A major expense for the landlord is property taxes. Baltimore’s property tax rate is 2.248 percent. The editorial mentions Minneapolis, where the rate is 1.17 percent. The rate in Baltimore County is 1.1 percent. In addition, in most cases, the water bill is the responsibility of the landlord. The cost of water is not so easily comparable, but anyone who pays water bills in Baltimore knows it has become a major expense.
While we’d all like to see Baltimore be more attractive and livable, I don’t know if adding the expense of inspections to smaller apartment houses will make a difference in the quality of most rentals as opposed to the current system of complaint-driven inspection, but it will increase the cost of doing business and thereby increase the cost of rent charged.