City Watcher Thought #2 on Friday the 13th: Rental Inspection Program

In reading the first of two ordinances critical to the proposed Rental Inspection program, I see nothing in the proposed “Chronic Nuisance Property Abatement” ordinance (start on p. 10) that limits it to rental properties. No property owner would be safe from being called a chronic nuisance and summoned to a legal proceeding at City Hall where a fine of $1,000 per deemed nuisance day up to $50,000 could be imposed and a lien put upon said property. Everyone, not just tenants and landlords (and anybody at all on John Street) should be fighting this. Visit the Tenants, Landowners, Community Rights Group, which is also on our “Mailing Lists and Groups” collection of links.

Here is a bonus thought. If we really need to put another layer of code enforcement on the books why not get to the bottom of the reasons why the ordinances we currently have aren’t working right. What with all the stories one hears about lack of enforcement or differential/preferential enforcement, I believe we need to identify and correct our weaknesses in this area in a very systematic way. City Council should start by calling public hearings on code enforcement and invite all parties affected by it to testify to their experiences.