CROWN POINT | Rental unit registrations continued to trickle in this month as officials geared for the roll-out of newly enacted regulations.
A total 1,653 rental units had been registered with the Planning and Building Department as of Friday, generating fees totaling $56,580, the department's Christopher Meyers said.
With an estimated 2,500 rental units, officials are working to make sure all of them sign on with the city, Chief of Staff Keith Stevens said.
A grace period has been extended past the December deadline, though eventually owners could be fined for not registering an apartment.
"Right now the emphasis is on getting registered. It's not meant to punish landlords," Stevens said. "We just want everybody to be in compliance. That's our goal."
An inspector is being hired by the city for work enforcing the regulations. The new hire is expected to be in place in about 30 days, Stevens said.
First-ever rules for rental housing in the city permit an apartment to be inspected if there's a reasonable belief it is in violation of living standards set by the registration and inspection ordinance.
Rules require every apartment in every rental unit building to be registered and set a fee of $50 per building and another $20 per unit.
The measure addresses a wide range of apartment dwelling issues, including the requirement that apartments have bathrooms and sinks, and hookups for refrigerators and stoves.
It was adopted over the objections of some landlords, but city officials said the rules were overdue and will protect against poor housing conditions and overcrowding, and eventually will protect the city's overall character and value.
City officials said earlier this month the ordinance would withstand a potential move by state lawmakers to ban fees for rental inspections and registrations.