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MAY 2013

Position: Support improved rental housing conditions and neighborhood stabilization in the city of Janesville, Wisconsin.

Purpose: To ensure a minimum standard of living conditions, for the safety of both tenants and the public at large in the City of Janesville. The minimum level of acceptable living conditions for tenants shall be based on general safety and sanitation with adequate heating, electrical and plumbing, all in good repair; these systems must function at a capacity which is not below accepted standards for comfort and need.  To promote safe and healthy neighborhoods.

To improve compliance with the Janesville Housing Code, the LWV Janesville supports:

  • Retain regular exterior inspections focused on target areas.  

  • Retain policy of re-inspection fees when seeking abatement for viable complaints.  The fee should adequately cover all costs to the city so as to provide incentive for prompt compliance. 

  • Amend the Nuisance Ordinance to trigger interior inspection of all units owned by that property owner if said property owner has had four verified property complaints within a 12-month period.  An inspection fee sufficient to cover the cost to the city would be charged for each unit’s inspection.

  • Require code inspection by any certified inspector of all rental properties at time of sale.  Violations are to be reported to the city inspector.

  • Make available on the COJ website a clear and specific set of code requirements to ensure general safety and sanitation as well as adequate heating, electrical and plumbing systems. 

  • Create a Landlord and Tenant agreement template, which delineates the rights and responsibilities of each party.  The agreement should be available for all to see on the City of Janesville (COJ) website.

  • Create a no-fee listing of all rental units by address, owner and contact information of a local responsible party.

  • If a complaint is received for a non-listed rental unit, a fine would be imposed at such a level as to encourage all properties to be listed.

  • Create a “Vacant Building” list for unoccupied buildings including those in foreclosure with owner contact information and plans for securing the building.

  • Encourage improving the city data system so that Police and Neighborhood Services easily share data on Nuisance Ordinance calls. Landlords should be notified if a ticket is issued.

  • Encourage property owners to utilize tenant-screening tools to maximize good maintenance of their property.  

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