Springfield Votes To Repeal Mandatory Inspection & Registry For Rental Units
Voters in Springfield went to the polls yesterday and repealed a rental registry ordinance adopted by the Springfield select board. The ordinance would have required landlords to register all rental properties and pass a fire and safety inspection every five years.
A group led by local landlords objected to the mandatory inspections and petitioned to have the ordinance recalled. They said the inspections would force even conscientious landlords to make costly repairs -- costs that would be passed on to tenants.
Opponents called the ordinance unnecessary. They said state law already authorizes the Vermont Division of Fire Safety to inspect rental properties.
Springfield Selectboard chairman Kristi Morris voted for the ordinance. He says the inspections only happen when property changes hands or the owner applies for a building permit.
“There’s rental units that the land lords may be from out of town, or just looking at receiving an income and do not keep their buildings up to the standards of some of the other buildings around town. And those are the ones we’re kind of targeting as far as making sure that all our rental units met the same safety codes,” says Morris
Voters opted to repeal the ordinance, three hundred seventy six to three hundred thirty nine.
Morris says some landlords favor creating a rental registry to help firefighters locate tenants and provide other useful information in a fire. He doesn’t think mandatory inspections will be bought up again any time soon.