- Post by Brooke Chandler
UPDATE: Thursday, January 19 :
NOMAR Senior Vice President Kelli Walker attended the New Orleans Council Meeting on January 18 and read the testimony below.
To see Kelli speak, please click on the link below and jump to 1:38:00.
On Thursday, December 15, the New Orleans Council introduced a Rental Registry and Inspection Program ordinance. This ordinance authorizes Code Enforcement or its designee to register and inspect ALL rental properties in New Orleans except for short term rentals, those owned by educational or medical institutions, or government/housing authority property. Read the ordinance here.
If you own, manage, or reside in rental property in New Orleans, you will be affected.
The intent of this ordinance is to ensure all rental properties in New Orleans meet a minimum level of health and safety standards. NOMAR is currently working with various Councilmembers to find a reasonable solution to the problem of blighted or slum rental property, but we need you to speak out on the real impact this ordinance will have on housing in New Orleans.
Questions we have regarding the ordinance:
- Why are there exclusions? If the intent is to protect the health and safety of renters, shouldn’t ALL rentals, including short term rentals, be subject to the same inspections?
- Why are we creating a new set of standards? If this passes, long-term rentals will have one set of standards to meet for occupancy, short-term rentals will have a different one, owner-occupied property will have another standard, and Section 8 housing will have yet another standard to meet. Shouldn’t all properties be forced to meet the same even set of guidelines, such as the City’s own Minimum Property Maintenance Code?
- Tenant concerns: What happens if a tenant denies entry to an inspector over privacy concerns? What happens if an inspector comes across something that may not be legal (marijuana, for instance) but is outside his/her scope during the course of an interior inspection? What happens to a tenant in a property found non-compliant who may then be forced to relocate?
- Is the City exploring alternate solutions, such as empowering Code Enforcement to follow through on complaints and violations on ALL properties?
- Will this program be run by Code Enforcement using City inspectors or will it be run by NMA Inspections out of California, a firm that was chosen following last year’s RFP process?
While NOMAR continues to work with the Council and other stakeholders to find the appropriate solution to this problem, we encourage you to speak up and provide feedback on this ordinance. Please make every effort to attend tomorrow’s committee meeting, or call/email the council with your comments.