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Omaha city council passes landlord registry, Mayor Stothert promises veto

Posted at 10:17 PM, Apr 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-09 23:17:38-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The city council has spoken.

"Life safety and public health for me tips in a dramatic fashion, the need and the justification in favor of the pro-active system,” says city council member Chris Jerram.

On a 4-3 vote, the council passed a plan that would change the way rental inspections are done in Omaha.

In the proposal: -Every landlord must register with the city

-Each rental property inspected once every 10 years

-Problematic and unregistered properties inspected annually

-$125 fee for inspection

"If there's going to be a little common sense that takes place in that we're going to start with the problem properties first and move to other properties a little bit later on,” says City Council President, Ben Gray.

Three members opted for a more conservative plan that wouldn't have mandatory inspections and instead focus only on properties with complaints.

Councilmember Aimee Melton is worried about taxpayer money being wasted.

"It hurts the very properties that I think all of us want inspected. We're going to send an inspector to inspect a property that doesn't need it,” says city council member Aimee Melton.

Mayor Jean Stothert agrees with Melton, vowing to veto the passed plan.

"Required inspections every 10 years will accomplish nothing, and actually is an acknowledgement that the compliant, well-managed rental units are not the problem. Why would we spend time, personnel and taxpayer money on good, compliant landlords?” says Stothert in a statement.

So now the council will need to vote again on this plan, they now need a 5-2 majority for it to bypass the mayor and start up in 2020.