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USG opposes rental property inspection

The Undergraduate Student Government continued to voice their opposition to a proposal to inspect the interior of rental properties. Members of USG discussed Section O during the first general assembly meeting of the spring semester last night.

Section O refers to a section in the city’s master plan to inspect the inside of rental properties. It also proposes to inspect the outside of a property, but this is not the part of the plan USG disagrees with.

“The aspect of this plan that concerns us is the fact that the city wants to have the right to inspect the inside of a rental property,” USG Vice President Sundeep Mutgi said. “This seems to be a bug that keeps coming back to bite.”

Last semester USG wrote a resolution opposing Section O, and this semester they will devise another plan outlining the reasons why they are not in support of the proposed Section O.

“We have the support of the mayor and executive branch at this time,” USG President John Waynick said.

Mutgi said that a fine line exists between wanting to protect city residents and invasion.

“This proposed section really seems like an invasion of students’ homes and rights and we want to find a compromise,” Mutgi said.

One suggestion presented was to possibly formulate a new board regarding rental property inspections.

“Rather than have such a vague policy, I think it would be a good idea to create a specific committee that would handle inspection matters and handle it that way,” Mutgi said.

In another form of opposition to Section O, USG plans to provide evidence of their own showing that renters are responsible.

During the meeting, Chief of Staff Nicole Fratianne passed forms to USG members asking them to call their landlords with an issue they may have and then document that matter whether the problem was corrected or not.

As an example, Fratianne said she would call her landlord about problems with her dryer and then document the outcome.

“This way we can show that landlords do care and do try to fix renters’ problems and if we do this, we can then demonstrate what is the point of interior inspections,” Fratianne said. “Showing evidence to counter Section O is crucial.”

USG plans to send a few members to present evidence and oppostion of Section O on behalf of students during a city council meeting next month.

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