Proposed rental registration ruffling feathers in Denison

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DENISON, Tex. (KXII) -- A new proposal will going to the Denison Council Monday is ruffling the feathers of rental house owners and now tenants.

The agenda for Monday's council meeting says a new fee structure that would require a yearly registration of rental properties and mandates an inspection between tenants will be brought before council.

"It would probably motivate me to start looking at surrounding areas," says current tenant Stuart.

The fear for landlords we talked to is the expense that it could take to bring some properties up to code if it were passed and the fear for tenants is the increase in rent as a side-effect of that cost.

"What it's going to do is it's going to prevent low income families from having anywhere they can afford in Denison," said property manager Ashton Smith.

Denison city manager Jud Rex says almost 40 percent of people living in Denison are renters and Smith says over 50-percent of those are below the poverty line.

"Obviously, I'm probably going to look at what's cheaper," said Stuart.

Data USA says the median income in Denison is just over $41,000 a year.

According to someone making that amount could afford a monthly rent of $820 a month maximum.

Smith says most properties that rent at $600 a month could expect a $200 increase under the new ordinance.

"They can be perfectly safe and perfectly clean and still have imperfections,"said Smith.

Rex says the new program is aimed only at protecting renters in properties that are unsafe and does not anticipate substantial rate hikes like Smith mentioned.

"The people that are going to be living here, the tenants, they're probably the biggest consideration," said Stuart.

Smith says the people who choose to live in homes that aren't up to code do so for the low rent and the new ordinance would squash their ability to live in Denison.

"They want everything to be perfect and a lot of us can't afford to live in perfect," said Smith.