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Home · Property Management · Latest News : Cities Offer Amnesty for Landlords Who Fail to Register Rentals

landlord helpAre landlords bucking the system when it comes to local rental registries?

The City Council of Burlington, Vermont has just announced that it is offering amnesty to those landlords who have so far failed to register rental properties under the city’s rental inspection program.

By registering before March 31, defiant landlords can avoid fines as high as $500, and jail time.

While rental registries and inspection fees are nothing new, many landlords now fear they will fail victim to frequent and unnecessary building inspections as cities ratchet up the costs of licenses and inspections at the same time city budgets are hitting shortfalls.

For instance, some cities are proposing new regulations requiring a building inspection each time a new tenant moves in. In Kennett, Missouri, under a proposed new rental inspection law, landlords will have to call and schedule an inspection each time a tenant moves out and before the next tenant moves in. But there is only one inspector on staff in Kennett, and an estimated 1,600 rentals in town. The inspection checklist covers floor to ceiling, and includes checking for leaky faucets.

Owner-occupied homes and commercial properties are typically excluded from these registration and inspection requirements, although those properties may be of similar age and construction, and have similar occupancies to rental properties.

City officials in Burlington insist that the rental registration fees and property inspections have nothing to do with making money — they just want properties to be safe. At a recent press conference, Council members made their case to reporters regarding safety in rentals by sharing photos of infractions. In one example, a tenant had plugged a disco ball into the disabled smoke detector.  A local news agency, Seven Days, aptly dubbed the photo Disco Inferno.

In the city of Columbia, Missouri, city officials offered a similar amnesty program last fall. Officials had estimated that there are thousands of rentals in town, but only about 200 had registered under the city’s rental inspection program prior to the amnesty offer. Landlords who chose to come forward during the amnesty period avoided $500 fines.
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  • Jim E

    So does this mean that regular Fire and Safty inspections are not required in Burlington?? I own apts in another town and have been routinely inspected by the Fire Dept and Health Officer to make sure they are in compliance with Fire and Saftey Codes. These folks inspect the whole building at one time… alot more efficient!

  • Gary Carlson

    More nonsense from governments that need to be governed.

  • charles

    Instead of raising fees to support the budget shortfall, the bloated government should simply downsize the number of unnecessary employees and pet projects and live within its means like the private sector. Just look at what the government has done with our tax dollars. Spending it like there is no tomorrow…. because it is not their money they are spending!! Now, our country is on the brink of declaring bankruptcy with 14 trillion dollars in debt because they spent more money than the government received in taxes. STOP BORROWING MONEY SO YOU CAN SPEND IT AND PASSING THE BILL TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN THE FORM OF RAISING TAXES (AND FEES). WHAT A SCAM!!!!!!!!

  • charles

    These new regulations are simply a new way to create more money to benefit the government……..NOT THE NEW TENANT. If these inspections were truly needed (each time an apartment was rented) it would have been implemented by the government long ago!!!

  • steve

    It goes both ways. how about the secure feeling of being inspected, in case of a mishap by a tenant, OR A FIRE? And IF THE INSPECTION IS SO THOROUGH, WHY CAN’T LANDLORD APPLY FOR A REDUCTION IN PREMIUM FROM INSURANCE TO BALANCE OUT THE COST.? BUT OF COURSE, THE GOVT WILL OVERDO IT. THIS YEAR 500.00, NEXT YEAR 700.00 ETC, ONCE THEY START.

  • Donald Allen

    the truth is this is a thief by our local gov to increase there income and to open us up to thief like your local heating and cooling companys that seem to alway find cracks in the furnace I have replaced 3 heating system in one house even being under warntee still cost 400.00 out of my pocket the truth is everyone not just rental should be inspected but that wont happen because the people that though this up would not have a job next election but they can with rentals because we are the minority we are weak

  • MR. BIGSTUFF

    I agree with everyone above. Also, most landlords go thru their place and make sure everything is to par before re-renting it again. What prospective tenant would take a place that was in such ill repair?
    Also, there is a move in inspection sheet and things can be noted by the tenant and if there are things that necessitate immediate repair or danger, I would think that the landlord would take care of that right away.

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