Oakley Aims to Increase Participation in Rental Inspection Program Through Fees and Citations

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In an effort to increase participation, the City of Oakley is looking to landlords to begin paying fees on rental property under the Oakley Rental Inspection Program.

According to the Staff Report, the current compliance rate for participating landlords is between 2% to 6% for the years 2012 and 2013. In 2013, with an estimated 2,530 Single-Family Residents available to rent, just 60 property owners responded by registered. Year-to-date registration for 2014 is at 129 units.

Under the proposal by city staff, the current cost of $167.50 would be reduced to just $105 annually. To gain increased compliance there will be Administrative Citations nearly double the Registration Fee beginning at $100 for those property owners not abiding by the Ordinance. This penalty will increase as noncompliance continues.

To facilitate correction of potential violations before the inspection is performed, property owners will be provided with a Self-Inspection checklist and face a Re-lnspection Fee proposed at $63.00 if violations are not corrected prior to the first inspection.

A non-compliance fee is set at $100 for a first citation, $200 for a second citation, and $500 for a third citation.

According to the staff report, the Oakley Rental Inspection Program was created in 2008 to identify blighted and deteriorated rental housing that can be harmful to the health and safety of the public, ensure the rehabilitation or abatement of housing not in compliance with state and local building and housing laws, and preserve and enhance the quality of life for residents of the City living and around rental dwelling units.

This item was first approved by the Council during the October 14 City Council Meeting which aimed to amend the current ordinance which is stated as follows:

4.30.102 Purpose.

The purpose of this Chapter is to establish a proactive rental property inspection program to protect the public health, safety and welfare through the identification, prevention, and correction of substandard housing conditions that adversely affect the quality of life for residents living in and around rental dwelling units.

Section 2. Section 4.30.202 of the Oakley Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

4.30.202 Definitions.

For purposes of this Chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings set forth below:

  1. a) “City” means the City of Oakley, California;
  2. b) “Director” means the City Manager or his/her designee;
  3. c) “Deficiency” means any failure of a rental property subject to this Chapter to comply with applicable laws;
  4. d) “Enforcement Officer” means a code enforcement officer or other employee designated by the Director to issue notices of violations and administrative citations for violations of applicable laws;
  5. e) “Property Owner” means any person, persons, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, or any other entity holding fee title, ownership or control of the rental property, and shall include:

1) The above person( s) or entities who own, as shown on the last equalized assessment roll, the property where the violation(s) exist;

2) The above person(s) or entities who have management control of the property where the violation exists;

f) “Rental property” means any building or portion of a building in the City which is hired, rented or leased by a person or persons within the meaning of Civil Code Sec. 1940. A “rental dwelling unit” includes a single family dwelling, either attached or unattached, a unit in a multifamily or multipurpose dwelling, or a unit in a condominium or cooperative housing project, or any room or group of rooms located within a dwelling forming a single unit with facilities that are used or intended to be used for living, sleeping, cooking or eating. This definition applies whether or not the unit is legally permitted

 Section 3. Section 4.30.208 of the Oakley Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

4.30.208 Administration.

This Chapter shall be administered and enforced by the City Manager.

Section 4. Section 4.30.210 of the Oakley Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

4.30.210 Registration.

Every owner of real property not exempted by this Chapter who offers property for rent shall register the rental property with the City by submitting a Rental Application and Property Use Verification Affidavit annually and pay the accompanying Rental Registration Fee. It shall be unlawful to rent or lease a rental property without registering the rental property with the City on an annual basis. The Rental Registration Fee shall be established from time to time by the City Council’s adoption of a Resolution.

Section 5. Section 4.30.304 of the Oakley Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

4.30.304 Site Maintenance Standards.

All rental properties shall be in compliance with all provisions of the Oakley Municipal Code, including adopted uniform housing and building codes, at all times. Additionally, the City Manager shall promulgate, from time to time, a compliance checklist, listing the standards for site maintenance for rental properties. All rental properties shall also be in compliance with the then-current adopted checklist.

Section 6. Section 4.30.402(a) of the Oakley Municipal Code is hereby amended to read as follows:

(a) Unless otherwise exempt under this Chapter, every rental property shall be subject to periodic inspection to determine whether any substandard condition exists at a rental dwelling or its premises, to determine whether there is a violation of this Code or the Checklist, and to ensure compliance with the requirements described in this Chapter.

Section 7. California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Finding.

This ordinance is exempt from CEQA pursuant to CEQA Guidelines Section 1506l(b)(3), Review for Exemption, because it can be seen with certainty that the project will not have a significant effect on the environment; therefore the project is not subject to CEQA.

Section 8. Severability.

In the event any section or portion of this ordinance shall be determined to be invalid or unconstitutional, such section or portions shall be deemed severable and all other sections or portions hereof shall remain in full force and effect.

Section 9. Effective Date and Publication.

This ordinance shall take effect and be in force thirty (30) days from and after the date of its passage. The City Clerk shall cause the ordinance to be published within fifteen (15) days after its passage in a newspaper of general circulation, or by publishing a summary of the proposed ordinance, posting a certified copy of the proposed office in the City Clerk’s Office at least five (5) days prior to the City Council meeting at which the ordinance is to be adopted, and within fifteen ( 15) days after its adoption, publishing a summary of the ordinance with the names of the Council Members voting for and against the ordinance.

Here is a look at the Staff Report for the item which is Item 3.3 in the Consent Calendar.

Here is the Time Motion Study they used to determine the fees (click to enlarge)

City of Oakley Rental Time Motion Study 2014

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Oakley is not doing its job yet people are still employed at the city while getting raises and an annual bonus. Wake up city council, fire your staff! If anyone hit 2-6% compliance they would not have a job! Another example of a useless program in Oakley that they implement but cannot manage.

    • @Chuck,

      Keep in mind, Troy Edgell was hired back in May and he had nothing to do with the low numbers. In a short time, Mr. Edgell is already an upgrade and done a lot of positives for the city.

    • Chuck this is like any other ordinance or law. It will be enforced as can be, depending on the number of staff available to go out and do the enforcing. Just because there isn’t a police officer on every corner to make sure you stop at a stop sign it doesn’t mean that the police force isn’t doing it’s job to control traffic. Occasionally someone will get a ticket for not stopping at a stop sign but more often a police officer will be able to stop a vehicle that is driving unsafely and see if there are other problems. This ordinance will be a tool for the city staff to use when there are obvious problems and/ or potential problems. This is Oakley’s attempt to avoid what is going on in Antioch by being able to put pressure on landlords that aren’t taking care of their properties (lowering the value of the surrounding properties) and renting to people that bring blight/ crime to otherwise good neighborhoods. I applaud Oakley for being proactive on this issue.

  2. This is a necessity in each and every city. Landlords need to take responsibility for their properties.

  3. Why doesn’t Antioch just pass an ordnance, rather than spend the funds for a vote? Could it be the investors and the Realtor influence? I’m going door to door in our neighborhood to discuss Yes on O, it amazes me how uninformed people are in this town!!

    • Dale, I had the same thought. Antioch already has ordinance fees on the books for rental inspections that aren’t being collected. If Measure O does not pass, pressure needs to be put on the council and city staff to dedicate personnel to start enforcing and collecting the fees that are already on the books.

  4. Good point CAR, I remember several years ago our neighbor was running a business out of their home and had construction equipment all up and down the street. I worked with a great CSO, back then, and he was able to fine them on several occasions, until they finally moved the over 8 to 10 large pieces of equipment to a storage area. We really need to clean this city up at all levels and use all available ordinances in place as well as Measure O funds and accountability as .do in all of our neighboring cities. Who do not have near the blight, crime and issues we have in Antioch

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