Local News

Rental property owners must register with city

Posted February 28, 2009 6:50 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:13 p.m. EDT

— 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.

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.