Monday, May 24, 2010

Port Republic did it, why not Millville?

There was an interesting story in the Press of Atlantic City today. It concerned an absentee landlord, and a situation that they residents of this sleepy town had never before had to worry about - inconsiderate neighbors in a rental.

Stockton State College students apparently had rented a house and threw all night parties, disturbing the peace and ignoring the rights of the residents to a sound sleep.

Port Republic passed an ordnance to address this situation.  They were forward thinking, and added some good clauses that the City of Millville should consider. For instance:
The new city law lays out basic rules for inspections, registrations, occupancy and penalties, which include fines ranging from $250 to $2,000, imprisonment and community service of up to 90 days and revocation of rental license.

It requires a landlord to conduct a tenant screening for new inhabitants, that includes checks of all criminal convictions in the past three years, and to pay $100 to register a property.
I like the part where a landlord that refuses to address the situation can have their rental license revoked. If the City of Millville would do that, and enforce it just one time, we would send a warning shot across the bow of all other potential slumlords. Pick one slumlord and make them an example. Revoke their rental certificate, and hit them in the wallet hard.

Trust me, once the word is out that the city really does mean business, you will see an increased interest in the behavior of their tenants.

The other part that I really liked was the requirement that all landlords do a criminal background check of their tenants. For this to work, that background check would have to cover not only the lessee but all persons that would be occupying the leased premises.  But, it is a good start.

1 comment:

Phil Grahm Salt said...

Indeed, tenant screening is very valuable for landlords. It screens prospective tenants so as to determine their backgrounds. By doing this, landlords are ensuring that their tenants are of good character.