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Salisbury commission to hold second public forum for rental property ordinance

Staff report

SALISBURY — The Salisbury Housing Advocacy Commission will host another public forum on the proposed Remedial Action Program on Monday.

The forum will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at 1 Water St.

The ordinance would hold rental property owners responsible for any disorderly conduct and illegal activity that occurs on their property.

The ordinance would include a voluntary registration program that would put landlords and property managers on an email list. They would receive email updates from the Salisbury Police Department when disorderly conduct is reported at their rental properties.

At the last public forum on the issue, city staff explained that there would be maximum thresholds for crime and disorderly activity on a property under the ordinance. The thresholds would take into account the number of residential units on the property and the severity of the incident.

Property owners would be required to attend a meeting with the Police Department and city code manager to plan specific actions to decrease the number of calls to police if the number of calls exceeded the threshold.

The properties would be re-evaluated after three months to determine the effectiveness of the plan and add more actions if necessary. The properties would be re-evaluated again after another three months.

If no improvement is made after six months, the case would be referred to the city attorney for legal action.

At the last public forum, the discussion included building relationships between landlords and surrounding homeowners, engaging with the landlords who may not want to join the program and keeping renters from bouncing from property to property without addressing the core issues.

City staff plan to have a draft of the ordinance prepared for Monday’s forum.

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