Denison city officials and landlords coming together to solve rental inspection issue

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DENISON, Tex. (KXII) - "Anything we do above and beyond what we're doing now costs money, so what can we get in return for improvements?" said Denison landlord Ashton Smith.

That was the question Denison landlord Ashton Smith proposed to the city council.

He thinks city inspections should be voluntary, and landlords should be compensated for fixing the problems city inspectors find.

"Something like free water in between tenants to do make-ready's, or free trash removals. Or even discounted for landlords who voluntarily sign up for this program," said Smith.

City staff proposed tougher inspections to the council in May.

The idea was to clean up what they say are a large number of rent houses around town that have major issues, like holes in the floor, and mold.

But Smith says that would cost landlords too much money, forcing them to raise rent.

"I think everybody should live in a home that's in good condition, I just to make sure its beneficial for everybody involved," said Smith.

The task force consists of Denison landlords, as well as city manager Jud Rex and Mayor Janet Gott.

Some of their ideas so far are registering rental properties and requiring an inspection of the home with every new tenant.

"This is a community issue that is important that we understand both the tenants and property owners perspective and put together a good program thats going to work," said Rex.

There's no time table on when the task force will present their ideas to council for a vote.