To the editor:
The Lawrence rental registration and inspection ordinance, as it is now, is unacceptable. First, it limits the inspections to the small groups of landlords (RS-1 and RS-2; zoning areas will grow in time). Then we, as landlords, are required to register for a license for each unit we own. This is a terrible injustice to the small landlords.
Another thing we will be subject to is taking the time from our busy schedules to let the city inspectors into a tenant home even if the tenant does not want this. This is in violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. If a tenant refuses to allow the inspector in, we may lose our rental license. The city then can force the landlord to put tenants out of their home.
One can only guess what will happen to the rental property owners in the future.
The license fee paid by the property owner will be passed along to the tenant, so their rent will increase.
It seems the city is trying to make the landlords responsible for the actions of the tenants and violating the tenants' Fourth Amendment rights.
I still have not been told how we, as landlords, are going to know if the tenant violates city ordinance and the police are called to our property. Police at this time do not notify landlords of violations at their properties.
Tenants are not told they can refuse entry unless the city inspector has a signed warrant for their home.