Does landlord registration help?
February 15, 2011 2:25 PM Subscribe
Landlord registration. Is it working for your community? Why or why not? What steps has your community taken to address rental housing that's in poor condition?
posted by pappy to law & government (15 answers total)
Our town is in the midst of forming a housing commission to help address the poor quality of some of the housing stock. One of the most commonly identified problems is that of the absentee landlord that fails to maintain their property.
AskMe is rife with tenant-landlord relations type questions on a wide range of topics, but there's little about the process of regulation of rental properties. Most landlord registration programs I've read about are designed to make sure that a city entity (i.e. police or code enforcement) has the means to contact the property owner to resolve issues that may arise such as drug dealing at the property, poor upkeep, substandard plumbing/electrical, or the like.
Obviously, some problems are caused by tenants themselves, but others are caused by landlords trying to wring maximum income from a piece of property. We're looking for ways to address the slumlords out there without an undue burden on poor old Mrs. Jones who rents out the garage apartment to a quiet student at the seminary.
Has your community established a landlord registration program? Does it include things like inspections of the property to make sure it meets minimum housing standards (i.e. heat, water)? Are the landlords considered businesses and required to get a business license? Does it have a provision that exempts Mrs. Jones as an owner-occupier? What works and what doesn't? What tips, tricks, pros/cons, and suggestions do you have for a community looking to establish such a program?
Thanks for your help.