CROWN POINT | A last call for landlords to register rental units went out on Monday, ahead of a Dec. 28 deadline.
Applications accompanied by registration fees are due by the deadline, Christopher Meyers, Planning and Building administrator, said in the reminder to landlords.
Properties found not to be registered with the city can be fined up to $100 a day per address.
As of Monday, a total 596 units in 181 buildings had been registered, according to the Planning and Building Department. Fees collected so far totaled $20,950.
The annual rental registration and inspection program rolls out in January in the city's initial attempt to regulate rental housing.
An ordinance creating the program went on the books in June. An estimate at the time counted close to 2,500 rental units in the city.
The ordinance requires every apartment in every rental-unit building to be registered and sets a registration fee of $50 per building and an additional $20 per rental unit.
City officials adopted the ordinance over the objections of several landlords and their representatives, who complained the measure places too big a burden on landlords.
But city officials said the rules were long overdue and will protect against poor housing conditions and overcrowding, and ultimately will protect the city's overall character and value.
The measure addresses a wide range of apartment dwelling issues, including the requirement that apartments have bathtubs and sinks, and hookups for refrigerators and stoves.
Tenant complaints that are valid but are not heeded by landlords can result in an inspection by the city. In some cases, a registration permit can be suspended or revoked.
Landlords are required by the program to furnish up-to-date tenant lists to city officials.