Kansas City to decide on fees for rental-inspection program

Kansas City voters will decide Tuesday on a ballot issue that proponents say would increase accountability for landlords, but that opponents say will lead to rising rental costs and unwanted residential searches.

Question One on the city’s ballot would charge owners of rental properties an annual registration fee for each unit they own. Funds generated would be used to hire inspectors and address residents’ complaints.

Fees proposed include a $20 landlord permit fee, $20 per unit annually and $150 for any unit that must be re-inspected.

Backers of the proposal say it gives renters a tool to take action against bad landlords, and that conditions in some rental units pose serious health risks to tenants.

But opponents say the fees will lead landlords to raise rents. They also argue the inspections could lead to “warrantless police entry” of apartments that would disproportionately affect people of color in affordable housing.

Opponents also say the proposal doesn’t include details about the cost of implementing the program, which they fear could lead to increases in fees.

Read more: KCUR

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