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Louisville to start proactive inspections of rental properties June 1

A "for rent" sign outside a red-brick apartment building
Jacob Munoz
A "for rent" sign at a Highlands-Douglass apartment building.

On Monday, Louisville officials announced a new program for registering all rental properties in Jefferson County.

Anyone who owns a rental property in Louisville, whether it’s a single-family home or an apartment complex, will need to register with Louisville Metro Government by June 1. Under new rules approved by Metro Council in late 2022, landlords have to provide the city with up-to-date contact information, as well as information on any property management companies they use.

Department of Codes and Regulations director Richard Price said at a press conference Monday the new registration requirements will help the city ensure residents have safe living conditions.

“This will streamline our ability to contact property owners swiftly, [so] that we can facilitate the resolution of code violations and help overall city improvement,” Price said.

Property owners who registered under the previous system must re-register through the city’s online portal, providing the additional information now required under local law.

Starting in June, Codes and Regulations will also start randomly inspecting a portion of rental properties each year. The sweeping changes to Louisville’s rental registry, require those inspections to be done in 11 market areas in Jefferson County where at least a third of residents are renters. Those market areas include parts of west Louisville, Shively, Lyndon and West Buechel.

Codes department staff will inspect 10% of rental units within those market areas each year, or about 30,000 units total per year.

At Monday’s press conference, Mayor Craig Greenberg and other city officials said the goal is for Codes and Regulations to move from a complaint-based model to more proactive enforcement. Greenberg said the new program is an “unprecedented” step toward ensuring the quality of rental units in Louisville Metro.

“This will allow us to help identify problems early and help tenants who might be afraid of retribution from their landlords if they report an issue,” Greenberg said.

City officials are taking a “carrot and stick” approach to enforcing the program. While initial registration will cost anywhere from $25 to $250, rental property owners without code violations can have their annual $50 registration fee waived.

Any owner who fails to register by June 1 faces a $100 fine per unregistered rental unit and an immediate inspection by code enforcement.

Roberto Roldan is the City Politics and Government Reporter for WFPL. Email Roberto at rroldan@lpm.org.

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