The scene you see above is from a video that Councilman Parker C. Agelasto recently posted to his Facebook page. He had proposed Council Resolution No. 2014-R158 which would have set up “rental inspection districts and requires inspection of residential real estate dwelling units”. These inspections would’ve held property owners responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of their property and prevent scenes like those captured above.
Agelasto withdrew his resolution after a lack of support from the city and fellow council members.
He issued the following statement:
Regarding: Withdrawal of Proposed Council Resolution No. 2014-R158 requesting Richmond Chief Administrative Officer to develop a program that establishes rental inspection districts and requires inspection of residential real estate dwelling units within such districts pursuant to Va. Code § 36-105.1:1 and to submit a proposed ordinance setting forth the particulars of such program to the Council for its consideration and adoption.
(Richmond, Virginia U.S.A.) – “As residents of the 5th District have repeatedly expressed concerns about rental properties and the negative impacts of absent landlords in their neighborhoods, I was disappointed that Richmond City Council and the Administration of Mayor Jones would not support looking further into a city rental inspection program.
Due to their lack of support, I have withdrawn my proposed resolution that would have sought the Administration to develop criteria for establishing an effective rental inspection program, which ultimately would have included additional public input and an Ordinance adopted by Richmond City Council.
Nonetheless, I stand committed and will continue to look at ways to further enhance Richmond laws to make building and property code enforcement more effective.
I strongly believe that property owners must take responsibility for their tenants and enforce the terms of their leases, such as those requiring tenants to properly maintain a property. For example, it is categorically unacceptable that the Richmond Department of Public Works, Richmond Department of Planning and Development Review Office of Code Enforcement, or any other city government departments is being forced to absorb cleanup costs when tenants move out.
Please help me and our community combat this issue by reporting violations to the Richmond Department of Planning and Development Review Office of Code Enforcement, at 804.646.4169. When reporting, please provide a specific property addresses and photos if you can and, if you have access to the internet, use the City’s database to research property records and include the name of the property owner and any contact information that is available.
Let’s also share all this information publicly. I highly encourage everyone to post their pictures and any other details on Facebook and/or other social media to bring even greater awareness to these individual properties.
For those who need to know how to become more responsible, Richmond Law/City Code requires that trash be placed in receptacles. Please also bag it and, if it cannot fit into the trashcan, it is best to take the larger items to one of the two Richmond dumps/landfills, which are located at 3520 N Hopkins Road, 804.232.8488(tel), and 3800 E Richmond Road, 804.646.4706 (tel).
It is not the job of City sanitation workers to clean up trash, litter and debris that is not properly placed for collection, they work hard to keep our City clean but it is impossible when others are not doing their part. Those responsible should be held accountable, tenants need to do better and certain landlords need to pay to clean up the messes left behind from vacated tenants.
Calling 311, reporting to SeeClickFix, or asking the Richmond Department of Public Works to do all the work is shifting a tenant and landlord’s cost responsibility to that of the taxpayer. Security deposits and leases are structured for this very reason and it is about time that landlords and tenants live up to their responsibilities.
Some of Richmond’s key laws regarding residential trash can be found in the Richmond Code of Laws/Ordinances: Chapter 86; Article 1 through IV, athttps://www.municode.com/ library/va/richmond/codes/ code_of_ordinances
Once again, while I have withdrawn my current rental inspection proposal, I am actively looking at alternative legislation to make Richmond building and property Code Enforcement more effective. Thank you everyone for their work and support in helping to rid our city neighborhoods of this problem.”