- Cape man gets 8 years for robbery, his first offense (12/7/16)8
- Post-election taunts reported at Jackson schools (12/2/16)28
- Abuse suspect tries to take cop's gun; officer zaps him with Taser and punches his face (12/7/16)3
- Man sentenced to 103 years for murder of Cape woman (12/6/16)4
- Cape may allow residents to keep chickens; residents at meeting push for measure (12/6/16)33
- Burglary suspect apprehended inside Jackson garage (12/4/16)
- Poplar Bluff man accused of enticement, child porn in Scott County sting operation (12/4/16)
- Group seeks to create a neighborhood park on Cape Girardeau's south side (12/7/16)14
- Lt. Gov. Kinder weighs in on Trump's win, his future plans (12/4/16)13
- Cape police warn of 'Grandparent Scam' (12/4/16)
When someone agrees to rent an apartment or a house, he or she should have some expectation that the place will be habitable. For most renters in Cape Girardeau, problems that arise are handled by conscientious landlords. But in other cases, landlords are unresponsive to complaints about running water, broken windows and malfunctioning furnaces or hot-water heaters. To address these issues, Cape Girardeau officials are working on an ordinance providing for licensing of landlords and regular inspections of rental property. Many other towns already have such requirements.
Some landlords worry that new minimum property standards would cost too much to comply with. And some worry that they will become fully responsible for damage caused by renters. City officials say they want to take into account the balance between a landlord's and a renter's responsibilities.
Requiring landlords to meet minimum property standards sounds like a reasonable way to deal with the many complaints renters lodge. Meetings with landlords and renters over the next few weeks should help everyone better understand what the city wants to do. The city council could consider the proposed ordinance by the end of May, with a possible effective date of July 1.