Amherst trying to enforce limits on off-campus houses

UMass has about 25,000 students, but only 12,000 beds on campus

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Only a few weeks into the new school year, and already police in Hampshire County have been busy dealing with loud parties. Over the past two weekends, Hadley Police received at least five complaints from residents. Many times, the offenders are off-campus students who are renting, and there is a large rental population in Hadley and neighboring Amherst.

The University of Massachusetts only has about 12,000 beds, and a student population of 25,000- so often, groups of friends who haven’t even signed a lease will split the rent and live together.

22News uncovered an Amherst bylaw that states only four people can rent-out a single-family home, regardless of its size. Amherst Deputy Fire Chief Don McKay says that the problem is enforcing it.

“We need to officially discover it in some fashion, which means somebody needs to file a complaint, and then we are allowed to investigate. Or on the fire side, if we get called for a smoke alarm and we find more people living there than should be living there- which precipitates a fairly significant investigation,” McKay said.

The four-person limit does not apply if the renters are related.

There is no limit to the number of visitors you can have over on a weekend, but partiers can be fined, along with their landlord.

Comments are closed.