Every landlord dreads having to rent to problem tenants. However, when they display criminal tendencies, it causes problems for the local officials, as well as the owner and the rental property managers. For this reason, the city of Austin, Texas is currently considering a law that would require landlords to register with the city so that the authorities know who to contact if there is an issue with a property or a tenant. The proposed requirement, which has already drawn both supporters and opponents, could mean significant changes for both property owners and rental property management companies in the Austin area.
According to the city’s Planning and Zoning Administration, the proposal would create a database of area landlords in case there was damage to the property, such as a broken furnace in winter, or a complaint about a tenant that may require litigation. Landlords would be required to register every three years. But as innocuous as this may seem, the regulation barely passed with a majority at the city council’s December 2014 meeting. The proposal seemed particularly offensive to three of the council’s members, who called the act an invasion of privacy.
Currently, one of the major complaints against the proposal is that it put undue strain on landlords who do not live in the area but own property in the city. For example, a landlord who lives in the area will likely know contractors and maintenance workers who can fix a broken furnace, while one who does not will have more difficulty contacting and hiring someone to make the repairs. In these situations, landlords would likely benefit from hiring rental property management companies, which typically offer a variety of property management services, including hiring local contractors, organizing repairs and maintenance work, helping with the property’s taxes and more.
The database will be put to an official vote on December 15. Currently, it is unclear if the proposal will pass. What do you think about Austin’s planned regulation? Is there a similar initiative in your area? Tell us about it in the comments below. Read more articles like this.