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Rental property owners must register with city

Posted February 28, 2009
Updated March 9, 2009

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— Starting Sunday residential rental property owners in Raleigh will have two months to get registered with the city and pay a fee.

The Rental Registration program will create a database of the location and ownership of the city’s rental properties.

residential rental property owners story 2/28/09 Rental owners need to register, pay fee

Owners will pay $30 for the first or only rental dwelling. The fee for additional units on the same parcel of land is $10. The city expects to take in as much as $750,000 a year from the rental registration fee.

Mayor Charles Meeker voted for the new requirement, which he says will help the city be able to promote better management at rental properties.

“In several dozen cases, we’ve had the problem of some incident at the rental property but the owner not hearing about it through the written notice, because the city doesn’t know who the managing agent is or where the owner is,” Meeker said. “This is something that really benefits everybody.”

Those who do not register with the city could face fines as high as $2,000 a month.

Councilman Philip Isley said the program is, in his opinion, a way to make revenue.

“We have had party ordinances on the books for many, many years. They work. I just don’t feel like this is an industry that needs to be overly regulated,” Isley said.

Meeker said it isn’t about revenue. “The registration is a small amount,” he said.

Isley said though the fee goes directly to property owners, in some case, renters could be the ones who pay. Some landlords told WRAL News they agree with passing the cost along to the renters.

“It is a tenant tax that will be passed along to tenants in residential units,” Isley said.

The idea of paying more makes renter Chris Ketchie uneasy.

“I’ve been living here for two years, and my rent hasn’t changed. I mean, I’m a graduate student. I have kind of a limited budget,” Ketchie said.

City leaders said that half of Raleigh’s 385,000 residents are renters.

Applications will be available online and at the City of Raleigh Inspections Department, at One Exchange Plaza on Fayetteville Street. Forms can also be obtained by calling 919-807-5110.

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  • cynthial Mar 3, 2009

    More about PROP...
    Now Mayor Meeker and the City Council have voted to make landlords throughout the city responsible for the behavior of their tenants. If you think that is reasonble or even possible, think about the last time you tried to get your sister to quit dating a no-good boyfriend or brother to stop smoking.

    Let me clear that I am a landlord of two houses. I am picky and screeen tenants through a national service. I will not rent to anyone with any criminal record. What more can I do to control whether or not my tenants amy become criminals? I am held legally and financially responsible by the city for their actions. It's even worse than that, because if neighbors decide they just don't like the tenants, they can file complaints. Claim there was noise or wait until the day before they mow and say the grass is too high and did they pull the garbage can back in fast enough. There is a huge possibility of federal Fair Housing violations in driving ethnic groups out.

  • cynthial Mar 3, 2009

    Landlord registration is not "revenue neutral" in and of itself as Mr. Meeker claims. He expects about $750,000 to be collected, and yet the job of processing payments during 60 days in the calendar and searching databases for non-compliance is a part-time job. Mr. Meeker states that about half of Raleigh's 385,000 are renters. Estimating abouit three people per dwelling gives abouit 58,000 addresses, most of which will be in apartment complexes. It's like paying a million dollars for a government toilet seat. However, the money is actually needed to fund another program the City Council passed a couple of years ago - PROP. Probational Rental Occupancy Permit started as a way for homeowners living around NC State to control (and maybe drive out)the obnoxious student renters who were having uncontrollable parties of thousands with loud music, public urination and parking wherever they wished. Like many government programs that start for one reason, they often continue for another.

  • carlostheass Mar 2, 2009

    "The county register of deeds has a database that anyone can get to that will tell you who owns the property. Just input an address and out comes the name."

    Yeah, but how does THAT raise revenue? C'mon they need more MONEY because they just don't have enough of your dollars! It's painful! Help them out!

  • Tommylee Mar 2, 2009

    TAX,TAX,TAX,TAX,TAX,TAX,TAX,TAX,TAX,tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax tax

  • SaveEnergyMan Mar 2, 2009

    "we’ve had the problem of some incident at the rental property but the owner not hearing about it through the written notice, because the city doesn’t know who the managing agent is or where the owner is,” - Meeker

    The county register of deeds has a database that anyone can get to that will tell you who owns the property. Just input an address and out comes the name.

  • momof2 Mar 2, 2009

    "because the city doesn’t know who the managing agent is or where the owner is,” Meeker said

    If this is true, then why are apartment communities that have on-site management also being required to register and pay the "rental tax"? Can't find the rental office? I'm a property manager and I can tell you that the Raleigh Fire department has been able to find me at 2:00 in the morning when the alarm has gone off and they needed me to cut it off. This is just an excuse to raise more money for the city Mr. Mayor. Kudos to Mr. Isley for being the only member of the Council to speak the truth and call it what it is--a rental tax!

  • dnice20ecu Mar 2, 2009

    Okay everyone.. Bend over and grab your ankles!

  • doubletap357 Mar 2, 2009

    It's not the ammount but he fact that the government feels it can tax at will. The government just has to have their fingers in everyones pie.

  • ConcernedNCC Mar 2, 2009

    “I’ve been living here for two years, and my rent hasn’t changed. I mean, I’m a graduate student. I have kind of a limited budget,” Ketchie said.



    If he can't afford the extra $2.50 a month while his rent has stayed the same, he might want to rethink his situation.

  • geezerman Mar 2, 2009

    Unfettered taxation continues....anything and everything!