Kansas City mulling fee-based inspections to find dangerous rental homes

In an effort to guard against health hazards in rental homes, Kansas City’s Health Department wants to mandate regular inspections of rental properties — funded by fees on landlords.

The city is working on a draft ordinance that could put the question before voters in November. The ordinance proposes a fee starting at $90 for a single-family home that would be good for three years.

Proposals for inspection programs percolating in Kansas City and elsewhere are spurring heavy debate.

Opponents say the government is going too far and would be levying fees on good landlords in the pursuit of dangerous properties that cities have other ways to catch. Landlords also see potential constitutional violations of tenants’ rights against unreasonable search and seizure.

This spring in the Missouri legislature, a bill that would prohibit cities from any periodic interior inspections of rental property without the tenant’s consent, failed to make it through the session.

Landlords expect to see the bill revived next year.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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