Customer-Service Calls to Boston’s Inspectional Services Department

Anwar Faisal has built an empire renting to the city’s college students, but he hasn’t been so good at making sure his apartments are actually habitable. The proof is in these customer-service calls. Learn more in our January feature, "Lord of the Sties."

ISD Customer-Service Call, 2/3/2011:

“There are leaks in several locations coming from the bathroom ceiling. Ceiling looks damp, brown in color, and possibly moldy in some spots. Have had this issue for a few months. Called management maintenance more than once and sent in a work order and have yet to hear anything. Have had other issues since moving in September 1. One of them being an oven that went up in flames immediately to being turned on and the smell of gas continuously. Also, when we moved in, there were several unworking fire alarms and carbon monoxide detector.”

ISD Customer-Service Call, 10/24/2012

“To date since September 1, 2012, and several calls to the maintenance service, nothing has been done. The request to the rental agency describing on move-in day what needed to be repaired has not been done. One window cannot lock and is a safety hazard. This apartment was broken into and a police report is on file. To hold the window closed so it may not be opened by an intruder, a stick of wood is braced between the two panes of glass. The water is so hot you cannot touch the faucet to turn it off unless you have a glove on or towel in hand to turn the water off. The exhaust fan in the shower does not work. The stove hood does not have a fan to clear the cooking smoke or smell through a filter.”

ISD Customer-Service Call, 2/25/2013

“1283’s dumpster has not been collected in three weeks. There are at least 15 bags of trash around the dumpster that rats have been feeding on. The dumpster itself has several holes in the sides and the bottom is falling out due to rust and age. The trash men cannot collect it because it hasn’t been shoveled out.”

ISD Customer-Service Call, 5/11/13

“Hello, my name is Katelyn and I have called Alpha Management Corp. and their “exterminator” countless times without any response, so I have come to contact you. We have had severe rodent issues since we moved in (officially in December, physically in January). There are full-sized rats in our hallways (which connects to the trash room that is rarely cleaned). Recently, we have had mice and small rats in our actual apartment (and while it can be the typical messy college apartment at times, it is in no way dirty). The most Alpha has done is put down sticky traps. They are in our bathroom, kitchen/common area, and our bedrooms. We’ve also had cockroaches. We are currently paying $2,350 a month for this apartment with no help from the landlord. I told them I would be contacting you if they did not respond, and thus this request. We would greatly appreciate any response to this issue as it has begun to greatly interfere with our academics and daily living. Thank you.”

Read more in our January feature, “Lord of the Sties,” a profile of Boston landlord Anwar Faisal. Faisal has built an empire renting to the city’s college students, but he hasn’t been so good at making sure his apartments are actually habitable.