Grass Valley City Council approves ‘good landlord’ ordinance |

Grass Valley City Council approves ‘good landlord’ ordinance

Landlords will now bear some responsibility for habitually problematic tenants in Grass Valley.

The “good landlord” ordinance passed 5-0 by City Council members garnered more support from residents Tuesday evening than past iterations.

“This is a big improvement from what we were dealing with previously with joint responsibility,” said Curtis Price, who works with property managers in Grass Valley.

Those changes, drafted in response to public input after the ordinance was introduced in February, spread responsibility between both the landlord and the tenant in citations and notifications, said Police Chief John Foster.

But some landlords still took issue with the ordinance.

“If a person driving a car has an accident, is the driver responsible or is the bank that owns it?” said Barbara Brumm. “The tenant is responsible; the landlord can’t be held accountable.”

Other landlords asked for clarification, and whether the city would help them deal with problematic tenants.

Eviction is between the landlord and tenant, and typically not something the city or police can get involved in, but an example lease agreement that includes disturbing the peace or breaking the law as cause for eviction has been drafted to help, Foster said.

Fines could amount to $10,000 for four or more safety violations – issues ranging from drug use or sales to vandalism and loud noise – but the landlord would be given notice before hand, and 30 days to remediate the situation and suggestions from the police, Foster said.

Residents in the audience who said they’ve dealt with problem neighbors said, if anything, the ordinance was too soft; Foster said it was a compromise to help landlords.

“Most cities don’t use this ordinance for enforcement much,” he said.

In voting the ordinance in, City Council members decided to review it in a little over a year. There will be a second reading of the ordinance at an upcoming council meeting.

To contact Staff Writer Greyson Howard, e-mail or call (530) 477-4237.

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