DESCRIPTION OF THE STRATEGY
Communities can improve local housing conditions and advance lead poisoning prevention and healthy homes by publicizing “problem landlords” in local media. Publicly drawing attention to repeat violators works to hold property owners accountable, facilitate prosecution of offenders, and deter future offenders. Simultaneously, this strategy increases awareness of the dangers of code violations, builds public and political support for code enforcement, and creates a common cause through which citizens and elected officials can work together.
Owners of substandard housing may be embarrassed by public exposure. Such publicity may serve as deterrence to other landlords, reinforcing the need for improved maintenance. Code inspectors may be empowered and political will increased for stronger enforcement.
As pressure mounts for owners to fix up their properties and repair lead hazards, occupants’ risk of exposure to lead will be reduced. Code violations that can lead to other health and housing problems (e.g. mold, rodents, and cockroaches) may be addressed as landlords seek to restore their reputation and public image. In the meantime, potential tenants will avoid these properties and protect their children from risk of exposure.
Landlords who have not taken code enforcement seriously may be convinced to be more vigilant in addressing problems and performing preventive maintenance. Current tenants in those dwellings may receive assistance not forthcoming prior to the public release of code violation information. Potential tenants will be warned away from properties owned by persons and entities with an established record for code violations including lead-based paint hazards.
Scope of Potential Impact
City - or - County - Wide
Code or Building Inspection Agency
This strategy can be implemented using existing staff.
Other resource requirements:
Accurate code violation data, updated on a regular basis, is a key resource.
No special institutional capacity will be required to implement this strategy.
No added costs will be required for this strategy.
This strategy can be implemented at any time and should be easy to sustain.
High. This strategy should be relatively easy to implement.
Some local real estate groups or rental property owners’ associations will attempt to discourage elected officials from publishing information that exposes problem landlords.