HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Hutchinson Planning Director Ryan Hvitlok is optimistic a new rental inspection program that will be discussed by the housing commission and the city council will help with the rental property issues in the city.
The two sides are meeting Tuesday morning. The major change in the proposal has the city going from a registration permit to a rental licensing system. “Almost every other city, if not every city that we’ve looked at actually, has a license instead of an actual registration,” Hvitlok said. “The benefit of having a license is that it is actually something that could be revoked through enforcement action . . . versus a registration, there’s really not any teeth with that.”
The proposed ordinance requires all rental units in the city to be licensed. Renting an unlicensed unit is a violation of city code and a Class C misdemeanor. Hvitlok says he hopes the licensing method will be an incentive to landlords to keep up their property since they can get a discount on the license. “In order to rent a unit in the city, you will have to be licensed. The inspection piece is an optional thing and it’s incentivized,” Hvitlok said. “But that still does not mean that if the city gets a complaint from a tenant or a landlord that we would have the power to go in and do an inspection.”
Hvitlok says he still sees some tweaking on the proposal, but hopes the city and commission can come together on the new program soon. Tuesday’s meeting begins at 8 a.m. at the Fire Command Training Center on East 4th Avenue.