Landlords Revolt! Update

Another link, more info:  http://www.athensmessenger.com/news/local-impact-not-expected-from-federal-ruling-on-rental-inspections/article_445cb108-ea0f-5498-b9e4-433713621313.html

By:  Diane Benjamin

Last night at least one landlord showed up too late to speak,  he didn’t know the public comment rules.  He wondered why nothing was done to stop the local boot on his neck.

Easy!  You aren’t paying attention.  Nobody cares until the fees and taxes affect them.  Brilliant.  The Bloomington City Council has already heavily damaged your wallet, expect more.

Last night the Council amended the rental inspection ordinance, maybe illegally – still checking into it.  Worse:  The entire inspection program may violate the law.  Government can not legally violate the 4th Amendment by claiming people need to be protected:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, paper, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

In other words, government CAN NOT legally inspect every rental property just because they want to.  Probable cause must exist before Bloomington can send an inspector into apartments and violate the rights of the persons living there.

Mandatory rental inspections violate the Fourth Amendment. A short intrusion can reveal very personal information about one’s religion, political beliefs, emotional or mental state, hobbies, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity. Needless to say, people shouldn’t lose their privacy rights just because they’re renting a property. To make matters worse, in Red Wing (Mn), rental inspection reports are “public data.”

The Bloomington ordinance mandates inspections of ALL apartments regardless of probable cause.  Renner/Hales/Council fail to understand that government can not legally violate privacy rights just because they want to babysit landlords.  Tenants have a right to slam the door in their faces.

“A program in search of a problem”

Cities that have passed rental registration and inspection ordinances usually claim they’re necessary to crack down on code violations and punish slumlords. But violating the Fourth Amendment is an excessive response.

But in 2008, a U.S. Court of Appeals struck down part of Garland’s (Texas) rental inspection ordinance as unconstitutional:

“The court fully understands that the City has a valid and important governmental interest in protecting the public, however, the court sees no reason why this should be done at the expense of infringing on rights guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

See this link for more information and maybe help with a local lawsuit:  http://ij.org/action-post/does-the-constitution-apply-to-renters-a-primer-on-warrantless-rental-inspections/

One would think since Alderman Buragas is a lawyer, she would know this.  Where’s that $50,000+ per month Springfield attorney?

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8 thoughts on “Landlords Revolt! Update

  1. I can remember having an apartment in WI and IN and neither do I ever recall were inspected by the city. The owner of the building could inspect with a prior notice.

    I could see the city coming in perhaps if I reported an issue or problem to the city.

    What I have an issue with is hiring another person. Someone commented on the firewood fire starting newspaper site that the position should have been outsourced. I have to agree. Why isn’t the staff now not completing inspections I question too.

    Once again a fee based on what Champaign and Peoria charge. Sort of sounds like union pattern bargaining but again isn’t that what democrats like.

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  2. I agree that the 4th Amendment is a major issue here. City council has no business being in every rentals home just because they think they know what is best. Any lawyer that votes for something like this sure shows their colors regarding any rule of law relative to the Constitution.

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  3. Hi Kids! Uh, well sorry, good afternoon young professionals, millennials. Hi my name is Scoot and over here, this is Ameba. Hey we’d really like to thank you for voting for us for alderman of your ward. Just to show our thanks we want you to know that we are looking out for you better than your mommy and daddy. Aren’t you glad that we’re here? Theres some milk and cookies on the table there kids, uh, you know you need us and this is what we’ve done for you. Yes children, we’ll be looking in on you from time to time to make sure that your landlord is fixing your plumbing and getting you heat. We’ll send an inspector into the privacy of your home to take a look around. Oh don’t worry about your place being a mess or hiding any alcohol in case you are underage. Empty beer cans are not a problem. Posters of your heroes that are not pc are not a problem. Hobbies or alternative books your reading are not a problem. No we won’t be popping open your laptop while you’re not here. It’s not a problem. We’re not looking for that. No we’re not TSA we won’t being looking through your drawers and undergarments. Ha, ha, funny. Heck, anyway, you know what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas right? Same here, ha! Unless of course we find any of that no-no college age marijuana stuff or anything like that. Leaving cash laying around (in your own home) is not advised however. You kids are taking your adderall as prescribed aren’t you? No worries, what’s in your garbage doesn’t matter to us. Even if we find stuff that you shouldn’t have in your possession. We’re serious when we say that we don’t care. Also don’t worry about your rent going up. This extra inspection cost will not cost you any more. Your landlord never passes on costs to his tenants because he’s just glad to be a good citizen. So thanks again kids for voting for us. Tell all your friends to register to vote so we can look out for them too. Isn’t it great having a big brother and big sis at college that can look out for you when mommy and daddy can’t be here to guide you? Bye now. Get a cookie to take with you if you want. We’ve got plenty compliments of the mayors expense account.

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    1. “See something, say something. I must obey Obama.” Says the inspector. Isn’t Bloomington a great place to live. With the quality of life that we provide for you here, privacy isn’t needed. It’s over rated.

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  4. In other words, government CAN NOT legally inspect every rental property just because they want to. Probably (*******Probable************) cause must exist before Bloomington can send an inspector into apartments and violate the rights of the persons living there.

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  5. The banned commentor showed up again with a STATE case. She isn’t smart enough to note the sited FEDERAL case. I assume I will get another email that I will delete. The case wasn’t even from Illinois.

    Like

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