October 23, 2014


Rental inspection gives members of Elyria Council perspective

Raymond Langdon, center, and Terry Sobotka, deputy housing inspectors for Elyria, show Councilmen Mark Jessie, left, Marcus Madison and Tom Callahan code violations in the basement of a rental on Furnace Street. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Raymond Langdon, center, and Terry Sobotka, deputy housing inspectors for Elyria, show Councilmen Mark Jessie, left, Marcus Madison and Tom Callahan code violations in the basement of a rental on Furnace Street. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — The space between the floor and the ceiling at Christina Hoffman’s rental home left barely enough room for them to stand up straight.

Elyria City Councilmen Mark Jessie, D-3rd Ward, Marcus Madison, D-5th Ward, and Tom Callahan, D-at large, crouched beneath the wooden beams and trained their eyes on the spots Deputy Housing Inspector Ray Landon pointed out with a flashlight beam.

“Oh, wow,” Callahan said as he gingerly stepped through the basement. “How long has this been this way?”

Langdon was noting several things. The lower floor’s weak and rotting support beams, the shoddy repair job Langdon called ‘nothing but a Band-Aid fix that wouldn’t last long,’ and the standing water beneath the hot water tank that was rusting the base.

“If you can really get back here — watch your head — you can see the duct work back here is sagging so the gas can’t release from the house properly,” he said. “I would call that a major health and safety issue.”

With some 7,000 rental units in Elyria — that’s the best estimate available and is several years old — Hoffman’s home is not the worst inspectors have ever seen, but the case is unique, because Hoffman, despite the fear of eviction, is pushing the city to help. She believes that, had her home been inspected before she moved in back in December 2013, the problems she is having now would have been found.

“I knew there were some things wrong when I moved in, but I expected them fixed within a couple of months,” she said. “I didn’t know the severity of some of the issues. I thought they were all superficial, like needing new carpet. I wasn’t expecting standing water in the basement and mice.”

Langdon was in the Furnace Street home Friday conducting a follow-up inspection after Hoffman, the mother of two teenage daughters, complained to the city’s Building Department that her home had numerous health and safety violations, most of which were unaddressed by her landlord.

Julia Melvin of Piqua is the listed homeowner. The city sent Melvin a notice of violation on April 15 detailing the conditions of the home. It was tracked through certified mail as delivered on April 24.

The councilmen came to observe the inspection because city officials are contemplating starting a fee-based registration and inspection program for rental properties. Even with weeks of discussion, the 11 members of Council have not been able to reach a consensus on what the city should do. Three members of Council decided they needed to see what some of their tenants see before making up their minds.

A meeting set for 6 p.m. Monday will continue the conversation.

There are three options.

The first is to continue the current program, which is to inspect when a compliant it made. The second involves having all property owners register their rental homes with the city and the city conduct exterior inspections from the right-of-way.

The third option, which Mayor Holly Brinda said is the best approach for improving the city’s housing stock, includes exterior and interior inspections every three years and a fee ranging between $20 and $100 per unit per year depending on the number of units. Fees for non-compliance would be added to the tax duplicate and increase as time out of compliance grows.

Council President Mike Lotko, D-at large, said Hoffman’s story shows that the current program is working. When she complained, the city’s Building Department appropriately stepped in, he said.

The number of complaints the city has had is much less than the number of rental units. According to Kevin Brubaker, senior manager of the Building Department, the city has handled 503 valid complaints from tenant-occupied homes since April 2012. Fewer than 10 percent went to the level of prosecution, something Brubaker attributes to inspectors.

Jessie said he wasn’t surprised by what he saw in Hoffman’s home.

He is the only Councilman pushing for Council to approve the program that includes registration, exterior and interior inspections.

Tenants like Hoffman, who pay $600 a month to live in a home riddled with problems, are the force to him, he said.

“My first impression when I walked through the doors and saw the flowers on her dining room table was this is a woman who wants a home,” he said. “She was identified through our current system, and it seems to now be working for her. But my main concern is, how many people are out there that we don’t know about? With a compliant-driven system, you just don’t know.”

Callahan said this is the first time he can remember Council so divided on one issue.

“Right now, we don’t have a majority consensus to pass anything,” he said.

Madison said he thinks Council will eventually come up with legislation that works.

“It’s not that we don’t want to do something, but the issue is how can we roll something out that is beneficial to everyone — protect our tenants and respect our property owners?” he said.

Holly Huff, head of the Furnace Cascade Neighborhood Block Watch, said she has wanted a program beyond complaint-driven for more than six years.

She knows there are more homes in disrepair that are falling through the cracks.

“I have four other tenants, but I can’t get them to speak up and say, ‘We will report our landlord,’ ” Huff said. “This is actually the better of what I have seen in this neighborhood.”

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

  • Peter Aldrich

    Here we go….liberals trying to “take care” of us. No thank you. We don’t need more government!!

    • Melissa Merrill Snyder

      In this case, yes, we do. Head to Lakewood, look at units there available for rent. Vast difference than what’s available in Elyria. If people would police themselves and be ethical landlords, we wouldn’t have to worry about it. Hopefully, after a few years the issue will become less of an issue.

      • Phil Blank

        Lakewood is a very old city wre the rich that worked in Clevelad once lived, the old money, of course the homes were huge and the best around, thry could afford it.

        • Melissa Merrill Snyder

          I own 2 smallish condos in a 10 floor building. It’s hardly for the ‘rich’.

        • stop ur whining part deux

          No different than the old money that built the house along middle ave and the neighboring streets.

          The difference, the landlords in lakewood take care of their property. The city forces them to.

          • Sis Delish

            Are you really saying the Renter’s who could give a rat’s behind about the upkeep of the house they rent are completely absolved of any resultant deficiencies or damage? Wow.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            Do you have any idea on how the renter / leaser arrangement works? If you did you would realizze that is not what i am saying at all.

            It is my property. I am in charge of its upkeep. Any wear and tear is my responsibility.

            Any damage that is caused by the tenant is recouped when they move out in the form of their security deposit. Any damages that exceed that you take them to small claims court.

            We are not talking about damages tenants cause. We are speaking about normal upkeep that should be done that has not been getting done.

            Again, there is nothing wrong with my houses and i welcome an inspection. Any smart owner would.

          • Sis Delish

            You do realize many Rentor’s cannot read Lease documents, right?

          • stop ur whining part deux

            That is an opinionated generalization that does not garner a worthy retort.

            Perhaps if you have had this issue then you need to better examine whom you are renting too.

            Do you even own rental properties?

          • 2111

            There is nothing wrong with my houses either, I have no desire or need for an inspection, paid for or free. What kind of fool would want a city official messing around in their business? We have already moved one business out of Elyria in part because of city harassment, if this passes it will help with the decision to sell all property in Elyria. We pay over $6,800 in taxes on just two properties in Elyria and it’s time for that to stop.

          • stop ur whining part deux


            I have zero issue with it. Once every three years checking for the large issues that can only help.

            I welcome it.

          • Pablo Jones

            Her proposal is for every year. Is your house going to have major code violations within a year, if it is already up to code? Will you be able to sue the city if they miss a code violation and your house burns down? All you would be getting is a false sense of security, that you pay for. And those 2 run down houses will still be run down.

  • stillsleepyeyes

    OK , i know there is rentals out there that need some good ole repair from the slumlords……………………but don’t people look at these places before they rent them?

    • Simon Jester

      Caveat Emptor is dead.

    • John Boy

      I agree the slum properties in Elyria (rental and owner occupied) need to be fixed, but it would be interesting to know how much if any this house has changed since she has been the renter.

      • Barbara Radke

        Do you really think that water leaking from a hot water tank, and rotten beams in the basement is something she did? Get real.

        • John Boy

          Since you don’t seem to understand what I was trying to say. I will be blunt so there can be no confusion on your part. What was the condition of the house when she rented it. I doubt the rotten beams happened in 1 year. Why did she rent this property that was in such poor condition? If I’m a renter and I see a house in poor condition I think I could add 1+1 and it would equal that the landlord doesn’t take care of the property. I have no sympathy for slum landlords, but the renter also need to use their head for more than a hat-rack.

          • stillsleepyeyes


  • GreatRedeemer

    Why not just let everyone know what the fee is and send a check. Inspections from the right of way. Perfect, wont even have to get out of the truck.

  • Razorback Twou

    Why even try? A recent visitor had this option of Elyria ” the whole city looks like its on crack”. Nice, huh Mayor?

    • Barbara Radke

      So a visitor viewed our whole city? Every neighborhood, every street, every block of Elyria was toured and the whole city looks like it’s on crack? Where the heck does this visitor live? I just can’t imagine anywhere in the US, any neighborhood that doesn’t have at least one house or one area of town that isn’t up to someones expectations. Weird, just weird. What else did this visitor do other than drive up and down every street doing the block by block inspections?

  • Brian_Reinhardt

    You have to wonder about the author’s motivation here.

    Firstly, the title is misleading. It should have read “Council inspects one of the worst rental properties in Elyria”

    The author also should have asked what other remedies tenants have and then provided that information to the public.

    Tenants: I believe after requesting your landlord repair something once verbally then in writing, you may have your rent payment placed in escrow at city hall until your landlord makes repairs. Also, if you choose this remedy, it will be very difficult (as if it’s not already in Elyria) to be evicted as any magistrate will have access to your information and actions. You have rights, exercise them.

    Landlords: Get off your cans NOW before it’s too late. Call your councilperson and demand the current practices be kept in place. Once that genie is let out of the bottle it will be impossible to put it back in…and for cryin out loud, either make necessary repairs to your rental units or evict the tenants that cause the damage in the first place(in most cases).

    • SniperFire

      This ain’t journalism. This is advocating.

  • Jonny Liberal

    Everyone against cleaning the city up, you are ignorant and, quite frankly, dumb. Just like razorback said, the city looks like it is on crack, but really its on heroin because you ignorant 1 percent dont think that people should have to pay to have a nice city. Elyria is second worst city in the state, only to your neighbors just west, Lorain. Peter, at the municipal level, it is not really liberal vs conservative, it is about getting the right thing done, okay. Sleepy eyes, what if your family was promised repairs just before the coldest winter in the last 3 decades, then didnt even get a furnace, That is complete BS, I really don’t see how all of the people in elyria can’t compromise and clean up the city. It really has a lot of potential, but there is no money, none, nada, and everyone wants to let it keep slipping. Elyria is Ohio’s equivalent to detroit.

    • John Boy

      How many rental properties do you own? I don’t own any now, but have in the past. The judges and magistrates in Lorain County will let someone not paying rent stay in a property owned by someone else for months after they stop paying rent. Sounds crazy, but it is true, I had to evict someone for non-payment and it wasn’t an easy process. Also a lot of renters cause damage to the property. I installed a new screen door and it was broken by the tenant the same day, not to mention having unauthorized animals, ruined carpet, damage to plumbing systems among many other things damaged by tenants.
      I think the slum landlords need to be taken care of, but I think the slum renters need to also be held accountable for their actions, but it doesn’t happen this way in Lorain County. If a landlord repairs a property and it is damaged by a tenant they should be charged and held liable for the damage.

      • Steven

        I am a landlord and have had the same process. Laws protect the renter, at the expense of the landlord. Landlords have pretty much no rights. It’s absurd. When I talked with a police officer about it I was told you have to go through the court process. I said “they don’t have access to the break panel… guess it’ll suck if the breakers trip”. The officer actually said “we can arrest you if you don’t provide them power”. REALLY? How about arrest them if they steal my property? Don’t help me pay the taxes that pay your job??

        The inmates are in control of the assylum.

        • Brian_Reinhardt

          You are absolutely correct.

          The Lake Erie Landlord Association as a group needs to get together and levy for laws that are directed at property owners like grass cutting and trash pickup be charged against the TENANT when it is outlined in a lease that they’re responsible for that instead of the landlord.

          There also needs to be a process in which it’s easier for a landlord to SLAM a tenant for damages repeatedly done to their property. The system only protects the tenant and everyone, and I mean EVERYONE thinks “landlord = deep pockets” and in many cases, it’s not true.

      • Melissa Merrill Snyder

        I totally agree. I had to evict a tenant last fall. In Lakewood, it was easy. She was out in 30 days. She didn’t fight it but I think she was going to until she saw the stack of documentation I had against her.

        • Lisa

          Document….Document…Document!! I write letters to my landlord about “other tenant’s” either neglecting their property, displaying “unfavorable behavior”, etc… My landlords are VERY GOOD and they own MANY properties. They give people a chance, (sometimes many) when they can’t make their rent. I lost my job in 2010 and they worked with me till I got on my feet.

    • Peter Aldrich


    • stillsleepyeyes

      i wouldn’t move my family in something that needed repaired,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    • Mark B

      This has to start with the city its self , Look how Elyria Fixes Pot Holes , They shovel in some hot mix Tap it down with a shovel and call it fixed . This is not the proper way , it wastes Time And Money. WHY cant they use a Roller and make a more permanent repair. Why Because every thing Elyria is done to the bare minimum. On just one street in Elyria , West River Rd between lake ave and 57 there are 14 temporary patches in the road where the city had to dig holes in the roadway, same thing toss in some hot mix and drive a truck wheel over it , does this not make the city look like H3LL also , much less cause the roads to crumble at a accelerated rate ? Loot at all of the street signs in Elyria with weeds that are never trimmed when they city mows the grass , what does that tell visitors and those who are stuck in Hellyria. The city can never improve till the lazy people on the city dole are forced to do things properly . It all starts at home, and with the unions in place this is never going to happen ! .

      • Lisa

        Saw a city worker cutting “DIRT” yesterday at Ridgelawn Cemetery… He was literally sitting on the riding lawn mower for at least a half hour… Mind you, he’s collection overtime!!!

  • Melissa Merrill Snyder

    I own rental property in Lakewood. When we bought it, we KNEW it would have to be inspected and a certificate of occupancy OK had to be issued before we could rent it. I felt good about it because I KNEW the other owners who rented their units in the same building were in compliance therefore keeping the building safe and I knew that my units were up to code…something I wanted to know before renting. The only people who I could see against something like this would be the unethical landlords out to make an easy buck.

    • Mark B

      I guess one positive thing this is going to do is cause the landlords to raise the rental prices so high that some of the riffraff wont be able to afford to live in Hellyria anymore

    • Pablo Jones

      Do you really think a city inspector who is inspecting thousands of units will actually do a thorough job inspecting a rental to insure that it is safe and up to code? They will check a few items, glance around to see if anything glaring is in view and that is it. To say you KNOW the unit is in compliance is just a false belief. The only one out to make a quick buck is the city who is looking to skim hundreds of dollars every year for each of the thousand or so rentals around the city.

      What do you think the city will do to landlords that need to make a few hundred dollars of improvements? Will they force them to make the improvements or just let them slide with a warning? For the more serious violations, make $20,000 in repairs on your $30,000 house that will still be worth $20k afterwards. What do you think the city will do? Tell them not to rent? The owner will just abandon the building. Then you will have drug dealers moving into the house and strip it.

      Bottom line don’t put false hope into the government to solve this issue.

  • Sis Delish

    More of Elyria’s Housing stock is converting from Owner Occupied to Rental.

    Many of these homes are in excellent condition when they are made available to folks who just don’t have the resources to buy them outright. So, they rent.

    The comparable decline in the condition from a home previously taken meticulously care by an Owner/Occupier is a bigger story than the “slum” inventories most are thinking of.

    If a landlord is to recoup the cost of the decline, the rents must be at a premium. Any discounting of the Rental Rate allows occupants into a rental who really have no means for maintaining the property at a level the owner would have. The decline spiral begins and who is then to blame?

    I say the folks who are occupying the property who fail to keep the maintenance called for in their Lease docs are to blame, not the folks who provided the opportunity for a comfortable living arrangement, only to be disappointed when they find out how much trust was broken.

  • Phil Blank

    I just saw the photo on the main page.
    That is an old house and that is what basements were like back then.
    Are they going to want them to spend a fortune yo raze up the house at the cost of several $THOUSANDS?
    They didn’t bother to dig down 12 or more feet for the material under the concrete floor, or leaving much room under the celing were the plumbing, electric and ductwork went, if they had those at all.

    They were not concerned with finished bssements back then cause hardly anyone went down there.

    I guess these people and the so called inspector has never been in a really old house before?

    You know, I always wondered what the basement looked like in the Moore House in Lorain, yes, the Black River Historical Society house in Lorain.
    Lets all take a look at that one for comparison.

  • Mark B

    Will this not include Westway Gardens and Wilkes Villa ? That Should keep the inspectors busy all by themselves. But my guess is that those type of places will be exempt

  • stop ur whining part deux

    AS the owner of three properties I have zero issue with Mayor Brinda’s proposal. It protects me, the owner. it ensures that my rentals will always be in good condition. You will never catch me not taking care of them anyway, but at least now the house on the left, right and across from mine will be held to the same standard.

    • Pablo Jones

      That is only if they are being rented. If they aren’t in compliance do you think they will be fixed up? If the fix is expensive do you think they will fix it? What you will have is either an abandoned house, or an “undocumented rental” that will bring in people at lower rent to keep their mouths shut. How will that affect your rental’s value? All the while you will be paying several hundred dollars a year to have your rentals inspected that have nothing wrong with them.

      • stop ur whining part deux

        I would never let my rentals fall into such disrepair. AS for the ones that exist currently. Knock them down. If you were ignorant enough to let your rental fall into such disrepair you deserve to have it taken down. Brinda’s suggestion would actually stop that problem.

        AS for occupancy. When you keep your rentals in good condition you can always rent it. It is when landlords let their properties go that the type of tenant they attract goes down.

        If there is a fix too expensive you should not have gotten into the business to start with.

        • Pablo Jones

          Well just because you don’t let your rentals fall apart, doesn’t mean others don’t. As far as knocking them down do you realize how hard it actually is to knock down a house? In Elyria you can easily find hundreds of homes that should be knocked down, yet only a handful have been.

          The problem with your belief in this law is that every landlord is an upstanding citizen that will follow the law. Unfortunately that isn’t the case. Just because you have a law that rentals have to be registered and inspected doesn’t mean they all will. (It isn’t a rental, I’m just helping a friend of a friend out.) Those that won’t make the code will just avoid the process. So what you will have is good landlords who keep up their rentals paying for inspections every year that lead to minor repairs. But those that really need the inspections and repairs are passed over.

          I don’t disagree with you, that if you have a nice rental it will be easy to rent out. But you have people that buy a house for $20,000 and rent it out for $600 a month, they make their money after a few years they don’t care what happens after that. This law will do nothing to stop them.

          It is like car insurance. You have a nice car take care of it and have good car insurance. You pay more for your insurance to have high coverage amounts for col. and comp. But since you are a safe driver you really don’t need it. But those that are bad drivers have junker cars they get the bare minimum insurance (or none at all). They are the ones that need the most but they are the ones that get the least, or opt out.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            That is the beauty of behind her idea! It forces landlords to not allow their rentals to fall into disrepair! It forces the owner of the $20,000 house to make it safe and in good condition and i assure you that there is not a house available for 20k that is going to rent for 600. That does not happen.

            The rest is just your opinion that the law wont be enforced. Listen to yourself. You are saying “I do not want this bc it will not be enforced”

          • Pablo Jones

            Please tell me how it will force an owner of a crappy house to fix it up? If they don’t they just won’t be put on the approved list of rentals? The city even admitted they don’t even know how many rentals there are. Do you honestly think people won’t rent their houses if they aren’t on the list?

          • stop ur whining part deux

            This idea of Brinda forces you to take care of your property. No different than if it was your own home. It needs to be safe and up to code, livable and good in appearance.

            If it is not, you are fined. If you can not bring the house up to code you sell or default. No different than in your own home. If default, once owned by the bank it is then sold to a new owner either way the new purchaser knows exactly what needs to be put into the house in order for it to rent.

            This is a very easy straight forward process. It has worked like this for a long time.

            As for the city not knowing how many rental properties they have, that is not a hard answer to get. It is just sifting thru paper work.

          • Pablo Jones

            Again I don’t disagree a home should be up to code and safe. But there is nothing that I have read so far about this proposal that will change anything.

            You can’t be fined for code violations in your house unless you let them come in and inspect. Which means those that have crappy homes have the incentive to not register. Which means nothing gets fixed.

            The city can’t force you to sell or default, they will just continue to rent until the city comes and condemns the house and boards it up, which they won’t be able to condemn unless they inspect the house. And let’s be honest we know there are hundreds of homes that you can easily see that are not up to code, yet the city has done nothing about it. The program is just a way to collect money with nothing but good intentions to show for it. Why would you want to pay money to have someone tell you rental is fine every year, especially when it won’t even be a thorough inspection. Wouldn’t you rather spend the money on someone you know will inspect everything correctly?

            The banks don’t want to deal with these homes so they will either sit empty and get stripped (which doesn’t help the value of your inspected home next door) or they will sell to someone else who will do the same thing.

            Now you will say well someone responsible could come in and fix it up. But let’s be honest, this is Elyria no one will buy a $15,000 house to do $30,000 worth of improvements if it will only raise the value of the house to $20,000.

            Please don’t misunderstand me I not a slum lord and I don’t have any rentals. I just don’t see how this will work. You believe the good intentions will prevail. That just isn’t realistic.

          • 2111

            So you seem to have a clear idea of how things work. There is already an established process in place to rectify such situations. Why add another layer of fees and oversight to the process?

          • stop ur whining part deux

            Because there are landlords not living up to their end.

          • Pablo Jones

            And there still will be after this.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            but they will be fewer and far between.

          • Pablo Jones

            Why? They will just be undocumented.

          • Pablo Jones

            The house in the story above has a rent of $600 and that house was last purchased for $15,000 in 2009.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            and how much money was put into the house since it was purchased by the landlord?

          • Pablo Jones

            With the list of problems they mentioned in the article and the pictures not much has been put into it.

          • stop ur whining part deux

            And Brinda’s new law would end these situations! It would force an owner to pass inspections in order to continue renting. It fixes this problem.

            AS for this instance, there are plenty of dumb people, and plenty stuck between a rock and a hard place that are left with little options.

            That is why the renter is afforded more protection when disputing with a landlord. The reason being that it is up to the owner to provide an proper living space.

            Listen to yourself. You are advocating against something that will fix all the problems you address.

            If you do not own any rental property you have nothing to contribute to this discussion as you have no expertise in that arena.

            Gotta go put in a water heater, as a responsible landlord would and should do.

            Have a good one.

          • 2111

            What a ridiculous concept, to think that no one could have the ability to contribute to a discussion or have a grasp of their meaning simply because they don’t participate in the activity. I’m not in public schools yet I know how the money they get is spent. I’m not disabled yet I know the ADA and how it affects business. I don’t earn minimum wage yet I know how it affects business.

          • Pablo Jones

            Again you have not shown how this law would solve the problems. This law will do nothing if the rental units don’t register with the city. The city has around 7,000, but they don’t know and their last study is several years old. If an owner is told he can’t rent, all they have to do is wait a month or two and then rent because the city will move on to the next issue.

            Here are the problems. How will this proposal solve them?

            1. What in this will stop an owner from not registering and still renting out their home?

            2. If a rental isn’t registered, it won’t be inspected. How will it improve the living condition for those renting in it?

            3. If a house gets condemned it sits empty, gets stripped, and may get set on fire. How does the proposal stop this from happening?

            4. Land lords that take care of their property pay yearly for an inspection that will just be a formality and may not actually capture significant problems. 7,000 rentals, do you think they will do much more than a walk through?

            FYI just because I don’t own a rental doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m talking about. My family owned several. I’ve painted, replaced fixtures, sockets, filters, sinks, cabinets, plumbing, water heaters, toilets, clean drains, sewer tiles, rebuilt porches, put in gas and water lines, mowed lawns, hedges, re-roofed a garage, cleaned out trash left behind, etc. etc. etc. What have you done?

          • stop ur whining part deux

            I have done all of the above and just finished a water heater. It sucked.

            Keep in mind that Brinda’s plan is just that, and not a law. I am not saying on its complete and thourough. I am merely saying that it is a good idea. All the info that is required is a matter of public record.

            1) all single inhabited homes that have landlords not file when caught face a severe fine for not abiding by the law.

            2) Make all rentals have the certificate of inspection on display in the home next to the license. If a tenant has an issue and there is no inspection they call the city and and inspector comes out. Then see #1.

            3) If a house sits vacant it is up to the owner to make it functional. If they cannot they sell it or default. Once it changes hands it is repaired, or knocked down and the land sold.

            4) Brinda is calling for every 3 years for starters. So split the 7000 in 3. THat is a shade under 2500 per year. As for it being a formality, you can not hate an idea because you do not think it will be enforced.

          • Pablo Jones

            1. But they weren’t renting out the house they were just letting a friend of a friend stay there who is helping to fix up the house. There are lots of ways of getting around fines.

            2. The owner tells the renter the house isn’t registered because if he registers the house he would have to raise the rent. So they don’t call.

            3. Why does an owner have to make the house “functional” if they aren’t renting it. Unless the house is condemned there isn’t much the city can do. Example: all the run down houses in the city. What makes you think a run down house will be sold, or that someone will buy it? Take a look around Elyria, there are plenty of run down homes for sale. No one is buying them. There are even nice homes for sale that people aren’t buying. Will someone buy a home and spent $10,000 to tear it down? Will someone want to buy the land and build a new home in a crappy neighborhood? Again, if you have issues with those 2 homes, offer to buy them and fix them up. If you won’t do it what makes you think someone else will?

            4. Your house gets inspected every 3 years but you pay every year for it. 2500 inspections a year is less than an hour per inspection. Even if you add a couple new inspectors once you factor in paper work, time to arrange inspections, paper work, court apprentices, etc. they will still be less than an hour. A new home inspection can take several hours and it still doesn’t capture everything.

            You can not like an idea for not thinking it will work. There are plenty of examples of the city saying one thing and not following through. They raise taxes for police and fire to keep from cutting their numbers. After the money comes in they still cut their numbers or close stations. The increase license fee to fix the roads, the roads don’t get fixed. Schools pass a levy they then close schools and cut programs. Design and review was meant to beautify the down town area and it drove businesses away and now we have less buildings. I will be against raising fees and taxes until the city shows they can management their own money and actually follow through on the laws that are currently on the books.

        • 2111

          Not a chance this proposal will have any effect to stop a problem. It will only add more money to the city and burden to home owners. When repairs are currently needed the city has no involvement with what or how they get done and yet they get done. How simple is that?

          • stop ur whining part deux

            This would absolutely effect the problem. It forces landlords to maintain their rentals or be forced out.

            The problem is that the repairs are NOT GETTING DONE and this article exposes that. You do them, I do them, a large group of others do not.

          • Pablo Jones

            7,000 rentals, only 500 complaints, and only 50 went to court. It sounds like the majority are being done.

            What information do you have that this is a wide spread problem?

          • stop ur whining part deux

            Please indicate where i used the words “wide spread”. I never once have debated how many complaints, or their severity.

            What about all the ones that do not get reported?

          • Pablo Jones

            You said,
            “You do them, I do them, a large group of others do not.”
            What is your definition of a large group? 5, 10, 15, 20, 30%?

            10% or less (1 in 10) I would not consider a large group. 20% or more would be considered a large group and if nearly 1 in 5 or more are slum lords I would consider that wide spread.

            But again only 50 out of 7,000 complaints have gone to court (which we can assume would be the ones that didn’t make improvements) and we don’t even know if they were found guilty in court. That is 0.7% of all rentals that the city knows of. Hardly a large group.

            Yet you want a law to force the 99.3% of landlords that have had no issue with current law to pay extra fees each year as well as having to take time out of their day to schedule inspections that will not even be thorough inspections. All because your have 2 houses near you that you think haven’t been kept up.

            Don’t you think the city has other issues to worry about like crime, employment, roads, etc.?

    • 2111

      As an owner of rental units in Elyria I take great exception
      to this overreach. I have no need or desire to have the city protect me. What
      kind of weak minded person needs the city to compel them to do the right thing
      let alone want interference from them on how to conduct business?

      • stop ur whining part deux

        Call it what you want, if that is over reach, so be it. But this only helps the owner, tenant and the city. It ensures that those that do not take care of their properties are held accountable. Two properties next to mine are not cared for. That brings down the whole neighborhood. This will help property values long term.

        I commend you on properly maintaining your homes and I agree that something like this can be a nuisance. However it is not uncommon for the rotten few to ruin it for the good many.

        • Pablo Jones

          How would this proposal solve your problem if the homes are abandoned? What if those homes, while they may look trashy and run down are actually up to code?

          You seem to go back and forth on this issue. Above it is a few bad apples that are ruining it for everyone. In another comment it is most aren’t taking care of their properties.

          Here is a novel idea, how about you buy those 2 properties and fix them up and rent them yourself.