Charlestown, Ind. City Council approves rental property inspection ordinance
Monday night, despite opposition from several residents, the Charlestown City Council approved an inspection program for at-risk residential rental properties.
CHARLESTOWN, Ind. (WDRB) -- Charlestown will soon do home inspections of certain rental properties throughout the city, but one group is fighting against it.
The new ordinance covers all of Charlestown, but those living in the Pleasant Ridge subdivision say they're the target.
Monday night, despite opposition from several residents, the Charlestown City Council approved (4-1) an inspection program for at-risk residential rental properties.
Those are classified as homes that are at least 65 years old, originally built without footers or foundations, or that have asbestos or other hazardous materials.
Landlords would have to pay $20 to register their property. The city says it will give them a 21-day notice before the free yearly inspection.
"We're not looking in people's medicine cabinets or their closets, we're looking for plumbing, electrical, structural problems," Charlestown City Attorney Michael Gillenwater said.
Landlords would have 30 days to fix violations and could be fined up to $1,500 for each one for not complying. There's also a $25 fee for every re-inspection.
Cassey Palomino says it holds landlords accountable.
"I think they should make them keep it up to code. My landlord, personally, I have no problems with him whatsoever," Palomino said.
Others living in the Pleasant Ridge subdivision, like Melissa Crawford, say the ordinance targets their homes.
"I think the mayor basically wants our property, it's prime property," Crawford said.
She says since the city wants to re-develop their land, it's just another way to force everyone out.
"We lived here because the house payment was low, and the thought of having to start all over at my age is very scary," said Crawford.
"Do I think there's a legitimate concern out there? Yes. I would encourage people to come and talk to us instead of listening to those that are promoting this as the doom and gloom in Charlestown," Mayor Bob Hall said.
The new inspection ordinance takes effect June 1.
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