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Property registration proposal

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greygoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 01 2012 at 10:14pm
Viv,

The follow paragraphs come straight out of the city's June 2010 Section 8 Report. Although it allows for the construction of new apartments, I interpret it as though "new" apartments are to be built as replacements. Have we torn down 216 old rental units yet? It also states that we should strive to reduce total rental units to 3,600 to avoid high vacancy rates (that is 5,400 less than we have now). The development of these apartments would be a direct contradiction to their own report.... a BIG contradiction.

Rental Units as a Percent of Total Housing Stock          Vacancy Rates     

Middletown                                         40.0%                                7.2%
Butler County                                     28.4%                                5.2%
Warren County                                   21.5%                                4.6%


The high level of rental units and corresponding high vacancy rates suggest that there are an excessive number of rental units available. As of 2006, the City of Middletown listed total rental properties at just over 9,000 housing units. Market projections suggest that the sustainable rental housing market for the City is somewhere between 3550 and 3600 units.

Replacement of rental units that have come to the end of their economic lives is important to maintain the vitality of the renter-occupied housing inventory. We should strive over time to phase out older rental units to be replaced with a market-appropriate number of new construction options. We should strive to reduce the number of overall rental units to the 3,600 units that can be consistently filled
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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 2:39am

EXHIBIT “A”

CHAPTER 1436 PROPERTY MAINTENANCE

1436.01 INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE ADOPTED.

(a) Pursuant to Article IV, § 6, of the City Charter, there is hereby adopted by and for the

City, for the purpose of establishing rules and regulations and providing minimum maintenance standards for all existing structures and on all existing premises, that certain code known as the International Property Maintenance Code, 2009 edition, promulgated by the International Code Council, Inc., save and except such portions as may be hereinafter amended or deleted.

(b) Any conflict between the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in §

1436.01, and the existing sections of these Codified Ordinances, shall be resolved in favor of the more restrictive provisions. However, nothing in the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in § 1436.01, shall be construed to limit or reduce the power of any official of the City or the State in the enforcement of other codes of the City or the State, including, but not limited to, zoning codes, fire codes, health codes and building codes, or to reduce the requirements imposed by such codes.

(c) All references in the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in § 1436.01, to the “code official” shall be construed to be the Chief Building Official of the City. All fees to be charged in connection with the International Property Maintenance Code shall be those set forth in the specific sections of these Codified Ordinances. All appeals from decisions of the Chief Building Official shall be in the manner and form set forth in the specific sections of these Codified Ordinances.

(d) At least one copy of the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in §

1436.01 shall be on file in the office of the Clerk of the City Council for inspection by the public.

(e) The International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in § 1436.01, is hereby

amended as follows:

Section 101.1 Title: Insert: City of Middletown.

Section 304.14 Insect screens: Every door, window and other outside opening

required for ventilation of habitable rooms, food preparation areas, food service areas or

any areas where products to be included or utilized in food for human consumption are

processed, manufactured, packaged or stored, shall be supplied with approved fitting

screens of not less than 16 mesh per inch (16 mesh per 25 mm) and every swinging door

shall have a self-closing device in good working condition.

Exception: Screens shall not be required where other approved means, such as air curtains or insect repellants fans, are employed.

Section 602.3 Heat supply: Every owner or operator of any building who rents, leases or lets one or more dwelling unit, rooming unit, dormitory or guestroom on terms,

either expressed or implied, to furnish heat to the occupants thereof shall supply heat to

maintain a temperature of not less than 68°F (20°C) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms

and toilet rooms.

Exceptions:

1. When the outdoor temperature is below the winter outdoor design temperature for the locality, maintenance of the minimum room temperature shall

not be required, provided that the heating system is operating at its full design

capacity. The winter outdoor design temperature for the locality shall be indicated

in Appendix D of the International Plumbing Code.

2. In areas where the average monthly temperature is above 30°F (-1°C), a

minimum temperature of 65°F (18°C) shall be maintained.

Section 602.4 Occupiable work spaces: Indoor occupiable work spaces shall be

supplied with heat to maintain a temperature of not less than 65°F (18°C) during the

period the spaces are occupied.

Exceptions:

1. Processing, storage and operation areas that require cooling or special temperature conditions.

2. Areas in which persons are primarily engaged in vigorous physical activities.

Chapter 8 REFERENCED STANDARDS: The referenced standards are in the

following codes adopted by the City:

1. Ohio Building Code, 2007 edition (adopted in Chapter 1404 of the

Codified Ordinances).

2. Residential Code of Ohio, 2004 edition (adopted in Chapter 1402 of the

Codified Ordinances).

3. Ohio Fire Code, 2007 edition (adopted in Chapter 1604 of the Codified

Ordinances).

(f) The following sections of the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in §

1436.01, are hereby specifically excluded from adoption: 103.1, 103.2, 103.3, 103.5, 111.1, 111.2, 111.3, 111.4, 111.5, 111.6, 111.7, 111.8, 302.4, 302.8, and 308.

1436.02 DECLARATION OF NUISANCE.

All structures in violation of the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in

1436.01, are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be abated as provided in the

International Property Maintenance Code and this chapter.

1436.03 APPEALS.

Any person adversely affected by a decision of the Chief Building Official under this chapter or the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in § 1436.01, may appeal to the Board of Building and Minimum Housing Standards and Appeals, as provided in Chapter 1460.

1436.04 REPAIR OF BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES.

(a) The Chief Building Official is hereby authorized within this section and any applicable

provision of the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC), as adopted in § 1436.01, to order the repair of any building or structure that is determined by him or her to be in violation of the International Property Maintenance Code.

(b) If an owner and/or occupant fails to make a repair as so ordered by the Chief Building

Official, the City may, as a remedial measure, enter the premises and make the repair and seek recovery under either § 1436.06(a)(1) or (a)(2) hereof. The owner and/or occupant is subject to all remedial action available to the City under § 1436.06 of this chapter or the IPMC, as adopted in § 1436.01.

1436.05 EXTENSIONS OF TIME.

The Chief Building Official is authorized to grant an owner and/or occupant an extension of time to perform repair and/or demolition work required to be performed under this chapter or the International Property Maintenance Code, (IPMC), as adopted in § 1436.06. No request to extend the time for repair and/or demolition more than 15 days beyond the date set for such demolition and/or repairs set forth in the original notice under § 107 (§ 107. Notices and Orders) of the IPMC, as adopted in § 1436.01, shall be granted unless the property owner and/or occupant posts with the City either:

(a) A performance bond issued by a licensed surety, in a form acceptable to and approved by the Director of Law of the City, in an amount equal to the estimated cost of the repair and/or demolition of the property; or

(b) An irrevocable letter of credit issued by a licensed financial institution, in a form

acceptable to the Director of Law of the City and in conformity with Ohio R.C. Chapter 1305, in an amount equal to the estimated cost of repair and/or demolition of the property. In the event the owner and/or occupant fails to complete the repair and/or demolition of the property in the period of time permitted by the extension, the City may exercise its remedies, as described in § 1436.06, and use proceeds from the performance bond, letter of credit or cash bond to offset costs incurred in abating the existing nuisance. In no event shall the Chief Building Official grant an extension or series of extensions exceeding 60 days from the date to repair and/or demolish set forth in the § 107 notice sent to the owner and/or occupant.

1436.06 REMEDIAL ACTION.

(a) If the owner and/or occupant of a structure subject to abatement of a nuisance under §

1436.01 fails to comply with the notices and/or orders issued by the Chief Building Official in accordance with the IPMC, the City may:

(1) Prosecute the owner in accordance with the IPMC; and/or

(2) Enter the premises and take remedial steps to abate the violation. If the abatement

requires repair, closures, placarding or other temporary safeguards, the City shall charge

the owner and/or occupant of the structure, who failed to comply with the notices and/or

orders issued in accordance with this section, an amount equal to two and one-half times

the actual costs of abating the nuisance. If the abatement results in demolition of a

structure or structures, the charge shall be equal to one and one-quarter times the cost of

demolition. The City may either:

A. Seek and recover judgment against the owner for the costs of the action

necessary to abate the nuisance; or

B. Certify the cost of said abatement, including cost of service or publication

of notice, by the Clerk of City Council to the County Auditor to be placed on the

tax duplicate as a lien upon the premises, to be collected as other taxes and

returned to the City, as provided in Ohio R.C. 715.261.

(b) The remedies provided in this section are cumulative except where specifically stated

otherwise, and are not intended to preclude or waive other remedial actions available to the City under the IPMC, as adopted in § 1436.01, local ordinances, State law, or the common law.

1436.07 INSPECTIONS BY HEALTH COMMISSIONER.

The Health Commissioner, or his or her assistant, is hereby authorized to make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming houses, rooming units and the premises on which these are situated, in order to safeguard the health of the public. The Health Commissioner, or his or her assistant, is hereby authorized to enter any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house, rooming unit or the premises on which these are situated, at any reasonable time, or at any time in case of emergency, for the purpose of performing the duties of such office.

1436.08 ACCESS TO DWELLINGS.

The owner, operator or occupant of any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit shall give access to such dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit to the Health Commissioner, or his or her assistant, for the purpose of inspection at any reasonable time, or at any time in case of emergency. The Health Commissioner, or his or her assistant, shall present official identification to the owner, operator or occupant before demanding such access.

1436.09 REPORT OF DEFECT TO CHIEF BUILDING OFFICIAL.

If, as a result of an inspection of any dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit by the Health Commissioner, or his or her assistant, there is discovered any condition enumerated in the International Property Maintenance Code, as adopted in Section 1436.01, the Health Commissioner shall report such condition to the Chief Building Official within 24 hours of his or her inspection.

1436.10 HEALTH VIOLATIONS.

If, as a result of an inspection under § 1436.07, a violation of the Health Regulations of the Middletown Health District is discovered, the Health Commissioner shall have the responsibility to proceed forthwith under such regulations.

1436.99 PENALTY.

(a) Whoever violates or fails to comply with any of the provisions of this chapter, is guilty of a minor misdemeanor and shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars ($100.00) for a first offense. For a second or subsequent offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree and shall be fined not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00), or imprisoned for not more than 30 days, or both. A separate offense shall be deemed committed each day during or on which a violation or noncompliance occurs or continues.

(b) The application of the penalty provided in division (a) hereof shall not be deemed to

preclude the enforced removal of prohibited conditions or the application of any other equitable remedy.

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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 4:23am

Greygoose - I have corresponded with Mr. Adkins about three times concerning the landlord registration issue. He answered all of my questions on the subject, heard my concerns and basically put me at ease concerning the subject. I will be happy to share the details of those conversations if anyone is interested. I believe that his long term solutions are “spot on” with what needs to be done and, in my opinion, shares most of the solution based strategies that I have read from members of this board.

Ah yes Greygoose….it’s just a little law for a landlord registration fee so we can clean up rental property and get rid of the slumlords.
However the devil is in the details…How much will the City charge for the yearly inspection, for each inspection of the rental unit each and every time the property becomes vacant? And then we have those money making fines.
On Tuesday night the City Council will be voting on
1436.01 INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY MAINTENANCE CODE ADOPTED

I believe this is the same law that got Mr. Kohler of the City into trouble several years ago with Judge Valen, Mr. Ellis and Harry Finkelman.
I believe this law has been challenged before the
Ohio Supreme Court.

Don’t think that City Hall would abuse these powers and use these laws against you in a vindictive manner? Well we have seen it happen several times to local residents and business people in recent years.
This is about absolute power over private property and feeding the beast.
We do not need to live in a Police State to clean up the property in Middletown.
WARNING…What they say and what they do-do-do are not the same thing.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 5:06am

Greygoose
Here is the link from Aug 19, 2010 where we had the full discussion of the new 5 Year Plan of Mr Adkins
http://middletownusa.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=3223&KW=HUD

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ground swat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 7:49am
Are we really thinking about the future or putting out fires?? Whos really in charge?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greygoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 12:08pm
Miss Vivian,

First, I want to thank you for the wealth of information that you provide and link us to. As I’ve stated earlier, my due diligence began with the “registration” issue but, as I am learning, there is a long history associated with it. I often don’t agree with your conclusions but I appreciate your involvement and your willingness to share what you find.

You are correct. The devil is in the details. If the fee is nominal and meant to cover expenses (as I expect), I will be supportive. If it is punitive, I’ll be the first to object. If the city has 9,000 rentals and 1,600 are handled through the Section 8 program, a balance of 7,400 units would need to be registered. At $25.00 per unit, the annual income to the city would amount to $185,000.00. This is enough to cover the expenses that Mr. Adkins spoke of in his initial presentation to council. I prefer the program administered by the city of Centerville. Their program provides the landlord a checklist of what is going to be inspected. The inspections occur every two years at no cost. If the landlord fails the inspection, he/she is charged $70.00 per hour for a re-inspection.

From my viewpoint, landlord registration and “money making fines” are two separate issues. Being a locally based landlord I would receive those code violation fines regardless of any registration program. However, it will allow the city to take action against a very large number of “out of town” landlords & vacant property owners that, historically, have snubbed the city’s efforts because they couldn’t be compelled to comply. I’m assuming that you wouldn’t have a problem with that result of the program.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greygoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 12:22pm
To all,

Don’t get me wrong. As a landlord, I get very frustrated with some of the notices that I get from the city’s inspection personnel. I remember an instance when I got a letter to repair a minor amount of peeling paint on the front soffit of one of my rentals. It really “bugged” me because the house next door was in total disrepair and had been for a very long time. Upon reflection, I now know that I was “noticed” instead of my neighbor because there wasn’t a damn thing that the city could do about that bank owned property next door.

I remember another instance, about 3 years ago, when I purchased a bank repo in Mayfield that had been sitting empty for a very long time. My intension was to rehab it into a home that someone would be proud to live in. Two days after the closing and during my first visit to the property after I purchased it, I ran into a city inspector with a clipboard. Instead of a “thank you” for purchasing a blighted home to rehab, I was given a two page list of what she wanted done and a time frame in which to get the work completed.

I now know that it is because there was nothing that they could do about that property prior to my purchase (it was still handled poorly.....lol).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 4:45pm
goose--pretty disappointing to realize that you are only here over saving a few bucks on this rental property thing.
 
most here are more broad--long-term big picture
 
do you live in Middletown?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greygoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 6:49pm
Spider,

I said that due diligence on the registration topic "brought me here". Until about two weeks ago, I didn't know that this forum even existed. I had "heard" that there was a Middletown based web site but had no idea that it contained this forum. I was just being honest when I stated that, to date, my knowledge of city affairs has been narrow in its scope but I am definitely long term focused and want the best for Middletown.

I now know about this board and have learned a great deal in the short time that I have been here. I think that the exchange of ideas is healthy for all. I enjoy the interaction and expect to be part of this community for years to come. If you haven't already noticed, I have an optimistic nature and don't do well accepting "we can't", "this wont", they will never" type of statements. Like the rest of you, I am saddened by the city's slow decline but I do hold out hope for a brighter future......but I'm not sure that I will see it in my lifetime.


To answer your question, I was born in Middletown but was raised just south of Dayton. I returned to the city upon graduating from college about 28 years ago. Although I grew up elsewhere, both sides of my family are from Middletown. I am very familiar with the city and its past. I grew up with my father telling Jerry Lucas stories and my uncle telling me that his (Middletown) high school football team was not only undefeated, but un-scored upon (a very long time ago).

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spiderjohn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 7:27pm
my bad, goose
you obviously have the genes to know and care about this place
and you seem to be on the good side of the power brokers
true Middie heritage is bringing up the glory days of athletics
pretty much mirrored what was going on in the rest of the community during those times
 
but--the middies have risen from the bottom--so why shouldn't the rest of the community do the same?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pacman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 02 2012 at 9:11pm
GreyGoose,

If you want a good read, do a search on this forum for section 8.  There are probably hundreds of posts, many by me that go back 3 or 4 yrs. 

PacmanCool
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greygoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 03 2012 at 10:49am
Pacman,

Thanks to you, and your suggested reading, I will spend today walking around in a sleep deprived funk. I took you advice and started reading "posts from the past". The problem was, once I got started, I couldn't stop. Although the read was entertaining, it was also very eye opening on a multitude of subjects (I had no idea that a dog catcher earned over $80K). There is still plenty to read; I'll be playing "catch up" for quite some time. By the way.... who is Nelson Self? Can you or someone else enlighten me?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pacman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 03 2012 at 4:13pm
Grey Goose,
 
Nelson Self use to be a city employee.

PacmanCool
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greygoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 03 2012 at 5:57pm
Pacman,

That explains his access to so many city related statistics. I also learned that it was Vivian that took on the city leaders over the cemetery. I now have a better understanding of her attitude toward the city. I'm still reading.
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greygoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 03 2012 at 7:48pm
A little Sunday evening humor... at the city's expense


Mr. Adkins with his new badge.......



For landlords starting January 1, 2013........



I'm surprised that this hasn't happened.....



I think that Middletown started this........



Ain't that the truth.....



I think that the odds are stacked in the City's favor



Mr. Owned is the best Realtor in town......



This game isn't as fun as it used to be.....



If you own a house, you'll take a bath.......



I've hidden my identity.........



It looks like a problem with the foundation.........
"If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 04 2012 at 9:11am
Greygoose
Thank you so much for bringing up a few past complaints from 2005 against the City since you think the City needs MORE LAWS to clean up the City of
Middletown.
We don’t need more laws…what we need is LEADERSHIP.

1. The Hydraulic Canal – A major health and EPA problem. No action has been taken.
2. The
Middletown Cemetery is still not in compliance with ORC
3. The CSX Dump Site located at
1st Ave & University has still not been cleaned up.
4. The rear of Denny Lumber Co has not been painted for 30 years.  
5. The
Duncan Oil property between Central and 1st Ave is an absolute eye sore.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greygoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 04 2012 at 10:14am
Vivian,

I have been looking into the landlord registration issue being used in other cities. Without exception, the problem of non-resident landlords is stated as one of the reasons that the law is needed. As I have stated in earlier posts, locally based landlords are already within the control of city ordinances. I was told that we are being included in the proposed legislation to avoid constitutional issues that non-resident landlords could raise stating that they are being "singled out". However, the state of Rhode Island appears to be doing it without any constitutional issues (however, theirs is a state law). Also, if it was a constitutional issue, couldn't landlords argue that they are being singled out from owner occupied properties? Just throwing it out there for thought.

The city of Raleigh, NC has had a landlord registration in place for about three years. I'm assuming that there was some abuses of power because there is now new legislation that will limit the powers of the city. Again, I'm just throwing it out there.

At this time, I am still in favor of the legislation. That support will change if the registration fee is punitive or the involvement of the city it punitive. All of my research shows that other municipalities are charging $30 a year (on the high end) and inspections are no more than once a year. I would consider anything more as punitive and not in line with what other cities are doing.



Out-of-State Landlord Registration Requirements

Many real estate agents and property managers are aware that some Rhode Island municipalities require nonresident
landlords to register with the municipality by providing their out of state addresses. The two primary
purposes are to hold the landlord responsible for its tenant’s actions, and also, for notification of housing code
violations. Few agents or managers might be aware that hidden in the state landlord/tenant act [R.I.G.L. 34-18-
22.3] is a law, passed in 1996, requiring all non-resident landlords to register with the secretary of state’s office and
the city/town clerk’s office where the property is located. The law requires the nonresident landlord to provide an instate
agent and in-state address for service of process and notice.
The most important provision of the law is the penalty sections for noncompliance. If a landlord does not file, the
tenant’s obligation to pay rent STOPS until the form is filed. The tenant could raise the landlord’s non filing as a
defense in an eviction action for nonpayment of rent. In addition, the statute imposes a $500.00 fine per violation
which is paid to the municipality. Presently, there are no court cases interpreting the law, so there are unanswered
questions, such as, is a tenant entitled to a rebate of rent paid if the landlord has not filed?
The secretary of state’s office has a form entitled, “Designation of Agent For Nonresident Landlord.” On the form the
nonresident landlord must list its name, out of state address, the in-state agent’s name and address, and list all the
properties in Rhode Island for which the agent is responsible. If the landlord has properties in different
municipalities, or more than one agent, it must file separate agent designation forms. If the landlord has only one
agent, but more than one property in different municipalities, it has to file the form with the secretary of state, and
with each municipality. The landlord must sign the form prior to filing, and under penalty of perjury, swear to the
truth of the information contained in the form. If the information on the form changes, e.g., property is sold or
additional property is purchased, a new form must be signed and filed.
There is a note on the bottom of the form advising the landlord to file the form with the municipality and to check
with the municipality for additional filing requirements, if any. The secretary of state’s office does not charge a filing
fee. The landlord should check with the municipality to determine if it charges a filing fee.
Clearly, it is in the best interests of the real estate agents and property managers to advise their out of state
landlord clients to comply with the law and file the form with the state and municipality. If a landlord is fined or
loses rent as a result of its noncompliance, it will most likely look to its Rhode Island real estate agent or property
manager and ask why it was not informed of the filing requirement.



New Law Would Limit Landlord Registration Fees, Rental Property Inspections

Three years ago, the city council of Raleigh, North Carolina passed a measure that was unpopular with landlords.
It required all rental property owners to pay to register their properties with the city, and to submit to routine property inspections to uncover building code violations.
While safety was the stated focus of the program, there was no corresponding rule requiring homeowners do the same.
Since that time, a number of cities around the country have passed similar ordinances, requiring recurring registration fees and frequent and costly safety inspections for rental properties.
Now, North Carolina State Senator Neal Hunt has introduced a bill that would severely limit a city’s ability to charge registration fees, or require routine inspections on rental properties. The law would also eliminate the double standard of requiring only rental property owners to undergo inspections.
The bill is called An Act Requiring Counties and Cities to Have Reasonable Cause before Inspecting Residential Buildings or Structures.
After two amendments, the measure now provides that a city’s inspection department may make periodic inspections for unsafe, unsanitary, or otherwise hazardous and unlawful conditions in buildings or structures within its territorial jurisdiction, but only when there is reasonable cause to believe that unsafe, unsanitary, or otherwise hazardous or unlawful conditions may exist in a residential building or structure.
The term ‘reasonable cause’ means the landlord or owner has a history of more than two verified violations of the housing ordinances or codes within a 12-month period; there has been a complaint that substandard conditions exist within the building or there has been a request that the building be inspected; the inspection department has actual knowledge of an unsafe condition within the building; or, violations of the local ordinances or codes are visible from the outside of the property.
In conducting inspections authorized under this section, an inspection department will not be allowed to discriminate between single-family and multifamily buildings.
If a local government decides to target a geographic area for inspections, the bill would prohibit discrimination in its selection or areas or properties to be targeted and must include a plan to address the ability of low-income residential property owners to comply with minimum housing code standards.
Additionally, the bill prohibits a local government from requiring any owner or manager of rental property to obtain any permit or permission from the county to lease or rent residential real property; require that an owner or manager of residential rental property enroll or participate in any governmental program as a condition of obtaining a certificate of occupancy; or, levy a special fee or tax on residential rental property that is not also levied against other commercial and residential properties except that the county may levy a fee for rental property registration on those properties which have been found in violation of local ordinances within the previous 12 months.
Any fees charged can only cover the cost of operating a residential registration program and shall not be used to supplant revenue in other areas.
The bill is proceeding through the state’s General Assembly and is currently in review in the state senate’s finance committee. Raleigh city council has raised objections, indicating that it needs the landlord registry to keep tabs on rental owners to police overcrowding, loud parties, and untidy lawns. Senator Hunt is a former Raleigh city council member and chaired the city’s planning board.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 04 2012 at 2:50pm

Greygoose
It is my understanding that the Registration fee would be about $25.
However the Inspection Fee would be $250 per inspection, per visit.
Please remember that Mr Doug stated he would need an addtional two inspectors plus two new trucks and I would bet another $250,000 program to keep tab on all the landlords and a big increase in his salary also to oversee the program.
This is about power over private property and feeding the beast called City Hall.
 
I have NOT researched these laws but I’m sure that those that showed up at the last City Council Meeting have already been advised by an attorney. 
 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike_Presta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 04 2012 at 5:06pm
Hmm...perhaps we just need to ask ourselves:
 
Is it the purpose of government to serve the people???
 
Or is it the purpose of the people to serve the government???
“Mulligan said he ... doesn’t believe they necessarily make the return on investment necessary to keep funding them.” …The Middletown Journal, January 30, 2012
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greygoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 04 2012 at 7:42pm
Vivian,

I'm assuming that the $250 inspection fee that you mention is just your speculation. A fee of this magnitude falls way outside the realm of reasonableness. I understand that the program has to be paid for but 7,400 rental units paying $25.00 per year in registration fees would generate $185,000 in annual revenue. I believe that this amount would cover the expense of two new inspectors with new vehicles, laptops and associated software. With that said, I wouldn't have a problem with the $250 inspection fee if it was implemented like the program in Centerville. There, the landlords are given a detailed checklist of what is needed to comply with their regulations and pass their inspections. Landlords are only charged a fee if they FAIL the inspection.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 409 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 04 2012 at 9:45pm
If this comes to pass, why in the hell do two inspectors need two NEW vehicles?
There should be plenty of confiscated drug vehicles available for the purpose of tooling around town.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 05 2012 at 5:49am
Vivian,
I'm assuming that the $250 inspection fee that you mention is just your speculation. A fee of this magnitude falls way outside the realm of reasonableness.
I understand that the program has to be paid for but 7,400 rental units paying $25.00 per year in registration fees would generate $185,000 in annual revenue. I believe that this amount would cover the expense of two new inspectors with new vehicles, laptops and associated software. With that said, I wouldn't have a problem with the $250 inspection fee if it was implemented like the program in
Centerville. There, the landlords are given a detailed checklist of what is needed to comply with their regulations and pass their inspections. Landlords are only charged a fee if they FAIL the inspection.
Greygoose
It is a known fact that Mr Doug is going to model this New Rental Registration & Inspection Program after the current Section 8 Program.
So how much do we pay Nelson & Assoc each year to run our Section 8 Program for 1662 vouchers and do the Inspections? How many people do they employ? How much do they charge for each inspection?
Using the Nelson & Assoc numbers…couldn’t we assume that the New Rental Registration & Inspection Program would cost about 4 times what the current Section 8 Program does?
In fact I would assume it would cost even more since we would be using city employees.
Once again I’m having a problem with what is known…and the numbers that have been provided by the city.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 05 2012 at 6:42am

Miss Vivian,
    First, I want to thank you for the wealth of information that you provide and link us to. As I’ve stated earlier, my due diligence began with the “registration” issue but, as I am learning, there is a long history associated with it. I often don’t agree with your conclusions but I appreciate your involvement and your willingness to share what you find.
    You are correct. The devil is in the details. If the fee is nominal and meant to cover expenses (as I expect), I will be supportive. If it is punitive, I’ll be the first to object. If the city has 9,000 rentals and 1,600 are handled through the Section 8 program, a balance of 7,400 units would need to be registered. At $25.00 per unit, the annual income to the city would amount to $185,000.00. This is enough to cover the expenses that Mr. Adkins spoke of in his initial presentation to council. I prefer the program administered by the city of
Centerville. Their program provides the landlord a checklist of what is going to be inspected. The inspections occur every two years at no cost. If the landlord fails the inspection, he/she is charged $70.00 per hour for a re-inspection.
    From my viewpoint, landlord registration and “money making fines” are two separate issues. Being a locally based landlord I would receive those code violation fines regardless of any registration program. However, it will allow the city to take action against a very large number of “out of town” landlords & vacant property owners that, historically, have snubbed the city’s efforts because they couldn’t be compelled to comply. I’m assuming that you wouldn’t have a problem with that result of the program.
Greygoose
Again I’m having a problem with the misinformation coming from City Hall.
Example: Mowing grass at rental, or vacant houses and property.
Let us say that the city cuts the grass at a property and the vendor charges the city $50. The city then places a lien against the property owner for 3 times the amount or $150.
It is a known fact that the city has been making a really nice profit off just mowing grass around
Middletown over the past few years.
What are these profits being used for??

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greygoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 05 2012 at 10:41am
Vivian,

At Pacman’s suggestion, I went back and read many of the historical posts on this board. In doing so, I learned a great deal more about our city, its issues, and its leaders. I also gained more respect from this board’s participants (I even watched the video of you “torching” city council over their misdeeds concerning the cemetery). However, you lose credibility (at least in my eyes) when you make statements as though they are fact when they are nothing more than an opinion. Quite frankly, I don’t think that some of the statements are even your opinion……. they are meant to “incite” others.

1.     You state that it is a known fact that Mr. Adkins is going to model the program after the current Section 8 program. Who knows about this “fact” other than you? I respect your researching abilities. Where did you dig up this “fact”? It doesn’t make since to me. The Mr. Adkins that I know would like nothing more than to get rid of the Section 8 in our city. He is on record that the “Section 8 model” is costing the city money. Why would he want to duplicate it?

2.     Nobody, including you, thinks that a landlord registration program is really going to cost more than four times the Section 8 program. Common sense tells me that the high cost of the Section 8 program is directly proportional to the subsidy that the federal government pays to support it. It's sad, but that is the way government programs work.

3.     I’m not sure what you are talking about when you state “what is known” and “the numbers provided by the city”. What is there to know that you don’t know? What numbers are you looking for? The program is a concept at this point in time. I feel comfortable that we will learn more as the program is put together. My comfort stems from the fact that there will be a handful of private citizens (landlords) on the committee. I will give you this…… based on what I have learned from reading historical posts on this site, the city has way too many financial accounts and it is way too easy for them to move the money from one to another. I am not comfortable that city leaders always have our best interests at heart when they spend these funds.

4.     You make it sound like collecting money from “deadbeat” property owners is a bad thing. My educated guess is the city is not collecting on many of these charges because, you guessed it, they can’t compel many non-resident property owner to comply because they can't be "served". If you are a local land owner, you deserve to pay 2.5 times the cost of mowing if you are too sorry to take care of it yourself. As for “where does the money go”, I have no idea but assume that this information is a public record and available to you if you really want to see it.

I think that people like you, VV, Pacman, MikeP, acclaro, Spider, etc. are invaluable to a city like Middletown. The city leaders know that you are out there looking over their shoulders and will hold them accountable if they don't “do the right things” for the citizens that they represent. Sensationalizing your viewpoint gets you nowhere in my book and, in my opinion, will cause the city's leadership to take you less seriously.

On a separate note…… does anyone know what landlords have been chosen to participate on the registration committee?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote greygoose Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 05 2012 at 10:43am
ooooops...... respect for this board's participants, not from
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