Opinion » Letters

We should have a SLO rental inspection program

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I support the mission of Residents for Quality Neighborhoods (RQN) of San Luis Obispo. It organized to advocate preserving and enhancing the quality of life in residential neighborhoods. Its first success was a zoning law adopted to require a permit for six or more unrelated single adults to occupy a single family dwelling in an R-1 zone. It has also been successful at the formation of parking districts for neighborhoods impacted heavily by non-residential parking, noise ordinances, and working with Cuesta and Cal Poly student-body leaders about issues of common concern.

I want to briefly discuss the meaning of the term “quiet enjoyment of property.” It refers to more than a right against noise nuisances. Actually, it is a broad right held by home occupants (owners or tenants) against nuisances perpetrated by others, including others with a superior title to real estate (like a landlord over a tenant). For example, it secures a tenant against the landlord’s neglect of leaky roofs, faulty plumbing, renting as a bedroom a room that lacks the privacy of a door, and so on. That’s why I advocate a rental inspection program in the city. It might reduce rentals that invite complaints of this kind and about such things as unmaintained exteriors, illegal conversions of garages into bedrooms, or reliance upon closet kitchens, and the like. Done right, a rental inspection program would empower both home renters and homeowners to a higher quality of life in their neighborhoods.

-- Sharon G. Whitney - San Luis Obispo

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