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Potential changes concern landlords

By Staff | Jun 25, 2010

The city of Estherville is in the process of setting a minimum standard for rental properties.

Charged with setting those standards is the Rental Housing Committee, which consists of city officials, councilmen and property owners.

On Thursday, the committee met with renters and other property owners including area Realtors. The council chambers was packed.

Most of those attending were concerned these new standards will create additional costs, forcing them to raise rental rates beyond what the renters can afford.

One component of the proposed rental property ordinance that drew the most response was inspections by a certified home inspector.

Many owners cited the cost of paying an inspector and the subsequent possible repairs as cost prohibitive.

“It doesn’t gain the city anything and it doesn’t gain the landowners anything,” said Mike Clarken. He also said rental properties already face inspections by insurance companies and the new ordinance would be “redundant.”

Nancy Petersen was concerned the city is “putting rules on rental properties that the city doesn’t have on home owners.”

City administrator Penny Clayton said a checklist of what the inspector would review should be ready by the next meeting that is scheduled at 4 p.m., Thursday, July 28.