breaking news

Report: Burglars cut hole in roof of Springfield Best Buy, steal phones

Springfield changes local law, will warn landlords before citing them


Springfield city commissioners have changed local ordinances to give a warning to landlords who fail to provide information to tenants about their rights.

Under former legislation, landlords were required to provide a booklet to renters that explains the rights and responsibilities of both parties or face a $100 fine, according to a city code enacted in 2001.

FIRST REPORT: Springfield commission at odds over landlord/tenant rights debate

The city commissioners voted unanimously late last month to first provide Springfield landlords a written warning for not providing the information. A second violation would then result in a $100 fine.

“This is a fair adjustment to it,” Commissioner Joyce Chilton said. “As we already know, the landlord has so many responsibilities — water bills, trash bills. I would like to see the tenants take some responsibility and this is balancing it.”

Landlords must provide proof that tenants either received the booklet or knew they could view the booklet at the city’s website upon moving in, City Law Director Jerry Strozdas said.

“Hopefully, this will help everyone play by the rules and avoid some issues,” City Commissioner David Estrop said.

MORE: Developer pulls proposal for $11M Springfield apartment building

In 2001, the former Justice Action Mercy group wanted the city to create a landlord registration ordinance, meaning landlords would have to apply for a license every year. As part of the proposal, each time a property got a new tenant, it would have to be inspected.

Landlords fought against it, Strozdas said, and later compromised by agreeing to inform tenants about their rights with a booklet.

The new debate began because the Springfield Fire/Rescue Division asked the city to consider making some fire code violations punishable through civil fines rather than criminal offenses, Springfield leaders said.

Under the current city codes, certain fire-related violations, such as commercial businesses not refreshing fire extinguishers, currently only can be enforced through filing a misdemeanor criminal offense through the Clark County Municipal Court.The fire department would rather fine offenders, which led to the proposed changes to the city’s code violations.

As city staff members examined civil code enforcement violations, city staff believed other areas should be cleaned up, including moving the section about a requirement for landlords to provide a tenant’s rights booklet to renters or face a $100 fine to the business regulations category, Strozdas said.

MORE NEWS: Sexual orientation added to Springfield ordinance

Springfield city commissioners discussed last December eliminating the requirement for landlords but that ended in a stalemate after former Commissioner Dan Martin abstained.

The new legislation applies only to new rental agreements, meaning landlords who didn’t follow the previous rules won’t face penalties, Strozdas said.

“Our understanding is that most landlords have followed this previous obligation,” Strozdas said.

5 QUICK NEWS-SUN READS

Nonprofit to buy historic Springfield site, market to open in summer

Clark, Champaign counties hit by outbreak linked to parasite, calves

Springfield commission goals include housing study, fixing roads

Should Springfield fluoridate its drinking water?

Study calls for new bike trail, safer park crossing in Clark County



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

Ohio Governor’s Race: Who is Mike DeWine?
Ohio Governor’s Race: Who is Mike DeWine?

If you don’t know who Mike DeWine is, perhaps you’re new to Ohio. For more than four decades, the Republican has been a fixture of Ohio politics: local prosecutor, state lawmaker, lieutenant governor, member of Congress and state attorney general. Now the 71-year-old Cedarville resident wants to cap off his career with Ohio governor, which...
Ohio governor race: Who is Richard Cordray?
Ohio governor race: Who is Richard Cordray?

For all but four of the past 28 years, Republicans have held a firm grip on the Ohio governor’s office. Democrat Richard Cordray wants to break that streak. Less than a year ago, Cordray jumped into the race for Ohio governor, elbowed out other contenders and grabbed 62.2 percent of the vote in a six-way primary. He is running for governor against...
Ohio governor candidates on the issues: Higher education
Ohio governor candidates on the issues: Higher education

On Sept. 19, governor candidates Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray are taking part in their first debate at the University of Dayton. The Dayton Daily News, WHIO-TV and WHIO Radio are the media partners for the debate. The debate will be moderated by News Center 7 anchor James Brown. Questions will be asked by Dayton Daily News Columbus...
Ohio governor candidates on the issues: Funds for local governments
Ohio governor candidates on the issues: Funds for local governments

On Sept. 19, governor candidates Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray are taking part in their first debate at the University of Dayton. The Dayton Daily News, WHIO-TV and WHIO Radio are the media partners for the 7 p.m. debate. The debate will be moderated by News Center 7 anchor James Brown. Questions will be asked by Dayton Daily...
Ohio governor candidates on the issues: Taxes
Ohio governor candidates on the issues: Taxes

On Sept. 19, governor candidates Republican Mike DeWine and Democrat Richard Cordray are taking part in their first debate at the University of Dayton. The Dayton Daily News, WHIO-TV and WHIO Radio are the media partners for the 7 p.m. debate. The debate will be moderated by News Center 7 anchor James Brown. Questions will be asked by Dayton Daily...
More Stories