Councilman Bill Henry says a majority of people in Baltimore live in unbearable living conditions and what is worst some landlords have taken advantage of low-income families and threatened to kick them out if they let city code inspectors in to look at their buildings. On Monday at a Baltimore's City Council meeting Henry proposed a bill that would expand landlord requirements in the city.
Right now only multi-family homes require mandatory licensing and inspection of all residential rental properties in the city. However, for one and two families homes requirements in building codes apply, but there is no inspection requirement. So if someone doesn't want to let the city into the house there's no requirement to let them in. This as prompted many complaints from neighbors, not landlords or tenants.
"When you're living in a house that is next to a house that has code problems, said, Councilman Henry getting water damage or pests from the house next door, right now there's very little we can do to help those constituents. This will require that all those houses be inspected for those kinds of problems."
The hope is to have the bill passed quickly so the city can spend the rest of the year letting landlords know what they need to get done. If approved the bill would go into effect the first of next year.