Panel takes on rental issuesIn April 2008, the Superior City Council eliminated licensing and inspection requirements for residential rental property in Superior after miscalculations made the program more expensive than originally anticipated.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
In April 2008, the Superior City Council eliminated licensing and inspection requirements for residential rental property in Superior after miscalculations made the program more expensive than originally anticipated.
The problems of an aging housing stock didn’t go away.
Tuesday, the council created and approved members for an advisory group to review that decision and consider a course for the future that could improve the varied condition of rental property in the city.
The purpose of the Ad Hoc Rental Property Study Group is to determine, review and evaluate the general condition of existing commercial and residential rental property in the city of Superior.
Mayor Bruce Hagen proposed the panel to evaluate the state of rental property in the city and consider a course of action to improve it.
“The intent, at least initially, is to look at everything,” said Chief Building Inspector Dan Curran. “It may be such a large project that all we can deal with right not are residential properties.”
Residential rental properties initiated the review, Curran said, but recent issues involving commercial properties that could be catastrophic to the occupants, if not addressed, provided the catalyst to take a broader look at the issue.
“There’s buildings out there that are 100, 125 years old and nothing’s been done to them since they were built,” Curran said.
The issue came up when students at the University of Wisconsin-Superior expressed concern about the condition of available rental property in the city a couple years ago, Curran said.
The 20-member panel includes Curran and city building inspectors, nonprofit advocates that work with housing and homelessness, bankers, contractors, clergy, rental property managers, realtors, a member of the Superior Landlord Association and a citizen representative.
The panel was appointed to review relevant information to the condition of commercial and residential rental property in the city and explore options for improving it.
If licensing rental property is deemed necessary, the advisory group is tasked with determining, proposing and establishing inspection intervals, licensing or registration intervals, reasonable inspection and renewal fees, if any, and establishing minimum standards for an inspection pass/fail and achieving compliance or enforcement for failures.
The group is tasked also with determining staff and equipment needs to initiate an inspection program, and maintain ongoing operations, as well as determine the potential effect on existing rental property in the city.
The goal is to have the panel’s findings back to the council no later than Nov. 1, Hagen wrote in a memo to the council.
“The mayor and I have been talking about doing this right up to when he was first elected (in 2011),” Curran said.