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Rentals are a business.
Local governments should be able to inspect such, but they should have to have the landlord there ( and that landlord should be using his property inspection right as outlined in most leases ), and should not be allowed to look into anything that only contains the renter’s personal property, like closets and drawers.
Anything else is a violation of some renter’s fourth amendment rights.
It’s creeping expansion to the individual of what they’ve done to businesses for a very long time: generally cities or counties require a tenant to obtain a “Certificate of Occupancy” prior to occupying a newly constructed building. It was supposed to indicate the building was fit for, well, occupancy, and that was that. Over time it seems some jurisdictions have learned they can get additional revenue by requiring a new Certificate of Occupancy every time a commercial tenant vacates and a new tenant moves in. I’m dealing with this right now for a commercial strip mall in a Virginia burg.
Anyway, some bureaucrat must have realized there was An Inconsistency: they weren’t requiring Certificates of Occupancy for non-commercial tenants! O the Horror! Must fix that! It’s not (and I actually believe this) about violating individuals’ privacy at all. That’s just the side effect.
…And thus, bit by bit, falls the Republic.
I don’t care for the rubric that only the lower socio-economic class rents. The military rents when there is insufficient base housing. Executive types rent when their company moves them frequently. Also note that on it’s face, rental vs lease agreement doesn’t offer much protection here.
Where Code Compliance is used by a jurisdiction to generate income via citations, the respect for the jurisdiction drops dramatically. When the jurisdiction lacks the support of citizens, it pulls into it’s shell like an annoyed turtle, and no communication is possible, only conflict has any chance of succeeding.
I am constantly amazed at local petty bureaucrats who don’t get this basic concept. You couldn’t pay me enough to be a code compliance officer in such a place.
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