Local News

Raleigh Considering New Landlord Laws

Posted September 2, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— When you rent a house or apartment you expect certain basics like working bathrooms, a roof that doesn't leak, and heat in the winter. In Raleigh, part of that is missing.

The city has never before required landlords to provide heat, but that's about to change.

Many renters in low cost housing use electric or gas stoves for heat. Raleigh did not have a law requiring landlords to provide heat until Tuesday.

"If the landlord cannot reach an agreement with the tenant where that tenant provides the heat," Raleigh City Councilman Paul Coble says, "that landlord cannot rent that building without putting heat in it."

Some council members said they found the proposal weak, and their differences of opinion led to a heated debate.

"It's designed to protect the profits of the landlords who do not currently provide one of the most basic human needs," says Councilwoman Julie Shea Graw."

Coble believes the proposal is a liberal response. Graw says it's a humane response. In the end, the tougher version failed.

For landlord M.H. Green, the new law will help protect the renters while leaving an option to keep rent down. Green believes providing the heat is more cost effective.

'If I don't put it in there, they're gonna overload the electrical current," says Green. "They're gonna bring kerosene space heaters in here, and all that's stuff's hazardous and it costs money."

andKerrie Hudzinski