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Ventura City Rental Housing Preservation Program

A Fee in Search of a Problem

Ventury County Rental ProgramThe City of Ventura is currently in the final stages of drafting an ordinance that will require Ventura property owners to apply for an annual permit to legally rent out their Ventura properties. (Applies to condominium units, single family homes, second dwelling units as well as apartments) Property owners will be required to pay for the permit which will include an exterior inspection of the property by a code enforcement official. Upon inspecting the exterior, the City official may require an interior inspection for an additional fee. Obviously, they will require property owners to fix any substandard conditions or non-permitted uses and be assessed for any violations.

The City of Ventura’s stated goal is to eliminate substandard living conditions and one key method is through a permit process. The permit fees are to be used to financially cover the costs of implementing the ordinance.

Questions to consider:

  • Are all rental owners in the city being asked to subsidize other property owners who are not complying with regulations already in effect?
  • How much of the fees collected go toward the administration and collection of fees and issuing permits? Is it cost effective and does it resolve the problems?
  • Will this program really help crack down on garage conversions and boot-leg units since owners of these properties would be unlikely to register their units with the city?
  • Are inspections of brand-new construction, or units in condominium/townhouse communities, really necessary?
  • The city already has existing laws that allow staff to inspect units and require owners to bring them into compliance. Does this improve/strengthen existing laws?
  • Will the city actually do the inspections? The city already charges properties with 4 or more units for inspections but often allows the owner to do their own inspections and simply fill out a certification form.
  • What does including the Ventura Business License/Permit No. in an advertisement have to do with the proposed Rental Housing Preservation program? What does it accomplish?

The final proposed ordinance and resolution will be on www.VCCAR.net once it has been posted by the city. You can also find more information on the city’s website at www.cityofventura.net/fire/building_safety/safehousing

What you can do:

Attend the Ventura City Council meeting on Monday, November 24th at 6:00 PM

Get the word out. If you are unable to attend the council meeting, write or contact the city council members and make your concerns known. You can find contact information for the Ventura City Council is on the City of Ventura website.

UPDATE: 11/18/2008
The Ventura City Council will NOT be discussing the Ventura City Rental Housing Preservation Ordinance on November 24th. The date has been changed to December 8th at 6pm. This new hearing will probably NOT have an ordinance to be voted on, only a staff report. There will now be more public input before the city council votes on a specific ordinance.

UPDATE: 1/14/2009
Last night, the Ventura City Council abandoned the proposal to inspect all rental homes and duplexes and charge a fee. The city will be shifting two city inspectors who examine new construction to code enforcement. They are still considering requiring that rental owners register with the city and pay a small fee, but for now, mandatory inspections are out.

 

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