Warren Mayor Proposes “Get Tough” Policy For Landlords, Including Jail Time

Warren Mayor James Fouts is proposing a “get tough” policy for owners of residential rental properties in the city. “

Too many of our city landlords are penalized with community service time or a small court fine for violating our rental inspection ordinance,” says Warren Mayor James Fouts.  “This change means they could face jail time.” the Mayor added.

The proposal, to be considered for adoption at the February 12 city council meeting, includes a provision that makes it a misdemeanor offense to rent out a residential property without a license, make a false statement on a rental application, hinder a city rental inspector in his/her job duties, or to fail to maintain a rental property in a clean and sanitary condition.

Mayor Jim Fouts added that over 7,000 rental homes are located in City of Warren. “I encourage home ownership, but more houses are being purchased in older neighborhoods for rental purposes,” stated the Mayor.

The Mayor of Warren also added that the existing rental inspection ordinance requires a thorough inside and outside inspection every two years by trained City of Warren Inspectors.  Other provisions of the proposed policy include:

  • The owner designates a “responsible” local agent who must an individual who resides within a 50-mile radius of the city.
  • The name and address of the owner. No post office boxes shall be accepted as a legal address.
  • The names and addresses of all owners of the rental dwelling.
  • The name, local address, and telephone number of the responsible local agent. No post office boxes shall be accepted.
  • The number of rental dwelling units in each rental dwelling and the address of the rental dwelling.
  • The authorization appointing a responsible local agent signed by both the owner and the responsible local agent.
  • Proof that no fees or debts are owed to the city.

Warren Mayor James Fouts also stated that the City of Warren Rental Inspectors will follow the International Property Maintenance Code with “thorough and no leniency inspections.”

Last year, the Warren City Council added rented condominiums to the City’s Renal Inspection Ordinance.