Bellingham needs rental licensing and inspectionsPermalink +
Fri, Apr 16, 2010, 2:11 am // Guest writer
by Richard Conoboy, guest writer.
In 1985 a house on Laurel St. blew up and burned to the ground due to a gas leak. The female students renting the house noticed the gas odor for some time but, luckily, had moved out two months earlier. In 1995 six people lost their lives in Bellingham in a rental home on Meridian St. that was equipped with smoke detectors which contained no batteries. In July, 2009 a fire caused by poor wiring destroyed a rental home on Tremont Ave. in the Guide Meridian/Cordata area.
With landlord support, the Washington State Legislature just passed a law (6459) which provides parameters for rental licensing throughout the state. Why should Bellingham continue to accept the status quo when there is the manifest probability we have substandard rental housing? Why does the “rental industry” remain the only unlicensed business in Bellingham? Landlords, like restaurant and hotel management, must be held accountable. There are those of modest means or with poor English language skills who daily run the risk associated with being placed in an unlicensed and uninspected rental market. How much is life and health worth, regardless of the economic climate? At the time the next “accident” occurs, or the next life is lost in an uninspected rental, what then will be the stance of Bellingham’s citizenry?
Related Links:-> Twilight Zoning
-> link that Richard refers to in his comment to Tip below
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