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Turn up heat on irresponsible landlords

Building inspectors from the Baltimore City Housing Department examine vacant houses to see if they are at risk of collapse. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun video)

In response to the article, "'Significant update' to half-century-old Baltimore rental rules calls for licensing, inspecting all housing units" (Jan. 21), I fully support the proposed bill by Councilman Bill Henry, Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke and others that would improve Baltimore's outdated system for housing inspections. Clearly, the status quo isn't working.

Whole neighborhoods suffer from blight while other neighborhoods fight uphill battles against negligent landlords who violate sanitation and housing code laws with near impunity. The proposed bill would turn up the heat on negligent property owners while rewarding more responsible landlords with fewer inspections, thus giving an incentive to the responsible upkeep of properties.

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This would help free up inspectors to focus on the most egregious offenders. With any luck, a renewed emphasis on enforcement would help tenants win more court cases against negligent landlords who are ruining neighborhoods while drawing rent checks.

Weston Konishi, Baltimore

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