Warren, MI – Warren Mayor Jim Fouts is proposing a “get tough” policy for owners of residential rental properties in the city.
“Too many of our city landlords are penalized with community service time or a small court fine for violating our rental inspection ordinance,” says Fouts. “This change means they could face jail time.”
The proposal, to be considered for adoption at the February 12 city council meeting, includes a provision that makes it a misdemeanor offense to rent out a residential property without a license, make a false statement on a rental application, hinder a city rental inspector in his/her job duties, or to fail to maintain a rental property in a clean and sanitary condition.
Fouts said over 7,000 rental homes are located in Warren. “I encourage home ownership, but more houses are being purchased in older neighborhoods for rental purposes,” added Fouts.
Fouts said the existing rental inspection ordinance requires a thorough inside and outside inspection every two years by trained city inspectors.
Other provisions of the proposed policy include:
• The owner designates a “responsible” local agent who must an individual who resides within a 50-mile radius of the city.
• The name and address of the owner. No post office boxes shall be accepted as a legal address.
• The names and addresses of all owners of the rental dwelling.
• The name, local address, and telephone number of the responsible local agent. No post office boxes shall be accepted.
• The number of rental dwelling units in each rental dwelling and the address of the rental dwelling.
• The authorization appointing a responsible local agent signed by both the owner and the responsible local agent.
• Proof that no fees or debts are owed to the city.
Fouts said rental inspectors follow the International Property Maintenance Code with “thorough and no leniency inspections.” Last year, the Warren city council added rented condominiums to the Renal Inspection Ordinance.