Rental Amnesty Program Ends

7 years 7 months 1 day ago Monday, November 15 2010 Nov 15, 2010 Monday, November 15, 2010 6:35:04 PM CST November 15, 2010 in News
COLUMBIA - Nearly 200 properties are now in compliance with city code thanks to the Office of Neighborhood Services Rental Amnesty Program which ended Monday. During the six-week program, people operating a rental property without a valid certificate of rental compliance could voluntarily apply for a certificate without being prosecuted for renting their property illegally.

After Monday, owners and operators of illegal rental properties will be prosecuted by the city if they do not voluntarily apply for a certificate of compliance. If found guilty, the violator could face up to a $500 fine, up to three months in jail, or both. City officials said most of the people who applied under the amnesty program simply did not know they had to fill out a compliance application and undergo building inspections for rental properties.

"Our main concern is that there has not been a safety inspection done on the property and solely, we want to be involved with every property that's being rented out to tenants," building inspector Marsha Perkins said.

City officials said it's impossible to know how many illegal properties are still out there.

"I'm sure there are people out there knowingly renting property out who do not have certificates of compliance," Perkins said. "If we find them, we will prosecute them."

Even though the program is ending, city officials said property owners not in compliance should still apply as soon as possible or they may face the possibility of being caught and prosecuted. ONS officials said they expect more applications to file in up to Monday's deadline. To apply online, click here.
 
You can also apply in person at the Office of Neighborhood Services at 3601 S. Providence Road.

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