City of Cape Girardeau starts rental unit compliance inspections

Changes coming to Cape Girardeau rental inspections

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - The City of Cape Girardeau's Development Services Department has started rental unit compliance inspections.These inspections are on top of the normal complaint inspections the city already does.

Inspectors will notify landlords of the inspection 30 days prior.

If the inspection fails, the inspector and landlord will work out another time for the failed compliance points to be completed.

The first inspection is free for both landlord and tenant.

"The idea isn't to come down on the landlords and create problems, the idea is we want to clean up the community and we have a very large percentage of rental units in our city," Carol McGuire with Realty Executives said. "Something like 40 percent of the housing units are rentals."

Two years ago, the Cape Girardeau City Council approved a measure to begin the Rental Housing Licensing Requirement. That mean's landlords have to give tenants essentials inside their housing.

McGuire believes it will help make Cape Girardeau more attractive to those seeking to move to the area.

"We hope that it is an extreme help because we want to present our community as best as possible," McGuire said. "We don't want people driving into a new community and seeing that the worst end of town. You know we don't want them, you know, we don't want them to be 'I don't want to live here.' But we want when people come in we want them to see that this is a nice well kept, clean community."

According to Anna Kangas, Building and Code Enforcement Manager for the city of Cape Girardeau, these inspections are on top of ones already being conducted.

"Previously the inspections were just complaint based, and we'll still do complaint-based inspections but we're also doing compliance inspections," Kangas said. "There's about 24 items that we look for in the inspection."

Some of those 24 items include things like smoke alarms in each bedroom and hallways, storage in the kitchen, proper plumbing and much more.

"We just want to make sure the rental properties that are available to tenants in Cape Girardeau are safe and that they meet minimum property standards," Kangas said.

Kangas said it should take inspectors about three years to go through every rental property in the city.

She also said while these are compliance inspections, the city is still doing inspections if complaints are filed.

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