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Hamilton Delays Mandatory Rental-Property Inspection Proposal | By: Fellow GDREIA Members

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Hamilton Delays Mandatory Rental-Property Inspection Proposal
By Larry D. Hudson
Opposition to a proposed landlord crackdown appears to have caused the city of Hamilton, Ohio to reconsider its position.
Dozens of red-shirted opponents of four proposed ordinances aimed at rental property owners formed an overflow crowd at the city’s city council meeting February 20. The color-coordinated attendees were organized by the Investment Property Owners Association of Butler County, a non-profit group representing landlords and investors.
Turnout in the large lobby outside city council chambers February 20 appeared to outnumber spectators inside. An inadequate sound system made it impossible for the lobby crowd to hear, leading the mayor to postpone consideration of the proposals.
Hamilton mayor Patrick Moeller said the first of two planned meetings on the proposed ordinances would happen March 8, at a larger venue that would be announced later.
But February 27 the city cancelled the public hearings and put the legislation on hold. Instead, the city is creating an ad hoc committee of property owners to meet with city officials to “fine tune” the proposed legislation.
A press release from the city said the committee will spend the next “three to six months” ironing out details of the proposals.
The legislation is billed as a response to landlords who fail to maintain their rental properties properly and offer substandard properties for rent.
Hamilton’s Journal-News summarizes the legislation this way:
The city is considering ordinances that would:
-- Require landlords to register the apartments they rent so the city can inspect them at least every other year, at costs of $75 or $25, to make sure the meet building, fire and safety standards;
-- Allow the city of assess civil fines on property owners (up to $10,000 in extreme cases where the chronic violations occur more than seven times in a two-year period); and
-- Allow the city to assess landlords for city utility bills that are not paid by tenants.
Opponents of the legislation, led by IOPA, argue that the mandatory inspections and fees would impose unnecessary burdens on property owners who do not violate building and health codes. Members of the ad hoc committee will be charged with devising a more landlord-friendly version of the proposals to recommend to city council.
There’s more about the Hamilton landlord proposals story at the following links:

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