Local News

Raleigh City Council Targets Rundown Rental Properties

Posted September 8, 2004 7:54 a.m. EDT

— A controversial proposed city ordinance that targets landlords was debated before a packed Raleigh City Council on Tuesday evening.

Angry Raleigh residents packed Tuesday's council meeting, asking city leaders to consider a proposal that would create stiffer penalties for landlords who violate city code.

"This is our neighborhood. We need your help," resident Sheryl Roberts said before the council.

Cars parked on lawns or blocks, and grass that is not mowed could lead to higher fines for landlords. Repeat offenders would have to pay higher fines and be forced to buy a permit for two years at $500 a year.

"I don't like seeing junkyards in my neighbor's yard either, but there are places down the road that just don't have that much space. They have to park their car in the yard," renter Taylor Wood said.

Because the move could have big repercussions for the rental business, the city council put off the vote.

Landlords believe the city is confusing the issue.

"I think the safety of the tenants should be more of a priority -- not the grass or cars on blocks," landlord Sam Bellezza said.

Residents are hoping a show of numbers will persuade city leaders to pass the ordinance.

Many people believe the city does not need to pass another ordinance. They say the city should do a better job of enforcing the current codes.

The council is expected to take up the issue again on Sept. 21.