Independence, MO Rental Property Inspection Ordinance

City of Independence Missouri

ALL METRO AREA LANDLORDS:

This seems to be a done deal, unless we show up in force on September 6, 2016, 6pm at the next Independence city council meeting. I was told by a council member that Independence would be the first city in the metro area to enact this ordiance and that 8 other cities, including Kansas City would follow in order by the first of January 2017. This would be financially devasting for all rental property owners in the entire metro area.
Independence, MO. city hall address: 111 E Maple, corner of Noland Rd. and Truman Rd.
We need 500 people to show up to discourage the real estate killer from being enacted.
The Ordinance

16-086 – 1R. An ordinance amending Chapter 4, “Building, Plumbing and Electrical Installations”, by adding a new Article 15, “Rental Ready Program”, to Chapter 4 of the City Code, pertaining to business licensing and inspection requirements for rental properties to be effective January 1, 2017.

Recommendations:

Staff recommends approval.

Executive Summary:

This ordinance would establish an interior residential rental dwelling unit inspection.  The program’s focus is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Background:

On July 11, 2016, staff presented to the City Council an overview of the rental inspection program.  The goals of the program are to protect the health, safety and welfare of residents, maintain attractive and desirable neighborhoods, and ensure minimum standards for the interior of residential buildings.

The proposed rental inspection program would require all residential rental units to pass a basic health/safety inspection every two years.  The landlord would be required to hire a qualified housing inspector such as from the American Society of Home Inspectors, National Association of Home Inspectors or have other qualifications.

The qualified housing inspectors would be required submit the approved inspection forms to the City showing that the unit passes the basic health/safety items. If a unit fails an inspection, the landlord will be required to resolve any deficiencies and have the unit re-inspected.  No unit can be rented without an approved inspection form.

Any rental dwelling unit that has been inspected for any reason may submit that inspection report provided the inspection is no older than twelve (12) months

The rental inspection process would begin in January 2017 with a 2-year initial implementation with half the units inspected each year.  During the initial implementation, the rental inspections will be valid for up to 2 years.  After the initial implementation, the landlord would be required to have their units inspected with their business renewal and those inspections would be valid for 2 years.

Information provided by Landlords of Eastern Jackson County

5 thoughts on “Independence, MO Rental Property Inspection Ordinance”

  1. What about the rights of the renters, I know I don’t want the government coming into my home. This is a double edged sword that violates my basic rightto privacy in my own home. This goes to far.

  2. Thanks for the heads up. I will plan to attend the meeting. Some ideas that come to mind on arguments against this. It is the unintended consequences that they are not thinking about.

    Landlords are investors and investors make choices about where they will invest. Independence benefits when a landlord buys, rehabs and makes rental properties available in the community.

    The ordinance will discourage investment in properties in the community that are in need of repair -Investors routinely buy distressed property and rehabilitate undesirable properties and make the neighborhoods better.

    Mandatory inspections will require existing investors to seek to recoup the costs by raising their rents.

    Mandatory inspections will make Independence unattractive to new rental property investors. Some will sell off, new investors will no longer consider it and seek other cities.

    The resulting rising costs and tightening of the available rental properties in the community will hurt lower income families.

    As investors do sell off properties and invest elsewhere, many of those properties that were maintained by investors will fall into disrepair or simply be abandoned or torn down eroding the tax base and neighborhoods of Independence.

    The ordinance will create hardship on section 8 housing occupants that will find themselves with fewer and fewer choices in the independence communities where they live. It takes a landlord with a house to rent for a section 8 funded renter.

    Certified home inspections are geared today for the protection of the home BUYER to identify any hidden problems with a property prior to purchase. That same protocol is not transferable to the rental market.

    The average cost of a one hour home inspection is $400. Inspectors geared toward finding problems can ALWAYS find problems. If this ordinance is passed the cost could literally be thousands of dollars in costs outside of an existing operating budget to a landlord from EVERY inspection.

    Renters already enjoy protection by a lease agreement with their landlord and the existing Missouri Landlord Tenant statutes that ensure a tenants have safe housing and right to seek remedies for any problems they may have

  3. I do believe that all Landlords want their properties to be good, safe and in good condition for their tenants. I do believe there should be some governance for the slum landlords. I am a Landlord and I do not care if the city wants to inspect my properties — but don’t make me pay for inspections! (p.s. I also work at the City and have been fussing about this as it was being drawn up — some of the folks do not get it, some do). If you are coming in mass — you need to have a solution to present, not just complain because its going to go through — how can we make it work for us.

    we all need to work quickly —

  4. The new ordinance smell like communism. (or something like: “we are from government and we are here to help”)

    Yes, it is intended only for rentals (right now), but can be extended to any houses by a simple vote of city council.

    I’m sure that all these inspections are coming at a cost (nobody knows how much is it, but “we need to approve it to find out what is it”).

    This institute a tax and an attempt to increase local government.

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