Criticism for proposed rental registration

Oxford Village Council is looking to require landlords to register their rental properties.

They say they need to keep track of where rentals are and how many there are. Why?

Not all landlords are following the rules. The fire chief says that he wants to know where every rental is– why? Will the fire department arrive sooner or later if it’s a rental property.

Or, are his intentions on a different level? I read the papers, not minds.

We all know that smoke alarms are required in rental properties. But not all tenants like smoke alarms because they make noise when you burn something Or when your kid need the batteries for a game machine. But that, of course, should apply to homeowners as well, not just rentals.

Tenants get mad at landlords because of a lot of reasons. Some are minor, some are not. They sometimes get mad at their neighbors. And they strike out. And when the landlord tells the tenant you can’t toss trash in the yard. Or yell at the neighbor. The landlord becomes the bad guy for saying “no.” And tenants then use city hall for revenge.

The council wants the landlord to register his property and have it inspected within 60 days. After the inspection, if a tenant calls the Village with a complaint then the landlord has to have the rental reinspected. Possibly by the same inspector who approved the first inspection. The landlord now can be fined for following the rules. Doesn’t sound fair to me.

The State of Michigan has rules in place to protect tenants. And in many cases those rules go beyond what I or any homeowner would want to live up to. The landlord pays taxes that are higher than the homeowner. Just look at the request to bring the non-homestead tax to 18 mills. It only applies to businesses. But the council intends to raise more taxes with additional fees. And using the help of tenants.

A landlord does not tear property up to make money. Nor does he want a bad tenant tearing up the neighborhood. The council may want to be on the side of helping. But raising taxes through fees and not backing landlords with their inspectors serves no one.

Daniel C. Davis, Jr.



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