Wausau landlords could soon need a license - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau landlords could soon need a license

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Wausau city officials say they're trying to tackle rundown properties in our neighborhoods.

"This is a concern of the citizens in the city but also a lot from the council as well," said Chief Inspector Bill Hebert.

That's why Hebert said Wausau's Housing Task Force is starting the conversation about what to do next.

"The pilot program would focus on these areas maybe over a 2 or 3 year period, and try to work with landlords and also just members of the community in the area," said Hebert.

The plan is to make landlords more accountable for the properties they own and to make sure that people looking for their next home find a safe place to live.

"It'll also give tenants the right education component to know their rights and what standards of living are appropriate," said Hebert.

"That's the biggest thing, the unknown, why do we need it," said John Fischer.

The proposed change to Wausau city ordinances has some property managers concerned. That includes questions about the cost of the license and possible damage to their business.

John Fischer serves on the task force representing landlords and he's also one himself.

"If it affects our bottom line, it's going to kind of affect the tenant's bottom line as well," said Fischer.

He said the task force heard about the successes of landlord license in other communities, but they've also seen the flaws.

"It's a question of enforcement, because even some cities that have licensing still have blight," said Fischer.

As both groups look at ways to improve eyesores in the city.

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