Councilman Wants to Register All Landlords

Plan to combat dilapidated rental homes draws Realtor opposition

A Dallas city councilman is demanding a new law that would require owners of rental properties to register with the city and post a fee to pay for the program.
Dwaine Caraway said Tuesday that many rental homes in his Southern Dallas district have remained run down for years because the city cannot locate the owners who are responsible for maintaining them.
“This neighborhood should not have to endure this type of blight. But when you can’t find that owner, you don’t have a system in place, you can’t put your hands on them directly,” Caraway said.
The MetroTex Association of Realtors represents thousands of North Texas Rental property owners. The organization's Government Affairs director, Peter Urrutia, said public records already disclose owner information. He said laws already exist to address irresponsible absentee landlords and a new law with more fees for all property owners is unjustified.
“We want an owner to be responsible, and take care of the property,” Urrutia said. “But to lump them all, paint them all with the same brush, we’re just not going to support that.”
Caraway said the fee would not be excessive and law-abiding owners have nothing to worry about.
“We have to implement something so that we can find those that are not standing up to the plate,” Caraway said.

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