Edgewater Renter’s Rights and Rental Property Registration

From Edgewater City Councilor Laura V. Keegan:

On January 1, 2016 Ordinances 2015-08 and 2015-19, creating the Rental Property Registration Code and the Rental Property Maintenance Code (“Rental Code”), went into effect in Edgewater. By addressing the maintenance of Edgewater’s rental properties, we can look at improving the quality of life and the health and safety of our citizens in our city’s rental properties.

“The Rental Code establishes minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities; for occupancy; for plumbing, heating and electrical systems; for fire safety; for exits; for pest control; and for the safe and sanitary maintenance of residential properties.”

By having a rental maintenance program, we are giving a voice to those who may not have had a voice or an avenue for help if needed. This is a community strengthening program and gives protection to those who need help with rental dwelling issues as described in the ordinance. Maintenance of rental properties helps ensure a stronger community through pride of residence, encouragement of owners to provide minimum living standards for tenants. These programs preserve and enhance the quality of life for residents living in and around rental units.

Nationwide, cities have implemented programs to address rental properties to ensure the rehabilitation or abatement of housing that does not comply with state and local building laws or with maintenance standards established by the City. These regulations are incremental in protecting the right of the tenants to safe and decent housing when the owner does not take reasonable steps to inspect, repair or maintain rental housing.

The Registration Code provides certain information to the City in order to ensure compliance with and facilitate enforcement by the City of the City’s Rental Code. There is no fee to register rental units. It is unlawful for any owner to lease for occupancy any rental dwelling or portion thereof without first registering the rental dwelling with the City.

Benefits of the Rental Inspection Program include increased property values and improved safety for tenants and landlords of properties. More time is spent on routine management and less on crisis control.

All rental units are subject to inspection in the event a complaint is filed with the City. In addition, property owners can request an inspection to ensure that they have compliant rentals. Complaints must be filed in writing. Tenants must contact the owner of the subject rental dwelling by letter requesting the owner to correct the condition that caused the alleged violation on a form provided by the City. No letter is required if the complaint from the tenant is about a condition that presents an imminent danger. Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Building Inspector will make an inspection of the property after written consent has been provided by the tenant for entry and inspection.

More details about the Rental Codes are available at the City of Edgewater, 2401 Sheridan Blvd., Edgewater 80214, 720.763.3012 or on the City website edgewaterco.com under the tab “Living in Edgewater.”

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