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'Accessibility and accountability': Metro Council members propose changes to rental registry ordinance

Among the changes, include requiring landlords to submit an affidavit that says their property is up to code. About 38% of properties in Jefferson County are rented.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Metro Council members are proposing changes to the city’s rental registry to ensure the safety and well-being of renters.

Information about short-term rentals can be obtained online, but not for homes rented for longer than 30 days.

Councilman Rick Blackwell, D-12, said the rental registry ordinance will ensure long-term rentals are held to the same standard.

"What this ordinance is all about is accessibility and accountability," he said. “You may have a short-term rental that is right next to you that is not an issue whatsoever because they take care of things but it’s not an issue whatsoever. Then you may have others that do have issues, but you know who to contact because you know where to click. Neighbors know who to contact, council people know who to contact. But on the long-term registry, even council members don't have access to that. Only code enforcement has access."

Council members said the ordinance would make the long-term registry public. It would also require landlords to submit and affidavit that says their property is up to code.

Then it would require random inspections for 10% of the rental properties in the area every year.

Councilwoman Nicole George, D-21, said they are not waiting until an issue is reported to inspect a home like in the past.

"What is ideal is if we elevate the value of strong property value and we harken back on what gets watched gets done. And people running the business know people are watching and know that there is a different standard, we expect high quality maintenance on a high-quality level," she said.

The ordinance also mentions owners will receive a $100 fine for each rental property if they fail to register. They would also be subject to a $100 fee to register their property.

However, the fee would reduce to $50 a year if code enforcement is not called to their properties.

“This is about ensuring the safety and well-being of our constituents,” Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey, D-3, said.

Metro Council estimates about 38% of Jefferson County properties are rented.

The council members are set to discuss the ordinance further in a Public Works committee set for Tuesday.

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