Kansas City, MO – Kansas City Missouri's city council laid the groundwork for new regulations for rental housing yesterday. The city manager now has 60 days to design a licensing program for landlords, which could involve property inspections. KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross has more.
Neighborhood leaders have been lobbying for years for more rigid regulations on rental properties. They say absentee landlords are not being held accountable for codes violations which contribute to urban blight. But landlords say they'll being unfairly targeted by the program, and home-owners and tenants should also be held responsible for maintaining neighborhoods. The city council voted 12 to 0 to go ahead with plans for a licensing program, which will be funded through fees. The program developed by the city manager will still require the council's approval. About a half dozen cities in the metropolitan area do some kind of licensing of landlords and a similar program is also being considered in Lenexa.