Monday, November 14, 2011

Amanda Lehmert on what's next for rental inspections

"The state legislature may have wiped out
the city’s unique rental inspection program earlier this year,
but there are still options
provided under a new state law for officials to target dangerous housing.

Council members will still have to debate what to do next.

In 2003, the city adopted a program that required landlords
to have a unit inspection before renting a house or apartment.

The program went into full effect in 2009.

Landlord groups have long protested the law
— a fight that landed in the N.C. General Assembly earlier this year.

Greensboro’s local ordinance enforcement division
has stopped performing random re-inspections,
although the city staff still inspects residences when they get complaints.

It’s the same complaint-driven system
city officials previously argued was ineffective.

“We’ve got to set up as effective a program
as we can given the constraints of state law,” Councilman Robbie Perkins said.

“We’ve got to make sure the housing is Greensboro is properly maintained.”

The council could identify certain parts of the city
to focus inspections, according to the new law.

The council would have to hold a public hearing
to identify those areas...

...Landlord and local advocacy groups,
including the Greensboro Neighborhood Congress,
said they are studying the new law
to decide what they think the city should do.

Several council members said they will wait to see
what those groups and the city staff recommends."

Amanda Lehmert

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