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February 5, 2013

City to conduct month of rental property inspections

Building commissioner hopes to update records by end of February

In an effort to ensure its records are up to date, the Logansport building commission is planning to conduct inspections on rental properties throughout the month of February.

Building Commissioner Bill Drinkwine said the need to conduct the inspections arose from a slight hitch in the way the inspection ordinance was established.

“The way the ordinance is set up, once you get the total list of properties that existed when the ordinance was created, the idea was to then issue a permit for a third of them for one year and then the second third for two years... that way you develop an annual rotation of properties you’re going to be looking at.”

As more properties were developed, it became difficult to track them all, which brought on the need to start fresh, Drinkwine said.

Inspections won’t have to be done with every property however, as some rental property owners have documentation showing that their properties have already undergone inspection recently.

“I’m hearing that conversation, so I know the function was performed, but I just can’t physically locate that specific tracking file for that ordinance,” Drinkwine said. “When I do contact landlords, I ask them if they have registered within the last three years, bring me the document showing me that they have been registered and then they get a pass on this. They also feel the same way, it’s simpler to have it inspected and start fresh.”

Calls requesting comment from several local property owners and property management staff members were not returned or were met with reluctance to speak on the matter until getting permission from superiors.

In order to complete all of the inspections in the month of February, Drinkwine has enlisted the help of the city code enforcement officer, fire inspector, a Cass County health inspector and an electrical inspector.

“We’ll be looking for any code violations, making sure electrical services are up to date, doing general inspections and making sure properties are meeting all ordinances, that nothing is substandard,” said Code Enforcement Officer George Franklin.

Drinkwine said much of the reason behind conducting the inspections is to ensure residents are safe in their homes.

“We’re looking for everything that has to do with the quality of the interior to make sure the properties are up to code,” Drinkwine said, “so that there’s no life safety issues or health issues inside the residences.”

Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or mitchell.kirk@pharostribune.com.

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