Friday, January 11, 2013

"DRAFT" Proposed Rental Ordinance



Sec. 1-100

       - Scope
 This ordinance shall apply to all habitable rental housing units located within the City of Louisville, Mississippi, including single family homes and multifamily units. The intent of this code is to establish base standards for rental housing in Louisville so as to prevent or correct deterioration, slum-like and blighted conditions and protect the health, safety and welfare of the community.

Sec. 1-102

       - Exemptions
 The Louisville Housing Authority is exempt from this ordinance due to there own regulations that are enforced on their rental property by the Louisville Housing Authority Board of Director.

Sec. 1-102

       - Designation of administer
 The Director of the Code Enforcement Department for the City of Louisville is hereby designated as the administrator of this article and may delegate duties of this code to the building inspectors, code enforcement officers and other employees of the Code Enforcement Department or other employees of the City of Louisville.

Sec. 1-103

       - Registration required
 It shall be unlawful for any person and/or entity to maintain or operate any rental housing unit or units within the City of Louisville unless such person or entity has registered the property prior to January 15 of each year or within thirty (30) days of transfer of ownership.



Sec. 1-104

       - Failure to Register
 A late penalty fee will be assessed in the amount of ten dollars ($10.00) per unit multiplied by the number of months the registration is past due. A penalty of three hundred fifty ($350.00) will be assessed for failure to register a dwelling unit.

Sec. 1-105

       - Annual registration application
 (a) Annual registration. Application for an annual rental
housing registration shall be filed with and issued by
the department of Code of Enforcement, located at City Hall, 200 S. Church Ave. The application shall be in writing, signed by the property owner, agent or designee and shall include the following.
     (1) The name and address of the applicant;
     (2) Proof of ownership must be provided if the
         information provided differs from Winston County
     (3) The location and parcel number of the property on
         which the rental housing unit is located;
     (4) For new construction, a complete site plan of the
         complex showing it is in conformity with the
         requirements included within this rental housing
     (5) For new construction, plans and specifications of
         all buildings, improvements and facilities to be
         constructed within rental housing complex or on
         the same property as the rental housing unit;
     (6) Such other information as may be requested by the
         Department Code of Enforcement to enable it to
         determine if the proposed rental housing unit or
         complex will comply with all codes and ordinances
         adopted by the City of Louisville.
     (7) If the Owner does not reside within 60 miles of
the rental unit OR is not able to be contacted on      a 24-hour basis, the Owner must provide information for a Local Agent who resides in Winston County or an adjoining county AND is able to respond reasonably in the event of an emergency on a 24-hour basis.


 (b) Inspection required. Before any registration is issued
     by the department of Code Enforcement, the applicant
     must authorize the administrator or designee to      inspect the rental housing unit and accessory areas or
complex for which an application for registration has
been made. The administrator or designee may inspect only a portion of the rental units within a rental housing complex if the administrator or designee
determines an inspection of the entire complex is not needed. Every landlord who retains all utilities in his/her name is required to allow all rental units inspected with each change of occupancy. All utilities must be turned on at the time of the inspection in
order to inspect all systems, appliances and
equipment. All dwellings must meet the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) adopted by the City of Louisville.
 (c) Registration renewal. Upon application in writing for
renewal of a registration issued under this chapter
and the Department of Code Enforcement shall issue a certificate renewing such registration for another year. The Department of Code Enforcement may, in its discretion, inspect the rental housing unit or complex for which application is being made before a renewal of the registration is issued.
 (d) Registration transfer. Upon application in writing for
transfer of a registration accompanied by an
application with the transferee's information, the
Department of Code Enforcement shall issue a transfer
if the application is found to be in compliance with
this chapter.
 (e) Certificate of occupancy requirements. In accordance
     with, a certificate of occupancy shall be required as
a condition of providing new utility service to any rental property or as a condition of transferring     service to a new owner, new renter or new billing     name. A certificate of occupancy is required prior to      tenant taking possession of a rental unit.

Sec. 1-106

       - Registration revocation
 The Department of Code Enforcement may revoke any registration to maintain and operate a rental housing unit

or complex when the owner or agent has failed to comply with any provision of this ordinance. After such failure to comply the registration may be reissued if the circumstances leading to the failure to comply have been remedied and the rental housing unit or complex is being maintained and operated in full compliance with the law.

Sec. 1-107

       - Definitions
 For purposes of this article, the following words, terms
and phrases shall have the meaning respectively ascribed to
them as follows, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

     Accessory use areas are areas and buildings around a rental dwelling which provide space for amenities and facilities, including but not limited to recreation areas, laundry rooms, recreation rooms, refuse collection facilities, and accessory storage buildings.

     Agent is a person authorized by the owner of a rental housing unit to make or order repairs or service to the unit and authorized to receive notices on behalf of the owner.

     Approved means in conformance with the appropriate codes and approved by the administrator or his designee.

     Building official is the city official designated by the mayor and council to administer and enforce this ordinance, and such representatives as may be appointed by such city official.

     Certificate of occupancy is a certificate issued pursuant to this article by the building official to ensure  that a dwelling unit is in compliance with the provisions of this article.

     Change of occupancy is when a rental unit is vacated and is occupied by a new tenant.

     City means the City of Louisville, Mississippi.


Deterioration means a lowering in quality of the condition or appearance of a building, structure or premises characterized by holes, breaks, rot, crumbling, cracking, peeling, rusting or any other evidence of physical decay. neglect, damage or lack of maintenance.

Dwelling means an enclosed occupied space designed as or being used as permanent living facilities, including single family and multifamily dwellings and accessory use areas.

     Failure to comply means a failure, refusal, or neglect to obey an official order or comply with any adopted ordinance of the City of Louisville.

     Habitable room means a room or enclosed floor space within a rental housing unit used, intended to be used or designed to be used for living, sleeping, eating or cooking and excludes bathrooms, laundry rooms, halls, closets and storage places.

     IPMC is the International Property Maintenance Code adopted by the City of Louisville.

     Legal entity means association, corporation, partnership or individual that has legal standing in the eyes of the law.

     Manager means any person who has charge, care or control of a rental housing unit.

     Occupant or tenant means any person living in, sleeping in or possessing a rental housing unit.

     Owner means a person, persons or legal entity listed as the current titleholder of real property, as recorded in the official records of Winston County, Mississippi.

     Proof of ownership is a title or deed to a piece of property signed by a notary public.

     Rental housing unit means that portion of a dwelling for which payment or other consideration is being made to

an owner, agent or manager for the use or occupancy of that portion as an independent living facility, excluding transient occupancy such as hotels and motels. It also means each apartment or each rental unit within an apartment complex.

Slum-like means the unsightly condition of a building, structure or premises characterized by deterioration or other similar conditions and the visible outdoor storage of junk, garbage or rubbish, regardless of the conditions of other properties in the neighborhood.

     Uninhabitable means dwelling units that have not been approved for occupancy by the City of Louisville Code Enforcement Department.

Sec. 1-108

       - Authority to inspect
 (a) Personnel. The administer or designee is authorized to
make reasonable and necessary inspection of rental
housing units and premises to determine compliance with this article.
 (b) Access. Every owner, agent, manager or tenant of a
     rental housing unit shall, upon reasonable notice,
allow access to any part of such rental housing unit
at all reasonable times for the purpose of making such inspections. If the owner, agent, manager or tenant refuses access to make an inspection, the City is authorized to obtain an inspection warrant. If complaint is made to the City of conditions in any rental unit which may be in violation of any applicable City Code, the City is authorized to investigate such complaint without notice.
 (c) Scope. An inspector may expand the scope of an
     inspection to include other city code violations
     discovered during the inspection.
 (d) Compliance. If upon inspection, violations of interior
or exterior standards exist, the owner, agent or
manager will be required to correct all violations
within a reasonable period of time as determined by
the inspector. Failure to comply with the order of the
inspector may result in the revocation of the existing
certificate of occupancy. In the event the rental

housing unit becomes unoccupied, future occupancy will
be prohibited until all violations have been corrected
and the unit has been re-inspected by the City and
deemed to be in compliance and a new certificate of
occupancy issued.

Sec. 2-100

       - Inspection Fee
 All tenants shall pay an inspection fee in the amount of fifteen dollars ($15.00) prior to connection of utilities which allows the administer or designee to make a reasonable inspection and necessary of the rental unit to determine compliance with this article.

Sec. 2-101

       - Inspection Waiver
 Any tenant may waive the inspection but such waiver will not prohibit the administer or designee from making an inspection.