Rental Registration and Inspection Ordinance Update

At the last City Council Meeting (March 7th, 2016), the New Albany City Council unanimously passed a rental registration program on its first and second readings.  The City Council is set to vote on final approval of the rental registration program this Thursday, March 17, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.  The ordinance will require landlords to register any properties within the city limits that will be rented to tenants.  

New Albany is now over 200 years old, and the city needs to be proactive in its approach to protecting the housing stock. By passing this ordinance, we have taken a huge step forward for the city of New Albany. The passage of a rental registration program will allow our building commissioner and his team to address issues that may arise in a timely manner and immediately contact the owner to remedy the situation. 

However, at the March 7th Council Meeting, the council voted to remove the inspection portion of this ordinance. The inspection component of the ordinance would have aided in setting minimum housing standards to improve safety for residents, and protect the character and stability of the City's homes and neighborhoods. The pictures below help illustrate some of the issues that inspection can help address.

According to the 2010 census, there are nearly 7,000 rental housing units in New Albany that serve approximately 44% of the city population. With such high rental demand, situations can occur where a portion of the city population becomes vulnerable as they are forced into sub-standard housing, by necessity. The city acknowledges that most of the landlords in our community are very responsible, but we all must agree that some do not maintain their rental property to code and are unresponsive to tenant concerns. The inspection portion of the rental registration ordinance would help expedite these issues, and help protect some of our most vulnerable members of our community.


"Rental Housing Ordinance a Must for New Albany" - Mayor Gahan


Working with my staff and other city council members, New Albany City Councilman Greg Phipps will introduce G-15-05, Ordinance Adopting Chapter 160: Rental Housing Code at the regularly scheduled Council meeting on Monday, March 7, 2016.  The purpose of the ordinance is to provide for the registration and inspection of rental residential property within the city.

The Rental Housing ordinance will help facilitate in the prevention of deterioration of residential housing, assist in compliance of minimum rental housing standards to improve safety for residents, protect the character and stability of residential neighborhoods, and preserve and increase property values throughout the City.  This ordinance continues my administration’s focus on Quality of Place initiatives regarding the business of residency, while focusing on four main goals:


1.    Increased Safety for tenants and surrounding properties
2.    Improved Cleanliness
3.    Historic Preservation  
4.    Increased property values


By improving and maintaining our housing stock, in addition to quality of life initiatives like strong schools and parks, our entire community becomes a more attractive place for private investment of money, time, energy, and enthusiasm.

The ordinance has two major components which will assist in accomplishing the goals outlined.  

1.    Registration of any property in the city which will be rented to tenants
The registration process will require the owner to obtain a rental permit for each property and supply current contact information of the owner to the City.  This will allow the appropriate city officials to immediately contact a rental housing owner of any potential violations or issues with the property should they arise.  The registration will facilitate the timeliness and ability of the City to work with owners to address or fix any issues that may exist.  

2.    Inspection of rental housing properties  
All rental housing properties may be subject to an annual inspection or inspection based upon a complaint as permitted by ordinance and state statute.  

The Rental Housing Ordinance will immediately be of benefit to the community, residents, tenants, and rental property owners.  

We are committed to improving the residential experience for those who have long ago decided to make New Albany their home, as well as those people who are determined to find a great new place to live and grow.