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City councilor wants to step up pressure on landlords and tenants to stop out-of-control parties

City Councilor Sal LaMattina, who represents the increasingly student heavy North End, is proposing a new city ordinance that could lead to penalties against landlords whose tenants hold parties that bring a police response - and against repeat party givers.

"Loud parties and gatherings cause disruptive behavior leading to sleep disturbances and anxiety creating a substantial disturbance of the quiet enjoyment of the neighborhood," LaMattina writes in his request for a formal hearing on his proposed "ordinance regarding nuisance control."

The City Council votes on holding a hearing on the measure, under which party throwers would face fines from $100 for a first offense to $300 for subsequent offenses. Landlords could also be held liable - unless they had started eviction procedings - under LaMattina's proposal, which would also require police to notify a college if the party givers are students at that school.

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Comments

Those fines aren't sufficient enough to deter slumlords and there's nothing to keep them from passing the cost off on their tenants.

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The fines would be assessed on the tenants, participants responsible, and organizers first, and then also perhaps on the landlord.

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Don't they just enforce the current rules and fines on the books.

Disorderly house, noise laws, ect?

Creating more ordinances that the police will fail to use, and use disproportionately, isn't going to solve anything.

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there is a keg in the back, and beer pong up front. Come on guys you live in a college town. There are many good things that come with this, like an educated work force, and nice campuses. You also have many nice things you enjoy because of the students like cool coffee shops, and lots of bike lanes.

Along with some of the upside of the college town, you might have some downside, like college parties. You get upset when a school says they want to make more housing for students, but then you cry when a student throws a party at an apartment he rented. I understand other people live in these neighborhoods, and need their sleep, but please remember it's still a college town.

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...that's an explanation, but not an excuse.

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Here's a crazy thought: let kids be kids and party. You live in a city, it'll get noisy every now and then.

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Here's a crazy thought: Have some consideration for your neighbors and your neighborhood. This is a city, and people have to live in close proximity and share buildings and whole blocks with dozens, even hundreds of other people.

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There are a lot of people who, for whatever reason, are on schedules other than 9-5. I agree that we should all try to be respectful, but why is a late night party more of an issue that noisy kids playing outside early in the morning?

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For whatever reason, the city has noise ordinances that are in favor of a 9-5 schedule. This was most likely done since the mojority of the city operates on this schedule. One of the reasons its hard to be on a late night schedule is because basic ordinances like this are built around a "normal" daytime schedules, and that the minority who don't have a daytime schedule need to be aware and take notice that they are living within those laws. Basic city living.

Municipal Code
The Boston Municipal Code (chapter 16, section 26) sets the general standard for noise that is unreasonable or excessive: louder than 50 decibels between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m., or louder than 70 decibels at all other hours. The code includes specific provisions regarding car alarms, construction hours, and loud speakers and other amplification devices

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I understand that that's just the way it is and I'm hoping that the same people who want their neighbors quiet at night are exercising the same courtesy during the day. Really, no one needs to be ridiculously loud at any time of the day.

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That was exactly my point about being considerate of your neighbors. It is a city, and noise is to be expected, but there is no reason for excess at any hour, and the law actually says the same, just the threshold for the overnight hours is lower.

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Also because the noise and disruption level of kids playing outside during what are considered normal waking/business hours is 100 worlds different than a 3 AM (or even 3 PM) party so loud the neighbors blocks away can hear it even with their windows closed and the TV on to try to drown it out.

These ordinances aren't about shutting down people who gather with some beer and a few friends out back in the hot tub after dark or supporting the guy who wants to sleep out on the porch in stone silence.

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I'm just saying there's problems on both sides; unrealistic expectations and douche bag college kids.

There's already enforceable laws in place to combat most of the ills in the neighborhood. What are more laws going to do when police aren't enforcing the reasonable ones on the books as is?

The city is going to have a hell of a time in court once a private "gathering" is shut down because it's a "party", but was not cited for other enforceable ordnance violations.

The right to assemble peacefully is pretty clear cut, and a no party rule is going to be hard to enforce, if not costly when misapplied.

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I'd rather live near college kids being stupid than children. If the college kids are disturbing me at 2 am, I can call the police. If the children wake me up screaming on their tricycles at 7 am, I can't.

Also, screaming kids are an amazing mood-killer if you're having a romantic morning. My college neighbors, on the other hand, sometimes play the saxophone on the street and provide mood music.

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where the fuck do you live that seven year olds on tricycles are disturbing your morning trysts? have you ever had your grandmother call you in the middle of the night because a 19 yr old kid was pissing against her bedroom window? just hopped on the back porch and took a piss on nana's bedroom window. you dont want to know what happened to him.

"this is a college town! this is a college town!"

it wasnt when my great-grandfather built my family's house in 1912. it was a pasture and no one complained about the cows because they were there first.

your neighbor plays saxophone and provides mood music? wow, you are a douche.

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I was being lightly sarcastic about the last one...

If you hate being around other people so much, perhaps you should not live in a city. Cities are full of people of all ages engaging in illegal and obnoxious behavior. Would you be less angry if Mr. Golden Shower was a high-school dropout and a gang member? Or an illegal immigrant? Or a mentally-ill homeless person that the police don't want to be bothered arresting because "it's a city and cities have homeless people"?

I doubt it.

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Clearly you've never had the pleasure of experiencing an off-campus frat party taking over the whole building on a Wednesday night (when you're working the next morning) and again on the next night. You'd think that having the cops show up on Wednesday night and busting a bunch of them for underage drinking would've made them think twice about doing the exact same thing on Thursday night, but you'd be wrong. Two nights in a row I was unable to get to sleep until 3am because of the loud talking and music turned up so loud I could feel the bass thumping through the floorboards and hear the windows rattling. Not to mention the stench of cheap domestic beer that permeated the hallways for days afterward.

When you experience that, then we'll talk about "letting kids be kids."

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I remember my first year in Boston after college, renting a sublet in Somerville, while looking for a first job and a more permanent place.

There was a hot tub in the back yard that I fixed up (broken cause some college kid's parents money apparently doesn't teach him proper winter care or how to keep things in working order). We were enjoying it on a Wednesday night once, maybe 5 of us, not doing much of anything but sipping a few beers, enjoying the tub and having a normal conversation.

Out comes the neighbor adjacent to the back yard, flashlight in hand, and is telling us we're being "too loud". Again, no music and not even talking loud, no shirking girls, or dude bro's trying to 1up each other on dude bro'ness; this is not a party. Apparently he likes to "sleep in his open air summer room out back in the summer" and just talking is "too much noise".

Sorry buddy, but you're in the city and right next to Tuffs university. The cars going up and down the side road were making more of a racket. There's no rule about using my own property below the noise ordnance levels at night because you think you're in cabin in Greenfield. We were being respectful and keeping it down, but no noise in a city at night is not an option.

He said he wasn't going to leave until we did. I asked him if he'd like a Harpoon Summer Ale cause it' probably be a while.

Pretty much the only problem I've run into, but I never threw a college ripper in multi-unit complex.

A lot of the NE problems seem to be caused from Beacon Hill kicking out rentals to Suffolk students and blocking new dorms left and right.

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That guy was a d-bag, noise like that doesn't bother me at all. It was just the all-night ragers on weeknights I couldn't abide (Weekend parties? Fine. I didn't work weekends so I didn't care.) They're why I left Allston, I got tired of having to call the cops once a week to break up a loud weeknight party so I could get some sleep.

And call me a fuddy duddy if you must, but even when I was in college myself I didn't understand the logic behind blasting one's music so loud the entire campus could hear it.

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We actually moved to Pratt Street after, and while it wasn't horrible, it also wasn't great. Trash and too much foot traffic was my biggest issue, funny enough sound was never an issue even though that road was supposed to be ground zero (of course the apartment Realtor never told us).

I'm a pretty heavy sleeper though once I do get to sleep, and I always put a fan on to drown out noise. It works, and it's not unreasonable when you're not in a new building with soundproofing or even insulation.

I'm also reminded of the one or two condo residents that tried to shut down SouthStreet dinner. While I'm privy to the concerns of people dealing with pumping bass at 3:30am, I'm not cool with displacing the dinner on the street that's been there before you were born because you want to sleep with your screens open on the edge of china town.

And while college kids are moving into the NE more and more, I have to wonder if this is the worst it's ever been. It's very dense, mixed use, and hasn't always been upper middle class real estate. Something tells me it was a heck of a lot louder at night back in the 50's than it is today.

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We were sitting in my friend's kitchen, about 6 of us, talking and catching up. Not drinking. Not partying. Just sitting around the table talking, one weekend evening.

The neighbor called my friend and told us to be quiet or she'd call the police.

We also once had a bunch of senior citizens get mad at us in Brookline for having a small, quiet barbecue (literally, everyone put their own food on the grill and went inside to eat it.) Our cooking was interrupting their Sabbath, apparently.

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Surely these kids don't behave this way when mom and dad pack up the SUV and they head back to the burbs in other states...and surely this behavior wouldn't be tolerated in those places.

Why do people who happen to be from Boston deserve any less respect from their neighbors?

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That would get the slumlord's attention. If an out of control party and douchebag tenants resulted in code violations being written up, I bet landlords would be more attentive to the goings on in their premises.

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So landlords would be liable for their tenant's parties (after the first notice), unless there's eviction proceedings pending.

I haven't signed a lease in a while, but do they contain clauses that allow a landlord to terminate the lease for excessive partying?

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Isn't that too high a bar to set for the landlords anyway? Do you know how hard it is to get an eviction in this state? It's pretty tough, and you had better have a clear lease violation and a pattern of them to point to.

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Read Boston City Council members words about the issue from the public meeting recorded by the City Stenographer. The "stenograph stenonote .sgstn" record of the last public meeting available by email at http://www.cityofboston.gov/contact/?id=138

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