Rental property shut down by city codes officers

The city Bureau of Codes shut down a rental property on Cemetery Street Tuesday for up to three months, mostly because of trash left outside after several warnings were given to the owner, but city police also are investigating the property for possible drug-related activities.

The property, a duplex at 424 Cemetery St., is owned by James Livermore, who has been contacted by authorities and is out of compliance, according to Joe Gerardi, city codes administrator.

“Trash was left outside,” Gerardi said. “He was given numerous attempts to clean up the place.”

Livermore also did not register the property with the codes office at City Hall, or have the property inspected or have a proper license, according to Gerardi.

Gerardi said the codes enforcement officers turned over reported drug-related activity complaints for police to investigate.

Asked about that, city Police Chief Gregory A. Foresman declined to comment about specifics of the police investigation. He described the probe as “an open investigation at the property.”

Foresman said codes immediately shuttered the property upon inspecting it and seeing health and safety hazards to the occupants and neighbors.

The other half of the duplex at 422 Cemetery was not part of the investigation, Gerardi said. When codes enforcement officers arrived at Livermore’s property they discovered several tenants were occupying the structure but none of their names have been released.

A rental ordinance allows codes enforcement to shut down rental properties for up to three months if they have three successive violations of building codes, such as trash left outside, according to Gerardi.

It also requires owners of residential rental properties to register them with the codes department to assure they are licensed and operating properly.