City continues discussion on landlord licenses - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

City continues discussion on landlord licenses

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  • Wausau landlords could soon need a license

    Wausau landlords could soon need a license

    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 Hebe...More >>
    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 Hebe...More >>
WAUSAU (WAOW) -

Rundown properties in Wausau are nothing new. But, city officials are making a renewed push to clean them up.

"We know we have limited resources and can't make it a city wide basis so what we're trying to do is establish criteria to pick the areas so that we are within the legal limits," Community Development Director Ann Werth said Tuesday.

Members of a housing task force met at City Hall to discuss ways to make landlords more accountable for their properties.

"We're looking to have a program that won't put restrictions on good landlords but put restrictions on those that have not kept up their property," Werth explained.

That program could include fines for landlords whose properties are deemed eyesores. Committee members say they want to target certain neighborhoods with the new rules. But first, they have to study trends associated with rundown properties.

But, some landlords say, the entire proposal isn't fair.

"Wausau has a lot of effective ordinances already on the books so if they would just aggressively enforce their current codes this need for licensing wouldn't be there," Landlord John Fischer said.

Not only does Fischer own properties in the city, he also sits on the housing task force.

"Show me a property that licensing will fix that current ordinance won't," Fischer said.

But, what both sides can agree on, any proposal needs to include educating tenants on proper behavior. 

"The education component needs to be done so the tenants know they have certain responsibilities," Werth said.

This is just the beginning of a long process. The committee will meet again next month to discuss their findings. But, ultimately any decision will come from the city council.

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