We know there are many good landlords in our city who do their best to rent safe, quality properties. However there are a few out there that take advantage of our neighbors. Some landlords have come out in full force against our ordinance. Below are some of their talking points, and our response.
Rents will go up
A similar ordinance has been passed in KCKS and in Independence, MO, and cities throughout the nation. There is NO evidence that these small fees have resulted in rent increases. Tenants are paying an average of over $10,848/ year for rental housing in KCMO and $20/ year for the landlord to register the property and expectations of habitability is nominal by comparison.
It's a lie that safe housing has to be expensive. We shouldn't believe that we can't do both.
duplication of regulations
Presently Codes Enforcement in KCMO is operating with inspectors carrying 250 cases each. They do NOT have capacity to add a whole new category of inspections. The KCMO Health Dept. has expertise on issues like mold, infestation, & lead, and a proven track record for conducting health related inspections. Finally, action through Codes Enforcement requires a court process. People cannot wait on court proceedings when their home is making them ill! How long would you wait with an inch of sewage sitting in the bottom of your bathtub?
This is a scare tactic to discourage us from voting YES. No Health Department Inspector in KCMO is going to violate our constitutional rights. Because the inspections are largely going to be complaint driven, tenants will be INVITING the inspectors to their home. Some of us tenants are begging our landlords to enter our home and make repairs, and if we reach a point of having to contact the Health Department, we are inviting their help.
Invasion of Privacy
Well, it may be that a landlord who has not been keeping their unit habitable will have a harder job. They will have to make repairs. We, your tenants, just want to give you our money in exchange for a decent dwelling. We don’t want to call on a third party to “interfere” and we won’t have to, if landlords just make basic and essential repairs in a timely fashion.
When a landlord tells us they expect this ordinance to cost them a lot of time or money, we take that as reassurance that our ordinance is needed. There are landlords that know the properties they rent are unlivable and will not make necesary repairs until they are forced to.