Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 @ 1:41 PM
By: Cornelius Frolik - Staff Writer
— A new city of Dayton program seeks to reduce substandard rental housing and combat slumlords by promoting living spaces that pass voluntary inspections.
Dayton’s Preferred Property Program will give a “stamp of approval” to rentals that meet certain requirements, including having no housing violations and passing a safety assessment and structural inspection.
Property owners or managers also will be required to complete a property management training course and register their housing with the Montgomery County rental registry.
Program participants will get a free listing on the city’s website (daytonohio.gov) and will receive assistance with marketing their apartments and rental homes, officials said.
The city has programs in place to punish neglectful or irresponsible landlords, but this new initiative will reward good stewardship, said Michelle Zaremeba, the coordinator of the Dayton Mediation Center.
“It’s a chance for tenants to see that the city actually has vetted these properties,” she said.
Dayton Commissioner Matt Joseph pushed to create the new program after receiving complaints from residents about rental housing in their neighborhoods.
City staff met with members of the Greater Dayton Apartment Association and the Greater Dayton Real Estate Investment Association to devise ways to improve the quality of rental product.
The preferred program, which is for properties with four or fewer units, will provide a stamp of approval to housing that passes an external housing inspection and safety assessment by the fire department, said Zaremba.
Property managers and owners also will have to fill out a preferred property application and attend property management training.
Properties in the program will be published on the city’s website, including on an interactive map, to show potential tenants and housing seekers that they have met certain standards, officials said.
The stamp of approval will be a “preferred property seal” that people can post on their properties or on their websites or promotional materials, officials said.
“Hopefully, this will attract tenants to rent properties from the preferred property members and this will eventually reduce the inventory of poorly managed properties,” Zaremba said.
The city has limited resources and can only do so much to punish bad landlords and property managers, and it is time to introduce a carrot to encourage good management, said Commisioner Joseph.
“I have high hopes for this,” he said. “After we get going, I hope this really makes a dent in what has been a persistent problem with sub-quality rental properties.”