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Logan sets public hearing on landord licensing for March 2

February 19th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Cody Littlewood

LOGAN–Logan city is working towards landlord licensing in an effort originally proposed to create a better environment for both tenants and landlords. This will also help the city inventory rental properties, ensure all rental dwellings established legally and meet building codes, and to provide contact information for each dwelling, according to a proposed ordinance.

Logan City Council discussed the proposed landlord licensing ordinance during their regular Tuesday meeting. The next step is a public hearing March 2.

The ordinance says that before a landlord can get a license he or she would have to go through an evaluation of every rental property. A fee of $50 would also have to be paid by the landlord. There could be a reduced fee if the landlord goes through a voluntary Good Landlord Program.

Landlords found in violation of the ordinance could possibly lose their license and be guilty of a class B misdemeanor.

The city has held previous public hearings, gathering input from both sides.

In the hearing on Aug. 18, Russ Larsen of Smithfield said that if landlords have the right to check on tenants then the tenants should have the same right. “Everyone should have the right to fair housing,” Larsen said.

Marshal Garrett, superintendent of Logan School District, spoke representing the schools. “There are many situations where our children are not living in safe environments. It is important as a city that we have good schools,” Garret said. For this he said that Logan needed good neighborhoods.

Tom Worthen of Logan, who is opposed to the proposed law, said, “We’re just spending money to create bureaucracy.” Maybe 5 percent of the rentals have the safety issues that the law is meant to correct, he said.

“Why spend 100 percent of the money on 5 percent of the rentals?” Worthen asked the council. He also told the council he believed the law was an invasion of privacy.

This ordinance was tabled for a nine-month period after the Aug. 18 hearing to continue study and allow input to the committee.

Blythe Ahlstrom, chairman of the committee, recommended to the council that licensing be required, a review of the fees involved, Good Landlord Licensing as part of those fees, police notification would be given to landlords when there was significant involvement with the police, and a separate committee to privately handle landlord-tenant dispute.


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