Editorial: Rental Registry

Courier and Press 4/13/2011

 Evansville continues to steadily move forward on efforts to revitalize older neighborhoods with decent, affordable housing.

Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel's administration, now in its eighth and final year, moved slowly at first on its Front Door Pride program and on toughening code enforcement for older properties.

But now those efforts seem to have found their legs, especially on enforcement to bring rental properties up to acceptable standards.

First, about a year ago, it started to become clear that the city's code enforcement staff was having an impact, dealing with those landlords who do not take care of their properties. Unfortunately, landlords who do make a conscientious effort to tend to their properties were caught in the middle. Consequently, they formed the Property Owners and Manager Association of Evansville, initially as a defense move, but one that seemed to help improve relations between the landlords and the city.

Now comes news that the city has created a rental registry which is expected to further ease tensions between landlords and code enforcers.

"We call it the city-landlord partnership. We're developing a level of trust we've never had before." said apartment owner Monte Fetter in a story by Courier & Press staff writer Arek Sarkissian II.

Landlords that participate will be allowed to do limited repairs that usually require permits on their properties and if a claim is filed against a property, the landlord will be informally contacted. But landlords who choose not to participate will face tougher standards.

This strikes us as just one more step away from those depressing days when older neighborhoods were allowed to deteriorate with little official notice.