Denison landlords push back on rental regulations - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Denison landlords push back on rental regulations

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DENISON, Texas -- There were some unhappy property managers, landowners and tenants at a public forum Thursday evening at Denison City Hall.

Many of them voiced concerns and had questions about a proposed ordinance to regulate rental properties.

A group of landlords threatened a class action lawsuit, saying while they want a safe and livable place for tenants, the proposed ordinance would make housing less affordable.

"I don't see how they wouldn't see this could be a bad thing for the tenants," said commercial Realtor Terrin Bertholf.

The ordinance, which would establish a rental inspection program, aims to improve the quality of rental housing available in Denison.

"I think the program was driven by the City of Denison with some empathy behind it to protect the tenants," Bertholf said. "Ultimately, what's going to happen is that the tenants are going to be outpriced from their homes."

Rental properties be required to register with the city to be inspected. If they fail to meet the requirements, Bertholf said it could get expensive.

"They're going to be ushering out a lot of the lower income people from their city," he said.

Higher rent isn't the only issue. Real estate investor Justin Briscoe said the proposed new rental inspection ordinance is simply redundant.

"We currently already have programs in place to do that," he said. "We have the minimal property standards program, and I think if we fully utilize that program, we could take better care of these homes and get these homes fixed up."

According to the City of Denison website, some of these programs have been in place since 2010.

"The main pro to the program is, it's going to make Denison a nicer place," Briscoe said. "It's going to fix up a lot of these homes that are dilapidated and in bad shape. It's going to allow for landlords and homeowners to go in and fix these homes up and make them nicer."

City Manager Jud Rex said Thursday's meeting would be the last time the city engages with the public on the rental inspection ordinance proposal. He said there is no date set for a final decision on the plan.

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