The rental inspection and registration ordinance helps ensure that all rental properties in Omaha are safe and meet basic housing and maintenance standards.
A significant portion of residential rental properties within the city are not being properly maintained as required under this Code. Residential rental properties, particularly those in older neighborhoods, comprise a disproportionate number of property maintenance cases for the code enforcement section of the planning department. Repeat offenders also comprise a disproportionate number of the cases. Code violations occur in disproportionate numbers in older buildings. Recent cases involving severe violations and resulting vacation orders have illuminated these problems.
Residential rental properties pose unique problems for the enforcement of property maintenance rules. Contributing to these problems are: the transitory nature and inexperience of the tenants; tenant reluctance or fear to complain about housing conditions; lack of attention by non-occupying owners; and difficulties in identifying, and holding accountable, owners or local representatives of owners; and the disproportionate concentration of low income housing in areas identified by the city’s most recent Fair Housing Assessment report.
There is an increasing need to properly identify and contact owners and local representatives of owners of residential rental properties in violation of the code. Enrollment of a rental property in the registration program will help the city establish the location of rental properties and rental dwellings, and develop rental inventory information for future planning purposes. This will help the city to gauge fluctuations in the number of rental dwellings over time, and the quality and distribution of affordable rental housing in the city, which will help plan for its growth or reduction, and to manage situations like the foreclosure crisis.
There is also an increasing need for the regular inspection of all residential rental properties, phased in accordance with their history of code violations.
Code violations and deteriorating conditions of residential rental properties are harmful to the health and welfare of the city and its citizens, particularly the occupants of such properties. Such violations and conditions negatively impact the appearance, health, safety, and property tax base of the city.