From Patrick McGrady, Harford Property Owners Association:
Harford County Council Bill No. 12-02 was introduced on Tuesday, January 10, 2011 at the Council meeting.
Please read the bill at the link here so you know what we are up against. http://harfordproperty.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/Bill-12-02001.pdf
Here are some highlights from the Bill:
Section 162-5: Rental Registration. A. Property owner may not rent a dwelling unit or a portion of a dwelling unit unless the property owner has been issued a registration as provided for in the Chapter.
Section 162-12. Powers and Duties of Code Officials. Section I. Rule-making Authority. The Director of the Department shall have power as may be necessary in the interest of public safety, health, and general welfare, to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to interpret provisions of the Code to further its intent.
Section 162-13. Inspections by Code Officials. Section A. Justification. An inspection is triggered by a complaing, referral, required inspection or as part of an overall departmental strategy in particular neighborhoods (“target neighborhoods”). If violations are observed, a violation notice is prepared and the owner as a stated period of time to correct the violations. After the stated period of time has elapsed, the property will be reinspected.
Section 162-13. Section C. Failure to cure violation within the time required by abatement order. If the owner fails to correct the violation within the timeframe set by the abatement order, the order shall permit the department to enter the property, make the repairs and charge the owner for said repairs.
Section 162-14. Condemnation; unsafe structures and equipment; vacation. Section A. 1. When a structure or part of it is found by the Code Official to be unsafe or unfit for human occupancy or use, the Code Official may condemn the structure or part of it and may order the structure or part of it to be placarded and vacated pursuant to the provisions of this code.
Section 162-16. Violations and penalties. Section B. Civil Penalty. A person who rents a dwelling or portion of a dwelling unit without a registration is subject to a civil penalty of $1000. C. A penalty ordered under this code is in addition to, and is not a substitute for any other penalty authorized by federal, state, and local law. D. Each day of a violation constitutes a separate offense.
We need to read this bill to know what’s inside it. Your help is needed to stop this bad bill from being passed by the County Council.
This bill has been introduced in the Council, so the next step is the Public Hearing to be held on February 14, 2012 at 7PM in Bel Air.
P.S. Remember to forward this email to a friend or business contact so we can defend our property rights against a new RENTAL REGISTRATION program that is being proposed by the County Council.
Equal Opportunity says
I love how Pat McGrady is for a hotel tax but against a landlord registration system that would stop landlords from poisoning their tennants. Of course it would be different if his parents were in the hotel business and not the landlord business. Defending slum lords on the basis of liberty.
Patrick McGrady says
1. I have never supported the hotel tax. We need to restrain our government, not try and find more money.
2. I know some landlords of low quality. I would put my business up against any in the County. We don’t take a nickel of government money, and we maintain high standards of quality.
I don’t mind taking these hits from anonymous posters. It’s all about freedom, and they don’t get it.
MD long time resident says
Your comments show your naivete and lack of information about the liv. code. Three issues w/n the new code:
l. The code gives un-paralelled authority, and final say on any issues w/n the code, w/t recourse by the owners to the housing authority, to the tune of $1000.00/day in fines.
2, It allows the housing authority staff/inspectors to drive by a home w/n a “targeted development” and address any issues that the housing authority deems a problem.(with or w/t documented complaints) Does this create an area that either is blighted or will be blighted?
3. By targeting specific areas, the bill causes discrimination against landlords/prop. managers that it does not address w/ homeowner occupied bldgs. IE. if the property is a rental and has falling shingles the housing authority can cite the owner, but not if the house is owner occupied.
One more comment, if the bill is passed, all rents w/n the county will go up due to the numerous fees and costs that new “registration fee” will impose. The “It’s only $20.00 is baloney, all of the new tests, and fees that the tests will cause will raise the rents, by at least the costs of the the registration, testing fees, ie. lead paint tests, radon tests, copper pipes and don’t forget the mold tests, et al. This bill is not a good and or positive thing for either tenants or landlords.
Before you make any more comments about what the bill contains, read it.
Pissed with the Government says
How about stop allowing to government to impede on my rights with crooked legislation, I think that it is easy enough to put a slum lord out of business by not renting from them.
If you’re poor you might not have a choice where to live. Unfortunately, some landlords know that renters have no money to fight them for repairs, and no money to leave. First and last month’s rent is difficult for some people.
Pissed with the Government says
You always have a choice of where to live, the current code favors the renter over the landlord as it is.
If necessary repairs aren’t made you can put your rent into escrow till it is. You can get evicted for doing this. Do you know how hard it is to evict someone anyway.
frankly speaking says
@Pissed….Its not hard to evict a renter when a landlord shows just cause and the landlord can protect his interest by way of security deposits, credit checks and rental references from the renter. There are also no fees for inspecting a unit and the state already has lead abatement certification that all landlords must certify prior to renting (at least the honest landlords comply with this requirement). I think the law actually is not as burdensome or hard to comply as Montgomery County. if you rent a property, it should be subject to some type of fire safety, livability standards and be safe from preventable danger such as lacking heat, having running water and windows that open and close. Having all landlords abide by the law with fines will make sure that these slumlords are actually held accountable and protect lower income people that can’t just move because they can’t afford anything else. Some rents might go up, that is probably true but the market can absorb the extra registration fee of $20.00 which works to less than $2.00 per month. As it stands right now unsuspecting tenants have no way of knowing if a property meets minimum standards. The fact that homeowners don’t have to abide by this rental law is because they are the OWNERS and as long as owners are not affecting the life, health or safety of others around them, they are free to do as they wish. Landlors however are in the business of making money and as such need to bear the cost of providing decent, safe and sanitary environment that complies with federal, state and local regulations. If you don’t want to be a landlord, you are free to sell your interest and purchase in another jurisdiction that will allow you to rent your unsafe, unsanitary and less than decent quarters as you wish. Blighted areas are considered only when most of the units in a specific area are not taking care of in which a spefic body such as a condominium regime has not maintained it to livability standards. I believe that the county should publish a list of areas considered “blighted” and have that information available to renters, investors and the general public.
Toby Sanchez says
Frankly Speaking, Lets look at your comments,
Yes, landlords can evict tenants. The process may take up to 3 months if the tenant pays at the last minute. Failure to pay rent is the name of the process, as you know. The tenant may pay up to the day of the scheduled eviction afndtss
Yes, the landlord has options to do complete credit checks, rent backgrounds and even sec. deposits. Folks lose their jobs, get sick, have kids, allow friends or guests to visit, and many other issues that impact tenants ability to pay the agreed to rent.
frankly speaking says
@Tony0-The Livability Code does nothing to lengthen the eviction process, as there contract and eviction law in place even if the code isn’t changed. How does the new livability code affect eviction times? It doesn’t.
New to Aberdeen says
Why does this livability code only apply to landlords, have you seen some of the homes in Harford County that are owner occupied. You’ve got to be kidding. If you’re going to make changes to a bill make sure you include everything. The blight has to stop and Harford County Zoning is doing little or nothing about the problems.
@New to Aberdeen
Did you not look around before you bought or rented a place to live? You could have picked a better location to your standards. But because you don’t like your neighbors upkeep of their homes doesn’t mean we need government intrusion and regulation.
I suggest you find a nice planned community with well written HOA rules and move there.
Pissed with the Government says
Why do you hate personal freedom, on what other people do on there own property?
If you don’t like what I do on my property buy it from me otherwise leave me alone.