The City of Austin is figuring out how to ensure safe, livable housing conditions across Austin. When an apartment is reported to be unsafe, the City’s Code Compliance Department inspects the property and issues a violation notice for any hazards discovered. The property owner is required to bring the property up to safe standards in a set amount of time. This can be a long process and only addresses problems after they occur. The City is looking at ways to address sub-standard or even dangerous living conditions earlier.

Resolution No. 20130606-049: a resolution directing the City Manager to initiate code amendments to create enhanced penalties and a rental registration program applicable to owners of residential rental property that repeatedly violate public health and safety ordinances; and supporting the Building and Standards Commission's and City prosecutor's consideration of repeat offenses when considering penalties for public health and safety violations. (SPONSOR: Council Member William Spelman, Co-sponsor: Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole)

Resolution No. 20130606-050: a resolution directing the City Manager to develop a one-year pilot registration program for residential rental properties located in certain neighborhoods and to explore the feasibility of a code amendment for enhanced fines after the first conviction of a city code violation related to property maintenance. (SPONSOR: Council Member Kathie Tovo, Co-sponsor: Council Member Mike Martinez)

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The Austin City Council has proposed two approaches for creating a program that would call for regular health and safety inspections of apartment complexes. We want to hear your ideas on the proposed apartment inspections and registration.