Housing Committee discusses inspections and registration

A Rental Housing Special Committee Meeting was held to discuss the possible measures of introducing rental inspection or a registration process Thursday afternoon at the Boonville City Council Chambers with over 15 individuals attending in the audience.
Committee Chairman Mike Kelley opened the meeting with discussion issues facing rental properties in Boonville.
"I do think there are a lot of places here in town that none of us would want to live in," committee member Kathleen Conway said. "There are some pretty bad places here and we should get the owners to start improving them."
"This is where it comes to quality. I think we need to be careful because we may not want to live there; the question is, is it safe to live there?" Kelley said.
Committee member Ned Beach asked the question if there was a problem that needed to be addressed.
Some committee members felt there indeed was a problem, and proposed asking individuals who are renting to submit letters of how they feel about the property they are renting with explicit guidelines of not naming property owners, just the conditions of which they live.
Kelley said they did not know what all the problems were. He said they have to find where all the rental properties are and if they are meeting current zoning rules. He also mentioned the fact of meeting safety restrictions as well.
Discussion commenced on possible safety inspections.
Kelley talked about the difference between old and new home rental properties and the differences in requirements. Kelley said these are the things that must be looked at before coming up with a registration process because the rules may apply to one or the other.
Kelley said if the rental property owner met all the requirements of a registration process, they may not require an inspection process.
Beach said other towns should be looked at on how they do inspections or registrations.
Kelley said he talked to Moberly about their program and said it has worked very well. He also said he would talk to other towns about their programs as well.
Beach talked about current inspections required by HUD and other government entities and their requirements under Section Eight housing. He also brought up ideas of fairness related to inspections.
"The devils are in the details. When we start talking about this we will have some fairness issues to address," Beach said.
"If I get a complaint from a renter, I have the authority to follow through with that," Boonville Building Inspector Steve Hage said.