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Do you think rental property owners should be required to register with municipalities?

Waterville is the latest Maine community to consider new rules and regulations for rental properties. This week, the City Council postponed a decision on a new ordinance that would require the owners of Waterville rental properties to register their properties and provide the name and mailing address of the legal owner. The proposed rules would also require the name, mailing address and primary telephone number for the property manager; the address and telephone number of an emergency contact; and owners would also have to sign off on a safety checklist, saying their properties adhere to the items on the list.

Owners would also be required to allow on-site inspections of their buildings, including all rental units, upon request from the city code enforcement officer. The rules also call for fines of $50 to $200 per month for violations.

Waterville’s proposed rules, which are modeled after an ordinance used by Lewiston, are being criticized by both landlords and tenants. Some said at a recent council meeting that the rules are poorly drafted and written, and could lead to deteriorated relationships between city officials and property owners. A woman who has rented a house for more than a decade also told city councilors the rules target tenants as “second-class citizens” and are an invasion of privacy.

But what do you think? Do you think rental property owners should be required to register with municipalities? Tell us in the poll and comments below.

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