In 2006, "Mayor Thomas Menino promised to crack down on landlords who take advantage of students" (WCVB)
In 2009, "Menino said his office is developing new ways to ensure renters are not crammed into substandard housing by widening the responsibility for housing violations and possibly increasing fines, saying the current penalties were “mild in light of the conditions we’re seeing." (Allston Brighton TAB)
Is not like Boston is the only city in the world where this happens. Gainsville, FL - home of the University of Florida - distributes this nice brochure which explains an interesting concept:
"Accumulation of six or more points on a permit for a dwelling unit during three consecutive annual permit periods could subject the owner to proceedings which could revoke the landlord permit"
In the grand scheme of things, this is a relatively simple problem to solve. Do our elected officials really want to solve it and can't figure out how? Or do they just like talking about the problem but don't really care about solving it?