The College Station city council voted 6-1 to revise the city’s rental registration ordinance.
It will include a citation provision and a requirement that the lease be presented upon request to the administrator for review.
The revisions take effect in 45 days.
Councilman James Benham voted against the motion.
24 people spoke during the public hearing. 12 were opposed, 11 were in favor, and one was neutral. In addition, written comments were submitted by 18 people.
Before the final vote, an amendment offered by Benham to request relevant contact information for tenants, and not the lease, was defeated by a 4-3 vote. Julie Schultz and Steve Aldrich joined Benham in voting for the motion.
Proposed revisions presented on June 12 included a requirement that a notarized affidavit be provided as part of the registration, but that item was removed in favor of a strongly-worded acknowledgement on the rental registration form.
The citation provision gives the city the option of assessing a civil fine ranging from $180 for the first offense up to a maximum of $500 for three or more offenses. However, each day the violation continues is deemed a separate offense. An individual who receives a citation is entitled to due process, including an administrative hearing and the right to judicial appeal.
The city retains the authority to criminally prosecute offenders, but administrative penalties for code violations may now be imposed in addition to criminal prosecution. The amendment allows the city the additional option of civil enforcement to provide as much flexibility as possible.
Effective enforcement will require additional resources and additional code enforcement personnel will be requested in the FY15 budget process.