Fayetteville Considering New Program That Targets Rental Housing

According to this article in the Fayetteville Observer the city is considering a new ordinance that targets “problem” rental properties:

A revised version is called the Rental Action Management Program, or RAMP, and a public hearing on the proposal is set for Monday.

According to the draft, landlords whose properties accumulate more than three code violations in a year – such as trashy lots or substandard construction – would face consequences. So would landlords whose rental houses rank in the top 10 percent of properties getting the most crime and police calls. Police would calculate the crime rankings every six months.

Among the consequences: Property owners would have to attend a meeting with city officials and, if necessary, develop a crime-management plan. They’d also have to pay a $1,000 fee to continue renting the property.

If the problems persist, the city could restrict the owners from receiving rental income from the property for one year.

Representatives of the Cumberland County Apartment Association have some issues with the proposal:

“We have some serious concerns, and we’ll be there at Monday’s night hearing,” said Carey Petricka of the Cumberland County Apartment Association, which has 125 members.

Bill Nye, chief executive officer for Caviness & Cates Property Management, likened the proposal to the city penalizing gas station owners when people drive off without paying. His company owns and manages six apartment complexes in Cumberland County.

“I don’t think bigger government is going to solve the problem,” Nye said Friday. “I just don’t think the city is in a better position to manage our properties than we are.”

Nye said the city should form a task force with people in the industry to re-examine the rental housing proposal. He said his company rigorously screens applicants and pays for on-site security.

The article goes on to compare Fayetteville’s proposal to Charlotte’s existing program and provides more details about the RAMP program.