Metro Council approves rental registry ordinance for rental properties in Metro Louisville

September 22, 2016

Louisville – By a vote of 17 to 4, the Louisville Metro Council on Thursday approved an ordinance which will create a rental registry of all rental properties in Metro Louisville. The goal of the ordinance is to be proactive in improving quality of life issues in Metro Louisville.

“Passage of a rental registry gives this community transparency, accountability and responsibility of rental property.  Every person who rents should have the ability to rent quality housing.  Knowing how to get in touch with the landlord will help in gaining faster compliance on violations of any Metro Code of Ordinances.” said Councilwoman Marianne Butler (D-15) the primary sponsor of the ordinance.

Joining Butler as sponsors of the ordinance are Council Members Rick Blackwell (D-12), Vicki Aubrey Welch (D-13), Cheri Bryant Hamilton (D-5), Bill Hollander (D-9), Barbara Shanklin (D-2), Mary C. Woolridge (D-3) and David James (D-6).

The online free registry will take a landlord five minutes or less to register. It is small amount of time for such a large investment.

The registry will be monitored by the staff of Develop Louisville

“This simple and free registry will make a huge difference in contacting property owners when there are issues with their rental properties,” said Blackwell. “Quicker notifications for property owners means issues with rental properties are resolved more quickly, greatly improving the ability of constituents to enjoy their neighborhoods.”

If a rental property is not registered and a violation issued, the rental property owner will have a ten - day grace period to avoid any penalties and register the property.

"This will be a wonderful tool for code enforcement to quickly determine owners of rental properties. Therefore, property maintenance issues are resolved more quickly. The results increase property values and improve neighborhoods," said Welch.

“We have a lot to do to make sure all of our neighbors in Louisville have safe and decent places to live.  This ordinance provides another tool in the toolbox for code enforcement officers trying to make sure that people don’t have to live in substandard housing and neighbors don’t have to live next to it,” said Hollander.

“In all these years of dealing with this problem, it has always been difficult to find out who can take care of these problems,” said Shanklin. “This registry is one way to begin changing this problem.”

The need for the ordinance was prompted after concerns raised by code enforcement inspectors citing the difficulty in finding a person who was responsibility for the problem properties. Currently, some listings have only a Post Office Box number or LLC as contacts in the event of a violation.

According to the 2013 State of Metropolitan Housing Report:

Thirty Six (36%) per cent of Louisvillians live in residential rental housing units

Of the more than 303,988 residential units, about 115,000 are residential rental units
Jefferson County’s renter-occupied housing percentage (36%) is higher that Kentucky (32%) and the Entire US (34%)

“If you own a home and the rental property next to your home is a mess, you should know who to call to clean up the mess,” says Woolridge. “This registry will address that problem by finding the people who should make sure their rental property is kept up to all of Louisville Metro Codes.”

 “As a rental property owner myself, I find this a very proactive move to let enforcement officers get in contact with me should there be an issue,” says Council President David Yates (D-25). “This is a prudent way to improve all of our neighborhoods.”

The legislation calls for Metro IT to create the portal for the registry by December 1, 2016. All rental property owners will have until March 1st, 2017 to comply with the registry.

 With final passage, the measure moves on to Mayor Greg Fisher for his signature.