City council delays vote on rental ordinance

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Next Monday, the city council is expected to vote on creating a system to inspect rentals in Lincoln.

The proposal would change the way all rentals are inspected and ensure they're also registered.

Council members heard hours of debate on this proposed ordinance.

On Monday, city council members were scheduled to vote.

Instead, that vote was delayed another week, until May 20th.

The change in rental inspection would include new "triggers".

"That give us the authority to go in and inspect apartment buildings that are required to get a license today,” said Director of Building and Safety, Chad Blahak.

The Director of Building and Safety says the most important change would be if there are multiple violations at multiple properties but under the same ownership.

"That would allow us the authority to go into those separate buildings and do a top down, which we do not have the authority to do today,” said Blahak.

A local property manager who is against the ordinance, says she's worried about tenant privacy.

"I do have tenants that I don't think if there was violations that they had to come into all of our properties, wouldn't want their privacy broken as well,” said Property Manager, Amanda Dickinson.

A rental registry is another part of the ordinance, involving single family and duplex rentals.

Blahak says it will be easier when called out for a violation notice.

"In order to contact the owner, or their designated representative,” said Blahak.

It would come with a one-time charge of $15 for the owner.

Nebraska Appleseed hopes the ordinance will be approved and will take away fear renters have about reporting issues.

"This ordinance is one step to try and address that issue, to create new triggers so that people wouldn't always have to complain,” said Nebraska Appleseed's James Goddard.