Issues with rental legislation

Dear Editor:

The original purpose of the rental housing legislation, and licensing fee, charged to property owners, was to improve the quality and condition of rental living quarters in the City. I think everyone is in favor of this. The original ordinance was passed around 1990. The fee then was $20 per unit. In Jan. 2006, the fee increased to $40 a unit.

According to Section 1337.10, the license is to be purchased from the Office of Housing Inspection. The fees are to be used to inspect the rental property. They are not part of the general fund.

Section 1337A.03 Inspection, states in part “that as soon as practicable after receiving an application for a rental housing permit, the Housing Inspector shall cause an inspection of the property to be made.”

Now some 24 years have gone by since the ordinance was passed, and the quality and quantity of residential rental property has not improved. Landlords have diligently paid their fees, however, some in City government say we have too many slumlords, and therefore landlords need to pay more.

What is wrong here?

1) The City took $28,000 of the landlord’s fees and illegally put it in the general fund. Office of Housing Inspection has no money to pay an inspector to inspect the rental property. No regular inspection takes place, so we still have some unacceptable rental property. Therefore, landlords get blamed because the City is incapable of performing the inspections.

2) Zoning laws are not enforced on all community residences, and the City does not maintain their property to the zoning law standards. Therefore, the City looks unkept.

3) We have a lot of abandoned and condemned property that needs removed. I know the City is trying to address this problem, but it is not happening fast enough.

4) It would not hurt if we all got some civic pride, get outside and do some cleaning and weed pulling. We might feel better.

How can we be a Better City if the City does not do a better job administering ordinances they pass, and we should not stand by and let it happen.

Alfred S. Fricano

East Liverpool