LAKELAND | A registration and inspection program would put rental homes on the code enforcement department’s radar and give the city another tool for maintaining the quality of neighborhoods to the level residents expect.
“We are responding, or trying to respond, to pleas from our neighborhoods to improve conditions, improve accountability of landlords and hopefully by extension the conditions will attract better tenants, higher rents for those landlords, et cetera,” said Brian Rewis, Neighborhood Services manager who oversees the city’s code enforcement program. “It only takes one or two really bad rentals — just one property can wreak havoc on a whole street or neighborhood.”
An early proposal recommends the city collect an annual fee from landlords and start periodic inspections of the city’s rental inventory, which is estimated at larger than 12,000 units. Inspecting a property once every four years was suggested by city staff, though some commissioners were concerned it was not often enough.