Denison’s new rental registration and inspection program officially takes place starting on May 1 this year.


After months of negotiations between the city and a stakeholders group that included citizens the Denison city council adopted the new voluntary rental registration and inspection program.


The City Council approved the program Tuesday night.The stakeholders committee sought to ensure the program would be entirely voluntary.


Denison City Manager Jud Rex said it was a big step forward.


“This is a voluntary program we hope encourage strong relationships with the city and our property owners and encourage good tenants here in Denison as well,” Rex said.


Denison Code Compliance Manager Robert Lay said he has been putting in the legwork on the program for the past 18 months. He said he was very relieved it was finally moving forward.


“The goal has always been to take steps to ensure quality housing to support the city’s vision,” Lay said. ” Our objective was to create a program that allows the city to inspect the rental property to encourage compliance with the basic health and safety at the rental property.”


Lay said the next step is to develop a new ordinance that would include additional penalties for violations of all code compliance issues.


The program received considerable backlash from the public at a town hall back in June, 2019 where a full house of citizens showed up to express concerns at city hall. The city established the stakeholders committee following that meeting to find solutions to the concerns citizens had.


Some of the highlights of the program include: A 50 percent reduction in special trash pickup fees at tenant changes; a waiver of a $35 water service fee upon certain conditions; a 50 percent reduction on permits associated with compliance; an additional dumpster for multi-family units.


Lay outlined several of the ways the program will benefit landlords at the previous meeting it was discussed. The first was the 50 percent discount on special trash collection at tenant changes for those who register with the city, at no cost. The second benefit is a waiver of the $35 water connection fee under certain circumstances. Another benefit is the 50 percent discount on building permit fees for work related to program code compliance. Multi-family properties will be eligible for a second dumpster. The city will also offer streamlined access to information on prospective tenants.


Denison area reporter Richard A. Todd can be reached by sending email to rtodd@heralddemocrat.com. He can also be reached at Facebook and Twitter @RichardAToddHD.