30-40 people, hosted by renters with absentee landlords. Even as more people are getting vaccinated, large house parties are concerning not only because of their potential to become superspreader events, but also due to their noise and impact on the quality of life for our residents. These partiers often disturb neighbors with loud noises at all hours of the day and night, and leave behind trash and litter on the street which attracts rodents and pests. In Governor Baker’s COVID-19 Order #63, it stated that no private gatherings be more than 10 persons in a single enclosed, indoor space, and failure to comply may result in a civil fine of up to $500 per violation. Last fall, Councilor Flynn and Councilor Flaherty held a hearing with the administration and city officials on this issue.
However, despite the Governor’s order and public health guidance, there are many reports of large house parties all over the city, with 600 911 calls in one weekend alone in South Boston. Residents are to report large house parties to the Boston Police Department at 911, which can trigger the Inspectional Services Department’s Investigation & Enforcement team to review the properties, potentially place them on the city’s Problem Properties List and issue a $500 fine, with the owner of the property required to address these violations. Aside from issuing fines for violating the Governor’s COVID-19 orders, the City of Boston should also look to issue increased fines, perhaps starting at $1,000 for a first offense, and explore $2,000 for a second offense, and $3,000 for a third offense for those that repeatedly violate the city’s noise ordinance.
“I’ve heard from literally hundreds of neighbors that are outraged over these huge house parties in South Boston. Time and again we’re seeing renters, from absentee landlords, who want to extend their college frat days every Thursday to Sunday at all hours while showing blatant disrespect for their neighbors next door; young families, our seniors and persons with disabilities. The neighbors that helped to build this city, that live here and contribute to their community, that are paying increased property taxes while dealing with more quality of life issues – they’ve had enough,” said Councilor Flynn.
“This is not only a public health issue with potential superspreader events in COVID-19, but it will undoubtedly continue to present these quality of life issues beyond it. It’s critical that the City of Boston get a handle on this and look to increase the fines for those who violate state and city regulations, so that we help keep our neighborhoods peaceful, healthy and clean. I look forward to continuing to work with Councilor Flaherty, the Boston Police, ISD, public health officials, neighbors, and civic organizations on this issue.”
“Enough is enough. These out of control parties have been a burden on South Boston and communities across the city for too long,” said Councilor Flaherty. “We have tried to control them with the tools currently available to us, but these landlords and their tenants are not getting the message. It is time to hit absentee landlords and their tenants in the pocketbooks with increased penalties. We have no other choice if we stand any chance of improving the quality of life for our residents.”
For more information, please contact Councilor Flynn’s office at 617-635-3203 or [email protected].