This proposal could have a major impact on enforcing proper maintenance of of rental properties in the city of Rochester. 

   City Proposal: Tenants Could Say No to City Inspections

City Council votes on this legislation amendment on October 14.   Be sure to study the impact of this proposal and make your opinion known.

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It has been brought to my attention that the proposed legislation would be stopping many c/o inspections for single-family home rentals. It means that those rentals throughout the city will no longer have visual inspections inside. This is chipping away at the c/o system as we know it. With more and more investors buying single-family homes and renting out to students, we need to have a check in place to prevent the houses from deteriorating and causing problems to surrounding properties.

No neighborhood organization has received information on this. It will be discussed in committee Thursday 10/9 and voted upon by City Council on Tuesday.  Carla Palumbo's heads the committee in charge of this.  Email stating concerns on this should be sent to her office at ASAP.  At very least inquire why we have not received advanced notice of this legislation which can have a significant impact on our neighborhoods.

thank you John for bringing my attention to the following: Regarding WROC 8 Rochester Homepage 10/06 article, I would not want to see these inspections struck down or legislated out. Many families are low income renters and need advocates. I know of two rental homes on my street alone,  Winbourne Road, where rental tenants where living in dangerous or unhealthy conditions. Both eventually moved. I advocated for one, placing a complaint with the NSC on Genesee, who did come out an inspection; and some corrections were made. Both houses had mold! I lived on Hickory street for 20 years, my next door neighbor complained to the landlord for years about water leakage and other problems. The city only fined him. He found paying fines cheaper than fixing stuff.


Moving is not an easy or affordable option for many low to modest income families and takes time. Many renters do not know where to complain or are afraid of landlord retaliation. I don't know what "89% compliance with inspection" means stated by the City. That people let them in? I absolutely don't believe 89% of rental housing in the City meets code. Though I am sure there are many responsible landlords. I personally grew up in a home with many violations owned by a lawyer. My mom would have never reported the house. As a 19 yr. old, I finally mustered the courage to anonymously report it. It was condemned until the slum lawyer made major renovations. We moved to a better space. We citizens and our elected representatives need to advocate for/protect low income families and those living in poverty.


I suppose as a homeowner you can legally put yourself in danger with your living conditions but one should not be able to  put others in danger while making money (rent/lease). Low income renters are often captive audiences; that is, there aren't a lot of affordable, safe housing options in the city. Which is the main reason families move into these unsafe homes.  Regards to all, MacClurg Vivian


Our outcry has had results!  If you voiced concern to Carla Palumbo over the proposed relaxation of C of O inspection codes, you probably heard back from her as I did:

"Thank you very much for bring this to our attention. This topic has received much concern. We have discussed this with the Administration and have decided to hold this legislation. Next the City will be reaching out to Community groups and Neighborhood Associations, through the Neighborhood Service Centers, to discuss this topic and listen to your concerns. We hope to reach an agreement that will be acceptable to all. If you have any further concerns please feel free to contact my office through e-mail or call 428-5982.

Thank you  - Carla M. Palumbo"

Don't assume the game is won.  This is the time to get involved and make sure you and the neighborhood groups provide the needed input at the coming Neighborhood Service Centers hearings to keep effective regulatory processes in place.  Most landlords do a good job of maintaining their properties and have no fear of code enforcement.  They are well ahead of the requirements.  Other people would like nothing better than to eliminate codes altogether.  Some feel that way because of a libertarian viewpoint but for many it comes from a desire to maximize their income while minimizing their expenses.  There is money at stake and some will not hesitate spending some to stir up code opposition in the name of privacy.


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