Rental Housing Registration In Kansas City

The Kansas City Star ran an article in the Local section of the paper today titled More cities keep eye on landlords. I found that the article clearly presented the issue revolving around rental property licensing that is being proposed in several areas around the Kansas City metropolitan area.

(Although I still find it annoying that every weekend the KC Star insists on running some horrible foreclosure related photo from the west coast in the business section. Note to KC Star, if you cannot find the problem here then don’t take the photo. You keep insinuating the real estate meltdown is here, as well. And you know it.)

Let BBQCapital be very clear where we stand on the issue or rental housing registration and/or licensing;

  • Rental licensing is not acceptable. It is simply a tax and an additional burden to the investment property owner.
  • Registering rental properties and having an individual with sole responsibility is okay here. (No hiding behind a LLC to shirk your responsibilities.)
  • Administrative warrants (used by the City of Lawrence) to inspect rental property without the permission of either tenants or landlord is blatantly absurd…regardless of what the federal court of appeals says.
  • The City of Mission ordinance that allows the city to conduct an inspection of the property when requested by the tenant is a solid compromise.
  • Tenants should treat their rental homes with respect and care.
  • Landlords should treat their tenants with respect and care and maintain their Kansas City area investment property to a clean and safe standard.

Agreeing with Dan Kelly of Landlords, Inc. in Kansas City a city should spend more time worrying about code enforcement. If a rental house is becoming a blight on the neighborhood then code enforcement should act. Having registered owners, actual individuals, will allow the city to go after the owner and not have the owner “hiding” from the violations because the city doesn’t know whom he or she is.

And our last point here will be this: Landlords, it is to your benefit to maintain your properties! You will attract better tenants, collect higher rents and sell for more money. Why is this so hard to get across? If you don’t, if there is mold in the basement or a roof leaking then a tenant should have the right to have the city come in and work on their behalf. It wouldn’t have happened if you had maintained the house, right?

Here in Kansas City landlords can evict a tenant for non-performance (no rent payments or tearing up the house) a lot easier than in other parts of the country. Believe me. The flip side is they should have rights too when the landlord is guilty of non-performance.

In the words of Stuart Smith of Mission (as quoted in the Kansas City Star) “If you can’t afford to keep the property up, you shouldn’t have bought it in the first place.”

2 Comments

Filed under Investment Property, Property Management

2 responses to “Rental Housing Registration In Kansas City

  1. Purpleleaf

    Chris,
    In a perfect world it would be fine for tenants to alert officials if a landlord is supposedly not taking care of a house. But what about the “professional tenants”? I mean those that live their life by deceiving landlords, and see how long they can stay without paying rent. And even go to their eviction hearing, and say that they were not paying rent, because repairs were needed. They can get the judge’s sympathy even if they caused the damage.
    There would have to be some strict regulations, and proof that the tenant was not just trying to get out of paying rent. Kathleen Couch http://www.realestateinvestorgirl.com

  2. Chris Lengquist

    Kathleen – I wondered when someone would hit me with that.

    If they call the city out to point out a problem and the city can’t see it…no problem. In fact, a $25 – $50 fine would seem appropriate, don’t you think?

    This would probably all be done without the landlord even knowing.

    Listen, I don’t think it’s perfect. But it’s coming. I’m going for damage control at this point.

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