Rental Registry Amnesty Program Kicks Off
COLUMBIA - The city of Columbia's Office of Neighborhood Services is giving rental owners a chance to redeem themselves. It's called the Rental Registry Amnesty Program. The Office of Neighborhoods wants to ensure the safety of Columbia renters.
From October 1st to November 15th, rental property owners can register their rental properties that do not have proof of compliance without penalty.
The Office of Neighborhood Services encourages tenants to call and file complaints. As a tenant, one can also check on the status of their rental unit. After the complaint is filed, the Office of Neighborhood Services can do a follow up investigation.
"Well when we conduct inspections, they're looking for any violations and actual compliance...They're making sure the units for the home is safe," said Acting Supervisor Marsha Perkins.
The Office of Neighborhood Services opened earlier this year. Before the Office of Neighborhood Services, two city departments handled renters complaints and rental property compliance issues.
There are more than 22,000 rental units in compliance with the city, with the program, the Office of Neighborhoods hopes to get more.
"If there's a home or duplex or some units out in the community that aren't registered with our division, the program is actually going to give them the ability to come in and register the unit," said Acting Supervisor Marsha Perkins.
If the rental property owners fail to register between the time period, they could face up to three months in jail or fined $500.