Making Rental Properties Safe for Renters and Neighbors
Municipalities have role to play in ensuring that rental housing is a safe option for families.
Code enforcement is the tool. Good code enforcement not only improves the quality of housing for the household, it can protect adjacent properties, whether owner occupied or rental. Passers by will not be able to tell at a glance which property is the rental unit.
(Ironically it is renter households which take the blame for substandard conditions that are the landlord's duty)
Coupling stronger penalties with targeted (not complaint driven)
enforcement could make housing codes more effective at protecting tenant
consumers and neighbors who live close to rental housing. The
potential down side is that rents will increase as the lowest quality
housing is removed from the market.
Columbus Dispatch uncovers slumlords & lax enforcement. “...city policies have
inspectors chasing minor complaints
instead of chronic housing-code offenders. Lax laws and indecisive
judges have left people like Hall living in fear that the sagging
porch roof at her duplex will fall and kill her grandchildren. Or
that the second-story bathroom floor will collapse and send them
crashing into the dining room.”
First installment: Legacy of neglect: Slumlords play the system. Read it here.
Second installment describes how OSU is fighting slumlords who prey on students read it here