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  1. #1
    kaban18 is offline Member
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    Why does city require a rental permit on any rental property?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? SD
    I just found out that my city requires a rental permit in order to rent any residential home here.
    Why is this permit necessary? After all it is my property and I should be able to do what I want with it. Is city violating my rights here at all? It seems like they want to stick their business in everything that people do around here.
  2. #2
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    Its about fundraising and creating records that they can easily use to keep track of how many homes are rental with in city limits. Especially if your city has its own inspections department. I used to have rentals in Mpls , at that time rental lic fees of 28.00 for a single unit and 14.00 for second unit so a duplex that was absentee owned was 42.00 per year. If your owner occupying one unit in a duplex you might only have to pay for the 2nd unit . Not paying the fees will mean the city can order tenants to vacate and make you sit on a unit until you do pay , in some localities they will order up full code compliance if a LL fails to get a rental lic. (wich means a unit must meet newer codes)
  3. #3
    kaban18 is offline Member
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    Is the city violating my rights at all?
  4. #4
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    No. Rental lic requirements are common and local thing.
  5. #5
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    Landlords are a minority in every city, state, county. That makes you an easy target by city counsel for revenue that they due nothing for, but can land their sticky little hands on. They also use their ordinances as a vehicle to charge for inspections and other needless requirements. You can pass on the cost to your renters who ultimately pay the price for these needless requirements. You don;t have to suck it up. Just write into your lease that whenever your taxes go up so does their rent. Check your state landlord act for applicable charges you as a landlord can claim.
  6. #6
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    And landlords have NEVER shown legislators that they NEED to be watched and regulated, because they NEVER take advantage of tenants or break the law or evict people illegally or fail to keep their properties up to code.....
  7. #7
    cyjeff is offline Senior Member
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    And legislatures LOVE to earn millions $42 dollars at a time.

    Which doesn't even cover the cost of processing.
  8. #8
    Mrs. D is offline Member
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    You are joking, right? It costs me several times the rental permit fees you have cited to register my car every year.

    Here's why rental permits exist: because people will rent anything without the need to meet certain requirements. Sure, people still rent those "anythings" without them, but it's much easier to go after these slumlords for the simple fact that they don't have a license than spend hours upon hours documenting the squalid conditions of many of these rentals in order to shut them down. Some regulations are fairly onerous, but the long list of very bad situations that some landlords would put renters in without regulation run the gamut from unreliable fixtures (such as water pipes and heating equipment) to pest infestations to fire and safety hazards (I mean it's so onerous that each room must have two exits so you don't end up char-broiled if the 50-year-old electrical wiring shorts and burns the place down).

    Would you think it fair to have to have inspections like those potential home buyers get conducted on a property you were considering renting (what do those cost...THOUSANDS of dollars)? That's what would be required for renters to know they weren't renting a death trap absent those permits, which basically say the city has said the apartment is safe. Besides, as Alaska has noted, landlords just pass the cost of these things on to their tenants, so it's not like the landlord is out anything.
  9. #9
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    Amazing how little some of you know about the politics of renting. The proposed city taxes assessed for taxation is on a per unit basis. This means that a 4 plex will have to pay 4 times the amount. Not only does the city demand unnecessary costly repairs that add to a significant amount on the bottom line of the landlord, but the very people they target (slumlords) usually fail to apply for permits.
    Then there tis the issue of privacy of their tenants. Many cities require that the owner submit private information on their tenants. With me the process involves sending a check once a year, I have seen an inspector once in 3 years and the inspection involved just checking the boiler. Such much for looking out for the tenant. The whole process is about generating income for the city.

    Ironically enough, it is the good landlords that will register their rentals and all this income is sucked out of the tenants income just to weed out a few rogue landlords that don't even register their property.
  10. #10
    Mrs. D is offline Member
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    And it's the good tenant that calls the city before they sign a lease and makes sure all the paperwork is in order. Of course inspections on registered properties are not perfect, sometimes things fall through the cracks, and some costly repairs are not really necessary. But, as you mention, good landlords are the most likely to register their properties. Those trying to hide something often won't run the risk of having the city waltz in whenever they feel like it for an inspection. Which is why checking your landlord's permits is a low-cost way to get a feel for what you're getting yourself into. If I had multiple cars, I would pay multiple registration fees. If I owned multiple businesses, I would pay multiple business license fees. Tax assessments are a whole different game, since those are based on value, I'm talking about simple registration fees.

    Everywhere I have lived, I have seen an inspector once a year. Sure, they don't start tearing up walls, but they check electrical outlets, peek around, and ask if there are any problems. In and out in 5 minutes, but it's nice to know they're there. It's easy to tell if you would be trapped in a room by a fire, it's not so easy to tell how old the wiring is or what kind of current is running through it without someone coming by with that little box once in a while. Would I rather pay $25 or $50 a year in registration fees via rent to know that I have a city inspector popping by on occasion than thousands up front to hire inspectors? Damn straight I would.
  11. #11
    kaban18 is offline Member
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    Well safety is good of course for the potential tenant but I know city is out to get you for whatever they can do generate additional revenue. I got tickets of around 1200 because my tenants parked on grass by the home even though property is located in the outskirts of the city with no curb, kind of a country area, and there is just gravel to park on no concrete so its easy to park where there is some grass. Yet I get ridicules tickets like this , Its my property I should be able to park where I want.
  12. #12
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaban18 View Post
    Well safety is good of course for the potential tenant but I know city is out to get you for whatever they can do generate additional revenue. I got tickets of around 1200 because my tenants parked on grass by the home even though property is located in the outskirts of the city with no curb, kind of a country area, and there is just gravel to park on no concrete so its easy to park where there is some grass. Yet I get ridicules tickets like this , Its my property I should be able to park where I want.
    Looks like you have discovered the true purpose of city involvement in the rental business. Most of the fines incurred by landlords are produced by the tenants themselves. such as trash in the yard, improper parking and other tenant caused infractions such as noise.

    It might be beneficial to invest in a camera so that you can pinpoint the violators, fine them or terminate their tenancy.
  13. #13
    Alaska landlord is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrs. D View Post
    And it's the good tenant that calls the city before they sign a lease and makes sure all the paperwork is in order. Of course inspections on registered properties are not perfect, sometimes things fall through the cracks, and some costly repairs are not really necessary. But, as you mention, good landlords are the most likely to register their properties. Those trying to hide something often won't run the risk of having the city waltz in whenever they feel like it for an inspection. Which is why checking your landlord's permits is a low-cost way to get a feel for what you're getting yourself into. If I had multiple cars, I would pay multiple registration fees. If I owned multiple businesses, I would pay multiple business license fees. Tax assessments are a whole different game, since those are based on value, I'm talking about simple registration fees.

    Everywhere I have lived, I have seen an inspector once a year. Sure, they don't start tearing up walls, but they check electrical outlets, peek around, and ask if there are any problems. In and out in 5 minutes, but it's nice to know they're there. It's easy to tell if you would be trapped in a room by a fire, it's not so easy to tell how old the wiring is or what kind of current is running through it without someone coming by with that little box once in a while. Would I rather pay $25 or $50 a year in registration fees via rent to know that I have a city inspector popping by on occasion than thousands up front to hire inspectors? Damn straight I would.
    You continue to miss the point. In many cites the permit process consist of filling out an application, sending in a check and no additional contact with the city till the permit expires. In others, inspections are few and far between with the landlord given 90,180 days or no deadline to complete repairs. others just concentrate on violations that are easily notice such as in OP's case (parking)
  14. #14
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    In Minneapolis MN Landlords had been treated as evil entities for years by several city council persons and inspections. Many of the problems landlords have are created by tenants. Many tenants have no problem complaining to inpsections about repairs that are tenant created damage. Kab if your tenants do something that violates a city ord not only can you make them correct the problem , like parking where they are not supposed to BUT if the tenant keeps doing it you can use the behaviour to help get rid of them and IF it were me being fined I would make them pay the fines too. It really bites BUT cities too also go after the easier target when it comes to fines and fees. Document ,document document and make sure you use methods of mailing notices that give you proofs.
  15. #15
    Mrs. D is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska landlord View Post
    You continue to miss the point. In many cites the permit process consist of filling out an application, sending in a check and no additional contact with the city till the permit expires. In others, inspections are few and far between with the landlord given 90,180 days or no deadline to complete repairs. others just concentrate on violations that are easily notice such as in OP's case (parking)
    I'm not arguing that the permits are a panacea that guarantees every property is up to code, but they provide some confidence that the LL is not trying to get away with something. Under your logic, it would be better if we just didn't have the permits. Do you honestly think it would be better if my rent was $2 or $5 less a month and I was left completely on my own to guess whether the LL was a slumlord or an honest (or semi-honest) businessperson?

    Let's suppose the city you're in doesn't require permits...how likely would you be to even consider renting to me if I said "since the city doesn't even pretend to care what's used as a rental property, I'm bringing in structural and electrical inspectors before I consider renting." You probably would consider me a PITA tenant, even though my goal would simply be to protect myself.

    Whether the property was registered as a rental or not would have no bearing on who got the citation for the parking infraction mentioned by the OP, it would still go to the homeowner (the LL). I can't imagine there's no way to word a lease to force the tenant to pay for code violations they cause.

    The enforcement of housing codes are a wholly separate issue, but most of us don't have a choice about whether our city or state allows 90 days to fix a broken furnace or doesn't regularly inspect rental properties. The point, in my mind, is that if the city desired to conduct regular inspections of rental properties outside of complaints (which they have done everywhere I have lived) they can only inspect those rental properties they know about. What is a LL hiding if they refuse to pay a few bucks for a permit (which they will ultimately pass on to the tenant anyway), just so the city doesn't know they have a rental? And I still argue that every business needs a license, so why should a property rental business be any different?

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