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Boston’s Ban on Four Undergrads Living Together Has Big Loophole

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Hint: It involves landlords 'fessing up

Boston appears ready to finally enforce an eight-year-old rule barring more than four undergraduates from living together--a not altogether uncommon situation in the college-pocked city.

Per Matt Rocheleau in the Globe, townies and some in the real estate industry welcome the action.

But! The city’s enforcement plan appears to have one gaping loophole: Boston would rely on landlords to disclose how many undergrads are living in a unit. The disclosures could, of course, cause landlords to essentially incriminate themselves and therefore face fines.

The city, for its part, expects landlords to cooperate. And colleges are now required to provide lists of off-campus addresses for students.

Plus, Boston now says it has another tool to combat student overcrowding. From Rocheleau: "[T]he city will start building a database of the size of apartments by having workers who are conducting inspections use laser-equipped devices that can quickly measure the square footage of rooms."

Lasers. Neat.