Rental Property Ordinance In The Works For Austin

September 27, 2017 07:33 PM

(ABC 6 NEWS) - Landlords provide housing for thousands of people in Austin, but their homes are not all held to the same standards.

Right now the city has basic guidelines for inspections but some say it's not nearly enough.


“I live in it myself. that's always the standard I always use," said Austin landlord Brandon Lawhead.

There are about 2,500 rental housing units in Austin. And now, the city is crafting an ordinance that would help govern them.

“This would be a step up from the property maintenance code, having this rental housing ordinance,” said Austin city engineer Steven Lang.

“We want to make sure that we're keeping our current housing stock up to code, up to standards that we're not falling behind. It would help also the police and fire departments, making sure that some of those minimum code compliance things are being taken care of on the property.

This would involve  hiring additional staff to do a number of inspections over the course of the year."

“I think any time there's inspections that's a good thing from the standpoint that tenants have a safe, nice home to live in," Lawhead said.

And with 2,500 units citywide, the inspections might happen on a rotating basis.

"We likely would not get through all of the units on a yearly basis with one staff person." city engineer Steven Lang explained.

“My concern with the inspections and having this process as part of it is from the law standpoint there are already laws in place that homes have to be habitable,” Lawhead told us. “So tenants already have that remedy available to them right now, and so is this one more hurdle that a landlord is going to be dealing with."

The proposed rental housing ordinance could still be several months from being finalized. 


Dan Conradt

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