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Inspectional Services Constituent Services

The Constituent Services Division is composed of call center representatives, community liaisons, and the Investigation and Enforcement Team.

Our team is responsible for responding to inquiries and facilitating the remediation of City code violations. We serve residents and business owners. We also provide outreach and help facilitate the delivery of City services in Inspectional Services.

Call Center

The Call Center is generally the first point of contact for constituents to inquire about or seek services related to Inspectional Services. The Call Center has one director. That person oversees five Call Center representatives and the day-to-day operations of the unit. They also ensure customer service representatives are prepared and trained to answer simple or complex calls.

The Inspectional Services Call Center

On average, the Call Center receives 2500-3500 calls weekly. Out of those calls, 150-250 are complaint intakes, from a variety of touchpoints. All complaints assigned to Inspectional Services inspectors. Our Call Center representatives are also responsible for the intake of Building Permit inspection requests.

The Call Center primarily receives complaints from:

  • 3-1-1 and the Mayor's office of Neighborhood Services
  • the Boston Police Department, Boston Fire, EMS, and
  • residents and concerned individuals.

Inquiries and concerns can be sent to our office by phone, email, online, or by mail:

Investigation and Enforcement

The Investigation and Enforcement Team is made up of representatives from:

  • our Legal, Building, Housing divisions
  • the Boston Fire Department
  • the Boston Public Health Commission, and
  • members of Constituent Services.

Our team coordinates, and in some cases leads, the department’s response to the following complaint types:

  • Complaints from public health and public safety agencies
  • Complaints from community groups, community leaders, and elected officials

We have examples of cases we work on below. Additional cases may be assigned to our team as determined by the Commissioner.

Investigation and Enforcement team members

Investigation and Enforcement team members

Investigation and Enforcement cases

Illegal units are dwellings that do not have the required Certificate of Occupancy. This document certifies that a residential building complies with all state and local building codes and is safe to live in. An illegal unit is also sometimes referred to as:

  • unwarranted
  • non-conforming, or
  • unpermitted.

The Investigation and Enforcement works closely with the Problems Properties Task Force. Together, they identify properties that may have outstanding violations and pose public safety concerns.

An example of a problem property

The Task Force represents more than a dozen City Departments and agencies. Through its enforcement authority, the Task Force empowers the City to:

  • levy fines against absentee landlords, and
  • give citizens a way to address quality of life issues.

Problems Properties Task Force info

The team provides a coordinated community response to those impacted by hoarding. Compulsive hoarding is a serious public health hazard. It poses significant health and safety risks for individuals, families, and communities. Safety concerns related to hoarding include:

  • fire hazards
  • tripping hazards, and
  • health code violations.

Hoarding is a key symptom of a mental illness known as hoarding disorder. It’s characterized by the extreme difficulty of getting rid of possessions – even those of little or no value. As items accumulate over time, they can clutter a person’s home to the point where living spaces cannot be used as intended.

Cleaning up from a hoarding case

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