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Jefferson City officials consider changes to rental inspections


The Jefferson City Public Works & Planning Committee met Thursday to discuss possibly changing the city rental inspection program.

The current inspection program only requires annual exterior unit inspections. Interior inspections are done at the tenant's request or if violations are found in the unit.

Three new options were presented and discussed along with evaluating the current program.

  • Option 1: Annual inspections of all units.
  • Option 2: Inspection of all units every three years and when complaints are received, or violations are found.
  • Option 3: Inspection of all single-family properties and a percentage of units on properties with multiple units and only when units are vacant but at least every five years.

Dave Helmick, Jefferson City’s Housing & Property Supervisor, said the committee came up with these options after looking at other cities like Moberly and Columbia.

"I started doing research on what do other communities do, what works, what doesn't work, you know, what would it take to facilitate a program? Some communities do once a year, some communities do every three years, some communities do every five years," Helmick said.

Helmick said one of the biggest issues with Jefferson City's current program is that many tenants don't report problems. 

"We rely 100% on tenants self-reporting that there's condition problems inside. A lot of times tenants won't do that because they don't want to cause problems with their landlord," Helmick said. "So usually when we get a self reported problem by a tenant, it's because it's really the last straw."

Concerns discussed by the committee that could result from program changes included a possible decrease in available rental units, an increase in monthly rental rates and no safety net for tenants in uninhabitable conditions.

According to Helmick, the soonest Jefferson City tenants and landlords might see these changes could be 2026, but no decision was made Thursday.

Article Topic Follows: Jefferson City

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Olivia Hayes

Olivia is a summer intern at ABC 17 News.


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