OSWEGO, NY – Mayor Billy Barlow announced today (Sept. 15) his proposal and strategy to hold city landlords accountable and pressure landlords into maintaining their property and treating their tenants fairly.
Barlow proposes increasing the rental permit fee in the city of Oswego to $150 for a three-year period, five times more expensive than the current $30 fee.
The mayor also will pitch to the Common Council a change in a local law (The Code of the City of Oswego, New York, Chapter 149, Housing Standards Section 149-6) which he says will give the city of Oswego code enforcement office more authority to inspect and prosecute landlords who are in violation of the city housing standard.
The law gives the city of Oswego Code Enforcement office the ability to conduct a hearing on a property and order the property to be remedied, vacated or demolished if it is a danger to public health.
“For decades city landlords have taken advantage of a lenient code enforcement system and have made significant amounts of money off of properties that are non-compliant and detract from the quality of life and home values of city residents who own and live in their home,” the mayor said. “I will not tolerate such ignorance and lack of responsibility from these landlords who blatantly disregard local laws and have no respect for the City, our residents and even their own tenants to whom they rent. Our new code enforcement office has made significant gains throughout the summer and we have identified the loopholes in the system. We will close the loopholes and start focusing on area landlords who have a constant habit of breaking laws.”
Mayor Barlow noted this will be the first of several code changes in the coming months to help the city crack down on dilapidated buildings and the code enforcement office will be focusing specifically in the city’s residential neighborhoods.
“It is about time somebody starts holding these landlords accountable and starts standing up for tenant rights and quality of life in our neighborhoods,” the mayor said. “Homeowners and city residents should not suffer from an irresponsible landlord who offers deplorable living conditions that negatively affect nearby home values all in their own effort to make a buck! This administration will not tolerate it.”
Mayor Barlow will pitch these changes to the Common Council at the next committee meeting on September 19 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.