Aug 22, 2015 12:34 PM
Portsmouth shuts down rooming house, citing danger to tenants
PORTSMOUTH — A rooming house at 21 Brewster St. that had been the subject of complaints has shut down after the city attorney said leaking water near the electrical system posed a danger to tenants.
“We contacted the owner to provide him with the afternoon to remedy the situation or to provide an opinion from a licensed electrician that the building was safe to sleep in tonight,” Robert Sullivan, the city's lawyer told seacoastonline.com on Friday.
When the owner failed to do either, Sullivan said, the city closed the building down at 5:45 p.m.
The owner has been ordered to provide alternative housing, such as hotel rooms, to all of the tenants, he said.
The city’s action came after they filed a lawsuit against owner Brian Hogan last year in an attempt to force him to fix ongoing health, safety and building code violations at the facility. The house has been subject to noise complaints as well as concerns about drug and alcohol use.
Ultimately the city settled the lawsuit and the City Council earlier this year granted the rooming house a one-year license when the city and Hogan agreed to several improvements to the building, a new rental agreement and a new code of conduct for residents.