Council Approves First Steps Toward Rental Inspection Program

A Rental Housing Inspection Program, planned to start in 2012, has been adopted by the City Council. The program is meant to encourage safe rental housing and stable residential neighborhoods.

Implementation of the program would follow an 18-month public process to establish specific details and fees. The information will be reported back to the Council before the program begins.

The new program would address illegal housing units (such as unpermitted conversions of single-family houses and their outbuildings) and basic safety or hazard issues for rental housing. These regulations would include minimum standards from the 1997 Uniform Housing Code for floor area, structural components, sanitation, heating, ventilation, electrical components, emergency escape, occupancy, infestation of insects or vermin, and smoke detectors.

Mountlake Terrace has approximately 3,600 rental-housing units or about 41% of the community’s total housing inventory. The majority of rental units have been legally built and maintained but problems have occurred with others.

Discussion has occurred over the years about having a rental housing inspection program in Mountlake Terrace to address illegal rental housing that negatively affects neighborhoods and those with unsafe or hazardous conditions.

[image courtesy quinn.anya]

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