Rental inspections discussed in Bellaire

BELLAIRE A discussion about garbage at rental properties and whose responsibility it was to clean it up sparked Councilwoman Lou Ann Bennett to speak up about a growing problem she’s noticed with landlords.

Bennett explained that by city ordinance, any time a rental property has a change in tenant, said property must be inspected by the village before a new tenant can reside in the building again.

This is something Bennett feels is not happening and needs to be enforced.

“We need to start enforcing this. We need to have these apartments inspected,” said Bennett during Thursday’s village council meeting.

Bennett, who also owns rental property in the city, explained that whenever she needed one of her apartment buildings or houses inspected, she’d call and Russ Burkhart would come out to perform the inspection.

“Every time I needed an apartment rented, Russ would come out for the inspection,” Bennett said. “The problem is the landlords that never call to report they have a place open.

“This needs to be addressed. There are a couple who are repeat offenders.They are the worst of the worst.”

Bennett believes there has to be a way to address the situation, noting the village has to “find some way to start enforcing (landlords) to do the inspections.

She proposed fines for each day the dwelling isn’t inspected.

It was discussed possibly working with the water department to notify village employees anytime there is a change in a tenant.

Councilman Jim Piatt,sitting in for an absent Mayor Vince DiFabrizio, suggested that Councilman Jim Williams get in touch with the water department about running exception reports in order to better identify houses that should be examined.

Hughes may be reached at mhughes@timeslederonline. com