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Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Registration of Vacant, Foreclosed and Foreclosing Properties
The drastic rise in the number of foreclosed houses across the City has resulted in homes that are frequently left empty as families are forced to move out. Some of these homes are in violation of multiple aspects of state and local and building and sanitary codes. In an effort to increase owner accountability and because of the difficulty of tracking down the owner or person responsible for the condition of the property, the City of Boston has passed an ordinance addressing these issues. The ordinance requires all property owners of vacant, foreclosed and foreclosing land to be registered with the City. This new registration process will give city agencies the means of contacting those responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of these properties and the tools needed to ensure the property is secured and maintained.

Why did I get this notice?
All property owners across the City of Boston, regardless of the status of their property, received the notice as required by the Vacant, Foreclosed and Foreclosing Property Registration Ordinance approved by the City Council in February 2008.
Am I being foreclosed on?
No, this is just a notice for owners of property already vacant, foreclosing or foreclosed as required by the ordinance. If you have paid your mortgage and taxes this notice does not apply to you.
I have a vacant apartment, but I pay my mortgage. Am I being foreclosed?
You are not. If you are paying your mortgage this notice does not apply to you. Please disregard.
If I have a vacant condominium and I am trying to rent it, do I need to send in a $100.00 check?
NO, unless your property is in foreclosure or is going to be foreclosed upon.
What does it mean that I have to register my property for $100.00?
The registration process and the $100.00 fee will give city agencies the means of contacting those responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of these properties and the tools needed to ensure the property is safe, secured and maintained.
Do I have to register my property with ISD if I pay my mortgage and real estate taxes?
Yes, you do.
What does the ordinance say about vacant, foreclosed and foreclosing property?
The ordinance requires those property owners, including lending institutions, whose property is in the process of foreclosure or going to be foreclosed and vacant to register the property with the Inspectional Services Department (ISD) to ensure they are being maintained in accordance with the relevant sanitary and building codes and local regulations concerning external and/or visible maintenance.
I do not have a computer, how come you did not include a copy of the ordinance with the letter?
Unfortunately, it was not possible to include the entire ordinance in the envelope with the tax bill.
How do I get a copy of the ordinance?
Call the City Clerk's office at (617) 635.4601 to request a copy or click here.
Why after all the years of paying my mortgage and real estate taxes did I get this letter in my tax bill?
The letter was sent out to inform property owners about the ordinance passed in February, 2008, as required in that ordinance.
Why didn't you state on the top of the letter that this letter is only for people in the process of being foreclosed? You scared my elderly father!
Please accept our sincerest apologies; our intent was to comply with the requirements of the ordinance and inform certain members of the public of their obligations and responsibilities under the new Ordinance.

Updated August 10, 2009
ISD Hours of Operation:
1010 Mass Ave.
Monday - Friday:

   8:00am - 4:00pm
Thursday Evening:
Building Division Only
   8:00am - 7:00pm

Please note that the cashier closes 15 minutes prior to closing

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