Opinion

City rental program a step in the right direction | Our Corner

The Bremerton City Council did the right thing this past week when it adopted the Residential Property Registration Program.

The program requires landlords to register their rental properties with the city. The registration doesn’t cost landlords anything, but allows the city to easily know who is behind every rental property within the city.

It’s not a matter of Big Brother wanting to know who owns what as much as it is an opportunity for the city to be able to follow up with property owners when incidents happen at one of the rental dwellings within city limits.

Bremerton has had its share of dilapidated rental units. Complaints often include concerns that the houses are unsafe and unsightly in neighborhoods that otherwise are well kept and appealing.

With this registration program in place, city officials can find out who’s responsible for the property, make certain that property laws are followed and that the rentals are safe and sound for those living inside.

Bremerton Housing Authority officials came out in support of the measure because it will improve the availability of quality, affordable rental housing within the city. That’s part of their mission and the city council’s adoption of the program makes that mission all the more achievable.

The program also offers something for landlords.

The ordinance calls for landlords to be notified whenever there is a incident where police or fire units are called out or when otherwise unauthorized activity takes place at a given residence on the rental property list.

With this in place, landlords can keep up with what’s happening at their rentals and whether there are tenants that may need to be sent packing.

City council member Faye Flemister said it well: “All citizens deserve to be in a safe place that is very well kept.”

Part of what government is there to do is to ensure that citizens are safe and that when that safety comes into question, there are measures that can be taken to see that corrections are made.

With the Residential Property Registration program in place, Bremerton renters and landlords win. And the big winner is the city of Bremerton, which is improving its image and its safety. That’s something that we can all get behind.

 

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