The Rental Unit Certificate of Occupancy program, or RUCO, was a signature accomplishment of the late Claudette Burroughs-White, who died after retiring as council representative for District 2 in 2005. The program makes inspection of all rental properties mandatory...
...Both city officials and tenants advocates at the Greensboro Housing Coalition have lauded the RUCO program as an effective tool for forcing landlords to bring substandard housing up to code. Coalition Executive Director Beth McKee-Huger told YES! Weekly that code violations in Greensboro were down to 768 in May compared with a high of about 1,400 in 2005...
...“The real-estate community would like to see targeted inspections,” said Peter Placentino, vice president of property management for Brown Investment Properties. “Go after those that don’t take care of their property; don’t punish those that do.” Prior to RUCO, rental housing in Greensboro was regulated through a complaint-driven system in which city inspectors waited to hear from tenants, many of whom put up with code violations to avoid running afoul of unscrupulous landlords.
...I serve on the RUCO Board as a representative of District 3,” Placentino said. “I’m also on the board of the Triad Apartment Association. The apartment association is a member of TREBIC.
That association, as well as TREBIC and the Greensboro Landlords Association has been meeting informally to discuss the effect of any RUCO changes.
...“There’s got to be a way that if you keep up your property you shouldn’t be subjected to the same scrutiny as those that don’t,” he said.
...A system reliant on tenants to bring substandard rental properties to the city’s attention would not adequately protect renters from dangerous and substandard conditions, in the view of Lori Loosemore, the city’s supervisor of neighborhood support.
Could some renters who file complaints
be more likely to get larger rent increases when their leases come up?
“In the past, people didn’t know we were here,” she said. “They were scared to call because they were afraid their rent was going to go up if they complained. They were afraid their landlord was going to evict them. We have people from different countries, and some people don’t trust the government. If we go back to the complaint-driven system, it will go back to the way it was, and people will be afraid to call.”
Are renters who file complaints more likely to get evicted?
...A handful of tenants who requested anonymity told YES! Weekly they tolerate violations in their homes for a variety of reasons, including concern that landlords would retaliate by pursuing eviction or that the costs of repairs would be passed along to them in the form of rent hikes...
Could some renters who file complaints
not get good references if looking to move to a different rental?
...In the face of heavy pressure from real estate interests to scrap the certification program altogether, representatives of a tenant advocacy group and neighborhood associations proposed a new system requiring property owners to vouch for the good standing of their rental property...
...the Triad Real Estate and Building Industry Coalition, or TREBIC, the Triad Apartment Association and the Greensboro Landlords Association on one side; and neighborhood and tenant advocacy groups such as the Greensboro Neighborhood Association and the Greensboro Housing Coalition on the other.
...Placentino, who serves on the Rental Unit Certificate Advisory Board, indicated...that his company holds no vested interest in the outcome of the tussle. Brown Investment Properties is a Greensboro real estate company with 2,392 apartment units under its control...
Where are our elected and community leaders
who say they look out for the people they supposedly repesent?
...Robbie Perkins, a Republican member of the non-partisan city council and a real-estate developer who often votes with the more liberal and African-American members of the council, indicated he holds full confidence in [Engineering and Inpsections Director Butch] Simmons’ handling of changes to the city’s rental inspection program. ...Are the changes reasonable? Yes. Are the recommendations being made by someone who knows what they’re doing? Yes. Why should I dispute that?” Asked whether amendments to the rental housing ordinance brought to council for approval by Simmons were likely to garner the required to five-vote majority to pass, Perkins gave a simple answer.
“I would hope so.”
How could Greensboro's City Council justify a vote to borrow and spend
for a swimming pool
and look the other way as their contributors disembowel regulations
meant to help the bottom of the community's income strata?