Rental Registration (November 2013 update)

[Update Nov 15 – City Council item postponed until Nov 21]
Supporting documents for City Council November 21

Video of City Council Thursday, September 26 (items 11&12, at the bottom)
Supporting documents from City Council Sept 26

Video of the Building and Standards Commission hearing Tuesday, July 30.

The University of Texas Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic did some research and analysis on rental registration programs in other cities, and made recommendations for Austin.
The Facts about Rental Property Registration
An Analysis of Rental Property Registration in Austin

Relevant items in our council-approved neighborhood plan are:

  • Objective Q.3: Promote increased communication between neighbors and the City of Austin’s Code Compliance Department.
    • Recommendation 10 Continue the distribution of the Code Enforcement and Aplicación del Código pamphlets throughout the neighborhood.
    • Recommendation 11 Develop and distribute additional educational materials regarding code enforcement in several Asian languages.
  • Objective Q.4: Guarantee the correct and timely reporting of code violations.
    • Recommendation 12 Provide all residents with information regarding the proper way to report code violations.
  • Objective Q.5: Encourage neighbors to report code violations to the Code Compliance Department.
    • Recommendation 13 Guarantee the anonymity and safety of those neighbors reporting code violations.
    • Recommendation 14 Encourage area neighborhood associations to adopt a “volunteer policing” policy to notify those citizens violating any code regulations.
  • Objective Q.6: Improve property maintenance within the neighborhood.
    • Recommendation 15 Support the idea of monthly “best landscaping” competitions for both residential and commercial properties.
    • Recommendation 16 Sponsor regular recognition of attractive and well-maintained properties.
    • Recommendation 17 Sponsor periodic neighborhood-wide cleanups.
    • Recommendation 18 Report all substandard living conditions to the City’s Code Compliance Department via 311.
    • Recommendation 19 Access various resources that support property maintenance.
  • Objective Q.7: Ensure proper maintenance on absentee landlord-owned properties.
    • Recommendation 20 Encourage greater investment in those properties owned by absentee landlords.
  • Objective Q.9: Preserve housing affordability.
    • Recommendation 21 Encourage coordination between neighborhood stakeholders and Neighborhood Housing and Community Development Department staff to determine the best policies and practices for providing and preserving affordable housing

At the July 13 regular quarterly neighborhood team meeting, we agreed on some commonalities:

  • Oppose tenant registration
  • Support better information systems, for internal use by Code Compliance and other enforcement entities, and for transparency for consumers/investors
  • Support strong penalties/additional requirements for repeat offenders
  • Support inclusion of our area in a pilot so that we can influence development of solution

We were also:

  • Pretty sure on free blanket registration, possibly with a local contact
  • Pretty sure should be all rental (single family to apartment complex)
  • Pretty sure compliance/enforcement should be operated smarter and more effectively (eg systems and will to enforce existing laws)
  • Unsure on inspections
  • Unsure on payment. Sure that assuring health and safety is a responsibility of city government – the program does not have to be supported solely by fees it generates.

About nlct

The North Lamar/Georgian Acres neighborhood is a diverse and connected mixed-use area bounded by 183, North Lamar, Braker, and I-35. The "North Lamar/Georgian Acres contact team" (NLCT) works to achieve our vision of a safe healthy neighborhood for residents, property owners, and businesses.
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