Bill requiring registration of rental units introduced

May 07, 2002|By Andrew A. Green | Andrew A. Green,SUN STAFF

Two Baltimore County councilmen introduced a bill last night to require landlords in four east-side communities to register rental properties, an idea that failed several times when the council members tried to apply it countywide.

Councilman Vincent J. Gardina, a Perry Hall Democrat, and Council Chairman John A. Olszewski Sr., a Dundalk Democrat, have been working since fall to create a licensing system in hopes of controlling the number of rental properties and cutting down on the number of problem landlords and tenants.

They were joined in their efforts by Councilman Wayne M. Skinner, a Towson Republican, but never got the fourth vote necessary for passage.

This time, they are trying to establish a pilot program for the Colgate, Hawthorne, Old Dundalk and St. Helena communities. The bill would limit the program to four years unless the council chose to extend it.

"They have a high percentage of rental properties, and related problems with them are poorly maintained buildings, problem tenants and criminal activity," Gardina said.

Skinner said he is considering offering an amendment to place two Towson-area neighborhoods in the program but first wants to be sure community leaders are interested. Residents near Towson University have complained about landlords who rent to more students than zoning regulations allow.

The previous efforts generated strong opposition from landlords. Gardina said he has not consulted with them concerning this bill but suspects they will still object, even though specific neighborhoods are targeted.

Gardina and Olszewski said they hope that because the bill is limited to certain areas, other councilmen will be more inclined to support it.

"With this not being countywide, I don't see why we shouldn't be able to get four votes with it," Olszewski said.

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