Duluth Rental-Room Change Puts Landlords to Action | FOX 21 News

Duluth Rental-Room Change Puts Landlords to Action

Friday, May 11, 2012

By: Jacob Kittilstad, Photojournalist: Kaela Rannikar

DULUTH – A proposed ordinance change to be discussed by Duluth city councilors on Monday, could cap the number of bedrooms in new rental properties at just four. Landlords around Duluth’s college areas say that’s a big problem.

In a century old house on Woodland Avenue, Barbare Montee showed off on Friday where her property investment was repaired from shambles.

“The neighbor tells the story that he’d look up here and he’d see the little raccoon tail hanging out the window,” Montee said.

“Now there’s new everything. New counter–tops, new floors, because they were rotten,” Montee said.

“My phone started ringing in October with students who live in the dormitories that are looking for six bedroom houses. I got 20 calls a week for students looking for six bedroom houses,” Montee said.

But a proposed ordinance change would limit that.

A late–released Duluth’s city council proposal reads “Rental licenses shall be based on the lesser number of bedrooms on record… or four bedrooms.”

“In my district especially we see a lot of stress,” city councilor Patrick Boyle said. “And it’s involved in the front of having a traditional homestead neighborhood for 40–50 years and then slowly but surely it turns over to 40–50–60% rental.”

Boyle says this proposal would close a loophole while trying to create a student–area of the city.

“And that hasn’t been done in the past and I think we’re starting that process now. One, with the Woodland Middle School District with Mark Lambert. 20 acres of undeveloped land, basically,” Boyle said.

Property owners, however, saying there is still a living space shortage.

The plan would mean no new rentals will be allowed to have more than four bedrooms for tenants, even if there are six rooms.

That may reduce incentives for landlords who purchase and clean–up problem properties for use of college students.

“They’re going to be possibly homeowners someday. They’re going to really contribute because of this experience. Everybody remembers where they lived when they were in college,” Montee said.

via Duluth Rental-Room Change Puts Landlords to Action | FOX 21 News.

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