TIME LEFT TO REGISTER RENTAL PROPERTIES IS DWINDLING

Time Left to Register Rental Properties is Dwindling

Under-maintained and decrepit homes in Oskaloosa are a nuisance. So in an effort to improve the overall look, appeal and living conditions the City of Oskaloosa put in place a Rental Housing Inspection Program. There is roughly 37% of properties for rent in Oskaloosa.  Out of the approximate 4,800 properties in Oskaloosa, the rough unit number in the city ranges from about 1,800 to 2,000 units, which includes apartment complexes.

Part-time residents — including college students or those here for temporary work — look to renting as an affordable and more feasible option. Whether an apartment or small rental house, if a structure has a “dwelling unit that is being held out or offered for rent or is currently being let for rent” for cash or other services — properties that are excluded include hotels, dormitories, long-term care and medical facilities.

Poorly maintained rental properties have created unsafe conditions and have led to dangerous fires in the recent years, which have destroyed properties and damaged nearby properties. The purpose of the Rental Housing Inspection Program is to level the playing field of good landlords that maintain properties and those that allow their property to deteriorate; protects property values of the rental, as well as the properties surrounding it; attract better renters and tenants for properties; and it can, in turn, save taxpayer money — by systematically inspecting properties, the possibility of complaints for nuisance properties is reduced, which means less staff time and fewer court costs.

The registration the the Rental Housing Inspection Program is $60 per building, and will cost $15 per unit annually. All rental housing units will need to be registered to operate in the city, need to pass an inspection every 3 years, be evaluated for compliance with existing city code (Chapters 8, 15, and 17), and have the opportunity to be re-inspected if issues arise with initial inspection.

The inspection of the property will ensure there is no: rodent or insect infestations, roof or plumbing leaks, dangerous fire hazards, serious structural issues and accumulation of junk or debris, and unmaintained yards.

For a list of building components that will be inspected, visit www.oskaloosaiowa.org.

ALL rental properties must be registered by August 1, though the City Manager, Michael Schrock, did note a short grace period through the month of August for landlords that have not yet registered. There will be a fine for failing to register. The scheduling of inspections has begun, as of July 15 and the inspection itself will begin in the month of September.

All rental properties in Oskaloosa must be inspected at least once by July 1, 2020.

For the Rental Inspection Checklist, visit www.oskaloosaiowa.org/DocumentCenter/View/1109.

Comments or questions? Contact any member of the City Council or the City of Oskaloosa.

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