Negaunee Rental Ordinance 2019

March 23, 2019

Negaunee, MI – The City of Negaunee is announcing the adoption of the 2019 Negaunee Rental Ordinance at their March meeting. According to City Manager Nate Heffron, “The ordinance is aimed at establishing standards that provide for the maintenance of sanitary and safe residential rental structures and for improving rental properties within the city.”

This code will be used as a tool that effectively sets maintenance standards for residential rentals based on health, safety, and welfare. According to Heffron, the full code will not go into effect for one year, with the exception a provision that allows for landlords to waive their registration fee of their properties after adoption within the first six months, if registered.

The Planning and Zoning Department estimates he number of units around 270 units city-wide. According to David Nelson the Negaunee Planning and Zoning Administrator “The code calls for a three-year cycle that will inspect one-third of rentals each year (Approx. 90 units per year).” Mr. Nelson explained that this would allow for an appropriate workload for his department without having to hire on new employees, while still meeting the mandates of the ordinance.” Additionally, the initial fee for registration when paid will last for three years. Each inspection is estimated to last around one hour per unit. “Once we have the registered units list, we will be placing these units in a lottery system to determine who will be inspected first and who will be inspected last”, Heffron said.

According to the code the following areas will be inspected that pertain to health, safety, and welfare of the occupants:

Section 4: Minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities: Access to sink, restroom, bathing facilities, hot water, proper connections of water and sanitary sewer facilities, and Compliance of the Fair Housing Act.

Section 5: Minimum standards for light, ventilation and heating: Bedroom requiring one window, proper venation, proper heating, electrical and lighting facilities.

Section 6: Minimum maintenance Standards: proper roof drainage and roof maintenance, emergency identification, properly maintained walls, foundations, handrails, floor surfaces, plumbing fixtures, doors, and windows.

Section 7: Minimum space, use, and locations: provides for ceiling heights, prohibits use of cellar or basement as a bedroom unless specific conditions are met.

Section 8: Minimum standards and requirement for short-term rentals, bed and breakfasts inns and bed and breakfast establishments: provides for specific standards and regulation of these facilities concerning parking, occupancy, and egress.

Section 9: Provides provisions for fire safety such as number of exits, fire extinguishers, smoke detection devices, accumulation of materials or waste, and carbon monoxide detection devices.
The Planning and Zoning Administrator will administer this program and will receive training in inspection techniques and education. Several programs are offered under the International Codes Council may be used for this training and certification.

Landlords will have the right to appeal decisions made by the code official through the Zoning Board of Appeals. “Our goal is to work one-on-one with landlords, we have no desire to issues fines, we will help them navigate this ordinance as much as possible. However, we have a duty to protect the residents of Negaunee and our residents are entitled to have a safe and healthy place to live. Waiting for something terrible to happen is not an acceptable strategy”, City Manager Heffron said.

Registration forms for rentals can be obtained at the City Utilities Office or found on the City’s website under the Planning and Zoning page. In addition, the city will attempt to contact property owners to help register as many rentals as possible before the six-month free registration period occurs on September 14, 2019.

A copy of this document can be viewed online at www.cityofnegaunee.com, or at the Negaunee Public Library.

Questions concerning this release may be directed to the attention of the City Manager, Nate Heffron at (906) 475-7700 ext. 11.

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