DESCRIPTION OF THE STRATEGY
Prohibiting owners from renting dwellings that have been cited for lead hazards provides a strong incentive for owners to address the hazards. A jurisdiction can issue an order to vacate (or even cite the unit as unfit for human occupancy) and declare those units uninhabitable. Jurisdictions that require rental licenses or certificates of occupancy can revoke them for cited units to achieve the same end. A prohibition of occupancy must be coupled with measures to protect tenants from eviction, offer relocation assistance when absolutely necessary, and safeguard against possible loss of affordable housing due to gentrification.
With the potential loss of rental income, property owners will be motivated to remediate hazards.
Hazards will be removed and fewer children will be poisoned. Rental housing will meet minimum standards, resulting in healthier and safer housing.
More public awareness regarding lead hazards, lead poisoning, and lead poisoning prevention.
Scope of Potential Impact
City - or - County - Wide
|Building or Code Inspection Agency||Housing Agency|
Additional staffing may be needed to process paperwork such as notices and placards, re-inspect units, and, after violations are cured, approve properties for reoccupancy.
Other resource requirements:
Local code must stipulate that a certificate of occupancy is required for all rental property and contingent on compliance with minimum property maintenance standards.
Officials must be realistic about the start-up time needed for initial inspections and certifications.
It is helpful for the local jurisdiction to have funding for grants and low-cost loans available to help owners make repairs. Also, partnerships with community organizations to provide outreach and educational materials for property owners can help landlords come into compliance before inspections, thereby minimizing tenant displacement.
Without funding for grants and loans and in the absence of local community group partnerships to provide education and outreach to property owners, code enforcement officials may issue a great deal of citations initially, which may increase tensions with property owners. Also, whatever database is used to identify rental units must be current in order to reach as many properties as possible.
ICC International Property Code §301.1 and §304.3