Lunaya Pravda

10 May 2006

Landlords, renters take heed

Tacoma extends ban on group housing

The change in course means that private landlords won't escape notice and that social service providers won't necessarily be penalized for trying to help people, Lonergan said.

"What we've been doing really is aiming the land-use cannon at some entities that are really part of the solution," he said.

City Manager Eric Anderson told council members last week that a solution could include:
  • Licensing every landlord in the city.
  • Requiring regular inspections of rental properties and paying for the service with fees charged to landlords.
  • Getting tougher on property maintenance and paying for the enforcement with fees.
  • Requiring "good neighbor" agreements between landlords and the surrounding community.
  • Changes in land-use regulations.
(emphasis mine)

Suddenly everyone should need a license to own real estate and rent it out? Give me a break. If I were a landlord, this would certainly give me pause to continue the practice.

It'd be fitting if, in its zeal, the city caused a rental property shortage by pushing landlords to sell or convert their rented properties to owner-occupied ones.

Could this also be a ploy to increase acceptance of warrantless searches? Were I still renting, I'd balk at the idea of having strangers coming into inspect my home without my authorization, even ostensibly to check for landlord violations. Who cares to wager city inspectors wouldn't report any signs of child abuse or drug use to the "proper authorities"?

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