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City requires landlords to register properties



Published: Wed, May 26, 2010 @ 12:07 a.m.

By DAVID SKOLNICK

skolnick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Rental-property owners will be required to register their properties with the city and pay an annual fee.

Under the proposal, owners will pay $20 per unit for a rental-property license. If the property is a multifamily dwelling, landlords will be charged $20 for the first unit and $15 for additional units in the structure.

Letters to property owners in Youngstown will be sent Tuesday. They have until June 30 to register with the city.

The rental units will be inspected by the city at no charge. If the units aren’t in compliance with the city’s requirements, the owners must make repairs and have a follow-up inspection within 60 days. That second inspection fee is $50.

If the unit fails a second inspection, owners must pay $100 for every follow-up inspection.

Also, landlords who rent units without a valid rental license face a fine of up to $100, according to the rental-property registration regulations.

The city is responding to an increase in the number of rental properties over the years and ensuring that renters are afforded safe homes, according to a fax sent Tuesday by city council.

Council members and Mayor Jay Williams were to discuss the program at a 12:30 p.m. press conference today.

The city also will have public meetings on the program.

The mayor said he is “aware that there are many responsible landlords doing business in our city.”

The registration program will “discourage those [who] have not been good stewards to their tenants or the neighborhoods,” Williams said.

The city hired Maureen O’Neil for $40,050 in October 2009 to develop and implement the registration program. Her contract expires March 31, 2011.

The city has talked of a rental-property registration program for several years.


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