It’s back to school time! As you help your children pack up and move to their off-campus housing for the year, it’s important to keep safety in mind. A few years ago, a college student tragically died after being trapped in an over-crowded apartment. Since then, the city of Boston has started enforcing an old MA housing law limiting the number of college students in an apartment. Even if your child is not attending school in an area where the law is enforced, it is important for you to be mindful of housing safety.

No More than 4 Rule – MA Housing Law Limiting the Number of College Students in an Apartment

This Massachusetts law was created approximately 8 years ago. It prohibits no more than 4 undergraduate students to occupy an off-campus apartment. Fines can result from non-compliance. City officials in Boston actually require landlords to report the number of undergraduate students living in an apartment when they register the units each year. This facilitates enforcement of the law, but is certainly not fool-proof if landlords choose to falsify information.

Parents Play an Important Role

Regardless of whether there is a law or not, and whether city officials elect to enforce the MA housing law limiting the number of college students in an apartment, parents should take some initiative. It’s a well known fact that Boston rental rates are high and students have little money. This often results in more students sharing small spaces, but at the cost of their personal safety. Parents should remained involved with their children’s housing arrangements and discourage them from renting in unsafe conditions. It’s better to be overly cautious when it comes to safety than to lose your child in a tragic accident.