At its last meeting the Greensboro city council unanimously approved an ordinance that will bring the city’s old rental inspection ordinance known as RUCO into compliance with state laws passed two years ago. Most of the ordinance will take effect on September 3, 2013. Below are some highlights of the new ordinance provided by TREBIC’s Marlene Sanford:
GSO Post-RUCO Program – Last night the City Council passed revisions to the Minimum Housing Code that comply with 2011 state law changes that outlawed “profiling” inspections of rental housing simply because it was rental housing. Most of the ordinance takes effect September 3rd. A blacklined version of the code changes is linked below. Here’s what it says:
- Reduction of the total maximum cure period that the inspector can grant from 270 days to 90
- An option for the Department director to grant extensions beyond 90 days
- A requirement that any requests for extensions must be made 1) IN WRITING, 2) with back up documentation if appropriate, 3) and must be submitted BEFORE the current cure period expires.
- New, significant, and rapidly escalating reinspection fees for properties that do not cure their violations within the applicable cure period ($150, $300 and $400.) (The Fire department implemented these fees for reinspections 5 years ago and their delinquency rate dropped in half.)
- A registration program for properties that do not cure violations in the applicable cure period will be instituted January 1, 2014 after software changes are made.
- A threat that the city may inspect all of the units owned (or a subset thereof, such as a building or complex), if an ownership entity has 2 or more verified violations that were uncured in the allotted time. The city will be developing guiding policy that states that they will only exercise this right if there is other probable cause to suspect violations exist in the other units owned (such as reputable complaints, violations visible from the outside, etc.), AND will contact the owner first.
- No landlord should suffer the penalties in 11-40 (inspection of all units owned, registration list), or the financial penalties in 11-42 (reinspection fees, civil fines), will not be incurred if all the violations are tenant violations. SO PLEASE DOCUMENT MOVE-IN CONDITION! Because you’ll have to prove the tenant (or his guests) caused the violations.