Fort Madison is moving ahead with the development of an inspection program for rental properties.
The city council has approved the first reading of an ordinance that would amend the housing code to allow for the inspections. The program was identified as a priority during a recent city goal-setting session.
It would require every owner of a rental property to register their units with the city by November 1, 2012. There would be a $25 fee for the 1st unit and $5 for each additional unit.
The inspections would be done once every three years. Property owners would receive prior notice of the inspections by city staff.
Mayor Brad Randolph says the idea is to make sure renters are living in safe conditions. He says public safety is the top priority for the city.
When violations are found, the property owners would have a pre-determined amount of time to address them. More serious life safety hazards would have a shorter deadline if the tenant is in danger.
The inspections would likely be handled by Planning and Zoning Director Doug Krogmeier or by Fire Chief Joey Herren.
No one spoke out against the proposal during the city council’s last meeting. The panel must still approve the measure two more times.