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Austin To Crack Down On Unsafe Apartments

Updated: Friday, September 27 2013, 05:24 AM CDT
New in Austin overnight, the city takes a step to protect renters. City Council members debated past midnight over an issue aimed at making rental property owners more accountable.

Overnight, Austin City Council members gave the OK to create a registration program for rental properties with repeated health and safety requirement violations. The city says they've seen more and more structural failures at apartments like Wood Ridge, where a balcony collapse and code violations displaced more than 100 people last year.

Here's how the Repeat Violators Program works: problem properties would be in the program at least two years and stay on that list until there are no issues during that time. The city would periodically inspect them and keep a list of names and contact numbers for all tenants for emergencies. The person registering would need to be able to respond to emergencies within two hours in any 24-hour period. Any rental properties that are part of the program would also have to put their registration in a public area, along with bilingual signs with emergency numbers and how to report violations. Registrants can appeal the decision.

Currently, Austin Code Compliance inspects possible violations based on complaints. Call 3-1-1 to file a complaint.
Austin To Crack Down On Unsafe Apartments

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