“Danger! Official Notice” Sign, Spring Street (Newton, NJ) originally uploaded by
According to this article which appeared recently in SunThisweek, the Burnsville City Council has decided that rental units must be inspected by the city every three years as part of its licensing ordinance. With this comes comparatively high cost per unit for single unit landlords and the potential for serious invasions of privacy of renters.
From the article:
Given the age of the rental-housing stock and past problems, “this is a problem which is now our problem,” Council Member Bill Coughlin said, endorsing mandatory inspections despite what he said is his aversion to greater government regulation.
While mandatory inspections for common areas are clearly a non-issue, mandating that the city come through individual apartments every three years may seem excessive to some. As if living with on-going issues for three years really solves the true problem that some individuals simply are unwilling or unable to properly care for their properties.
Burnsville’s proposed inspection fees, to be paid annually, range from $140 for a single-family rental unit to $8,750 for the 400-unit The Woods, the city’s largest apartment complex.
This fee, $21 per unit for The Woods, is a burden on single-family rental unit landlords at $140.
The unit inspections would cover more than building and fire codes. Under proposed ordinance changes, corrective action or license revocation could be applied to units declared “unfit for human habitation.”
“The city has found numerous hoarders in multifamily units over the past year,” said a city staff report.
This is the most concerning issue of the entire lot. While individual homeowners are free to live their lives as they see fit, renters living in Burnsville open themselves to government intrusions into their living space every three years.
Do you think that it’s right for the City of Burnsville to place these restrictions on its landlords and renters? Do you believe the City should be intruding into the personal lives of others? Are you fearful that their standards for quality of life may change over time in the same way the ordinance has and perhaps the level of cleanliness the city inspectors require may tighten causing people to lose their living spaces? Do you think that this is a wonderful idea and that the recent issues with Burnsville poorly kept rental units forced the council to take this action and no other options are available to them? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.