Legislative Update: Mission KS – Interior Inspections for Single Family Rental Housing

Legislative Update: City of Mission meeting on 06/20/17 regarding interior inspections for single family rental housing units

Information from MAREI Members Beth Kasper & Kim Donaway

History:

Last summer, the state of Kansas passed Senate Bill 366 which states “No city or county shall adopt, enforce or maintain a residential property licensing ordinance or resolution which includes a requirement for periodic interior inspections of privately owned residential property…)

The city of Mission currently reuqires the licening of Rental Property.

In 2007, the following changes were made to the City of Mission Rental Ordinance:

Type of Building Annual Licensing Interior Inspection

Interior inspection of Apartment 0 Complexes  Were to be conducted on 5% of the units annually  at at cost of $10 per inspections plus any unit could be inspected if the Tenant Requested the city inspect.

Single Family Units were to be inspected only at the request of the tenant.

Current Situation:
Although there is no specific problem, the City is trying to be proactive and is exploring options to expand the inspection requirement to all rental properties in the City.

• Require inspections of all single-family rental units on a 3-year rotation

• Allow for Single Family Rental units to be inspected at the time of tenant change as a substitute for other annual required inspections

The entire text of the proposed ordinance changes can be viewed at:
http://www.missionks.org/…/RentalDwellingsCode1705051824061…

Responses by the Community:

• Although the City has good intent to protect the life, health and safety of their tenants, there are a few problems that make these changes inappropriate.

• These changes will affect less than 6% of the total housing units in the City of Mission

• These changes are in direct violation of the Kansas Senate Bill, basically making the City a target for court cases.

• There is no formal appeal process and will make the Landlord bear the cost of a third-party opinion that may be ignored by the City.

• There is no clear process to determine fault. If the violation is a result of actions taken by the tenant, the landlord is still at fault.

• There were only 5 actual complaints that were acted on in the last year. This represents .09% of the housing units. And, the tenant had the right to ask for an interior inspection.

• Landlords are the owners of last resort. Mostly, landlords view a property as an investment and will work to improve and maintain the property.

• Bad Landlords will always be bad landlords. They are expert at finding loopholes and beating the law. Licensing and inspections does not get rid of them.

• Homeowner occupied housing units will still violate the building codes without a way for resolution. This represents 51% of the total housing units.

Suggested Changes by the Community:
• Interior inspections between tenants
• Tenants ability to request interior inspections (currently in place)
• Exterior inspections

Upcoming Meetings:
• 07/05/17 – Report back to Community Development Committee
• August – Council consideration of proposed changes
• October – Communicate changes and implementation to Landlords
• January – Begin Inspections

More Information

  1. Mission Rental License Application
  2. Mission’s Current Multi-Family Rental Checklist
  3. Text of Proposed Changes
  4. Copy of Presentation on Changes