Brunswick City Council will present a revised rental property ordinance at informational public meetings today and Thursday.
The revised ordinance, which Council discussed Monday night, would allow the city to regulate rental properties — apartments, condominiums and single- and two-family homes — by requiring a renter’s permit.
Apartments and condominiums were not included in the previous ordinance.
In the revised ordinance, owners still would be required to register a rental property with the city every two years and schedule an inspection with the city’s chief building official.
The biennial inspection fee would be $50 per residential dwelling unit and $10 for building exterior and grounds. If a re-inspection is required, that would cost the owner $20 per unit and $10 for exterior and grounds.
The revised ordinance eliminates the previously proposed a biennial registration fees, which were up to $400 for rental properties.
It also eliminates the monthly $200 penalty fee that owners would face if they failed to register the property.
The city’s chief building official is authorized to gain “consensual” entry to a property after the application for a rental dwelling unit certificate is submitted.
If it’s “non-consensual,” the city would have to obtain a court order to gain entry, city Law Director Ken Fisher said.
The inspection, Fisher said, “is limited only for purposes in making sure the requirements within the ordinance have been complied with.”
If a violation is found, the owner would be notified in writing by the chief building official and must be corrected before a renter’s permit is issued.
Violators would face a third-degree misdemeanor charge if they “fail, neglect or refuse to comply with any notice of the chief building official.”
The revised ordinance also eliminates a limit on the number of unrelated tenants in the unit.
Previous rules stipulated that if there were three unrelated people in a dwelling, they each must have their own bedroom and an accessible bathroom.
Fisher said the revised ordinance is modeled after Mentor’s.
He said the revised language was drafted by the Law Department after the city received feedback and concerns from Realtors and property owners.
“We’re continuing to look at all the issues and get input from Realtors and other interested parties. Fisher said. “This is primarily for discussion purposes only. Our goal is to come up with an ordinance that addresses all the (public’s) concerns and the city’s concerns to maintain the health, safety and welfare of the community.”
Before adoption, the legislation must go through three readings by Council. It would become effective 30 days after Council approval.
Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.