City Council may take step closer to rental ordinance

Published 4:27 pm Saturday, November 19, 2011

Austin City Council members may be one step closer to implementing a rental housing ordinance after Monday night.

Council members will discuss the ordinance draft at a work session scheduled for after the regular meeting Monday night. The Planning Commission has recommended the approval of the draft.

Although the council has discussed several options for the ordinance and what it will enforce for landlords and rental property managers, council members decided in their last rental ordinance discussion to begin with a simple outline and expand on the ordinance in the future.

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The draft council members will vote on Monday would require landlords to register their properties with the city of Austin. Landlords would need to provide the following information: name, address and phone number of the property owner or rental manager; address of the residential rental property; whether the property owner conducts a criminal background check on each tenant; and whether a written lease exists for the rental property and its units.

A registration fee amount has not been determined. City Council will likely decide on a fee Monday.

In previous meetings, council members have indicated a registration program would, if nothing else, allow the city and the police department to reach landlords and property owners if necessary. Right now, the city does not have a system for keeping track of rental property owners.

The work session will be held in the City Hall conference room immediately following the 5:30 p.m. regular meeting in Council Chambers.