The City Wants to Start Registering Rent Houses By No Later Than February 1, 2010

It's been a couple of months since last we heard of the city council's plan that would require rent-house owners to register with the city for a fee, but it's still very much alive and well at Dallas City Hall and moving forward with a briefing to the entire council this Wednesday. And, if all goes according to plan, the council will vote on the new ordinance at its December 9 meeting; it would then go into effect two months later, with Code Compliance in charge of the ordinance's enforcement.

Best I can tell, tenants will be popped if they let the outside of the house go to seed; owners will be cited for "structural violations," or if they've failed to properly register the property. But there will be some modifications to the original proposal, chief among them: The city likely won't require rent-house owners to attend so-called "Safe Complex Symposiums" (originally, those who skipped the annual meeting were going to be fined $600), and, after meeting with stakeholders, the city's considering offering "provisions to promote good operators by granting free registration in subsequent years for operators with no confirmed violations." Question is: Does Dave Neumann still think the proposed ordinance is a "$2 million tax on a business element" and "an overreach of government"? Guess we'll find out Wednesday.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky