- Hot water.
- Roof condition (no leaks).
- Sidewalks, driveways (no toe stubbers).
- Trees (no diseased or dead trees or widow maker branches).
- Vegetation (no sharp prickly plants, poisonous plants, deadly nightshade…)
- No defective lead paint.
- No defective asbestos.
- No improperly stored garbage inside or outside or in the garage or outbuildings.
- Smoke detectors.
- Carbon monoxide detectors.
- Stair handrails.
- Bathroom safety bars.
- Bathroom fan.
- Garage door safety.
- Topography hazards.
- Defective toilet seats.
- No hot water dispensers.
- Water hazards such as creeks, lakes and water reservoirs.
- Chimney condition.
- Sex offenders in neighborhood.
- Aviation flight path.
- Vehicle hazards (cars hitting house).
- Toxic soil conditions.
- Dangerous homicidal felons in the neighborhood.
- Dangerous dogs in the neighborhood.
- Mold & mildew.
- Cigarettes are an obvious hazard and should be confiscated.
- Legal Washington marijuana and black market marijuana should be confiscated for the safety of the renter and any renter children.
- All other illegal drugs should be confiscated.
- Unsecured guns should be confiscated.
- Renter cars with bad brakes, tires or other safety defects should be confiscated.
- No junk cars or debris should be allowed to accumulate in yard.
- No broken windows in house or garage.
- Exotic dangerous animals should be confiscated.
- Confiscate dangerous foods that promote obesity, heart disease and diabetes such as canned pop, potato chips and snack foods.
- Drug dealer in neighborhood.
- Confiscate bicycles if there are no helmets.
- Confiscate all vehicles unless renters can prove they are excellent licensed and insured drivers.
- Clean air quality.
- Kids chasing balls into the street.
- Kids and adults who never learned to look both ways before crossing the street.
- Prescription drugs such as Oxycodone, which can be a gateway drug to Heroin, should be confiscated.
- Confiscate ladders, a top 10 item for sending renters to the emergency room.
- Sharp pointed scissors and running children are a bad mix.
- Confiscate all renter beds to prevent the dangerous habit of smoking in bed.
- Confiscate all fire works.
- Promiscuity needs to be stamped out for renter safety.
The City of Lakewood is exploring the possibility of enacting a proposal initially called Rental Inspection Program or RIP. Now the city is calling this proposal Rental Registration and Safety Inspection Program (RRSIP). Adding the word Safety to an otherwise bad idea is an ingenious move. How can anyone object to safety?
According to city officials, the city council was not obligated to hold public hearings on this proposal, but they did. I must commend the city for their effort to be transparent in their dealings and decision making with the citizens they have pledged to serve.
By hosting a public hearing our city council took the high ethical road. Of course the city can only do so much. The other half of the equation for good government relies on citizen participation.
While I have no way of knowing if our city is listening to the predominantly negative citizen testimony presented during the public hearing, one must commend their information exchange process.
If the city implements their plan and is truly concerned about the safety of renters, then it would stand to reason the inspectors raiding the rental homes will focus on safety. That means the city needs to eradicate any and all hazards.
Recently a Lakewood intellectual told me, “Yes Joe, if the city truly feels renters are not intelligent enough or are too lazy to protect themselves, and the city decides to create a safety inspection for them, then the city will need to ‘bubble-wrap’ the renters.”
Bubble-wrapping renters supports the behavior of our current times where many citizens do not want to be personally responsible for anything. They want government to take care of all their needs.
Outlined below is a partial bubble-wrap safety list. Feel free to add to the list.
Additionally, as long as we are violating peoples right to privacy, we might as well violate their personal property rights by being willing to confiscate any of their property that may present a safety hazard.
When you stop and think about it, renters are exposed to a multitude of dangers and hazards. There is no intelligent place to draw the line. If safety is the goal, the city bubble-wrap program needs to cover everything.
If the City of Lakewood votes to establish a rental safety program and they fail to deal with every single item on my bubble-wrap list then the city’s proposed registration and inspection program is not really about safety. The city is simply cherry picking enough safety items to sound good to justify setting up an unnecessary government expansion and to make it possible to extract money from the planned target victims.
ALTERNATIVE SOLUTION: As an intelligent alternative, the city could set up a City of Lakewood Rental Hotline / Website to provide renters with the help, education and direction they need to resolve their issue(s). When a renter has a problem they cannot solve with their landlord, they could obtain city help without harming innocent citizens.
A member of city staff or a city volunteer could manage the phone / website. If a renter cannot resolve a covered issue with their landlord, the renter could invite a city inspector into their home for a complimentary property inspection. My concept involves all responsible parties and avoids victimizing innocent Lakewood citizens.
My frustration with the city proposal is that it appears the city is operating with the assumption that renters are too ignorant or inept to solve their own problems. That causes City Council to consider setting up a socialistic system whereby hard working good decision makers are forced to expend their time and money to bail out poor decision makers. Poor decision making is, more likely than not, the reason these renters live in a slum property to begin with.
Lakewood City Council, you can do better than RRISP. Please find an appropriate, effective and ethical solution to the Lakewood slum property problem.
David Anderson says
54. Stolen shopping carts. A shopping cart at a rental property is obviously stolen. Furthermore, shopping carts left here and there are eyesores – let’s call them safety hazards – and, given the city has spent a ton of time pondering the abandoned shopping-cart issue, something must be done therefore a solution might be to put the whole place under surveillance until the culprit embarks on their next shopping trip. Arrest and handcuff. Of course asking the apartment manager to alert renters that shopping carts belong in shopping cart kiosks and not on rental property might work too.
55. BBQ’s using too much BBQ sauce. While “too much” is subjective, so are the two following examples which are in fact on the RIP/RRSIP check list: “Interior surfaces (shall be) maintained in good, clean and sanitary conditions.” Ah, the white-glove streak tests.
And another subjective box to check: “suitable space to prepare food.”
I Googled “space requirements for food preparation” and was directed to the NASA Space Program. Perhaps NASA is an earlier version of RIP or RRSIP. At any rate, space obviously was – and still is – limited in the Space Program and one of the problems in limited space as discovered by the early space astronauts was eating in space which in some cases created crumbs which would drift about with the potential of fouling the instruments. And, of course, how crumby would that be should the instrument responsible for returning them home from space foul out while in space. Almost as bad as returning safely from space only to find their rental had been red-tagged for inadequate space.
Seriously though, or maybe not, the BBQ sauce thing is – or at least was – a very real and a major crime to hear the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) tell it. Here following, obtained by Public Disclosure, is an actual conversation that took place between a subcontracting LPD CSO who was surreptitiously out and about after dark on New Year’s Eve, 2012, with a specialized camera photographing smoke during a burn ban and came upon revelers barbequing.
On high alert during burn bans were secretaries standing by in PSCAA headquarters to receive findings of questionable behavior. This then occurred in real time: The CSO wrote, “While doing burn ban patrol this evening we ran across somebody having a very nice BBQ, producing a lot of smoke; is that a violation that we should be documenting?”
Chiming in was yet another CSO: “My neighbor barbecues regularly and must use a huge amount of sauce or marinade. While he’s cooking, and when he burns the grill clean, he smokes-out the neighborhood.”
The answer from the PSCAA CEO to the two CSO’s: “Good question!! The answer is ‘yes.’” In other words, ‘Photograph ‘em and we’ll fine ‘em.’ When perhaps a simple face-to-face communication would have sufficed.
56. Rats in toilets. No, it’s true and fairly common – 400 instances in the last 10 years in King County. Of course King County is also the source of a rather rapid Rental Inspection Program that has multiplied rat-like recently into threats of rent control by tossing the Washington State Constitution that currently prevents that very thing. The Seattle Times is reporting just yesterday (July 14) that the rats-in-toilets problem is easily solved but a think what a Rental Inspection Program inspector might do with that one.
David Anderson says
‘rabid’. I meant ‘rabid.’
Steve S. says
57. Pokemon “Go” apps and cliffs in the backyard.
58. Hot McDonald’s coffee and potholes in the driveway.
I’m just getting started.
Loren Wright says
The renter hotline would be routed to the city’s Public Works department. They NEVER answer and NEVER return calls.
joseph Boyle says
You bring up an excellent point. In order for a City of Lakewood Hotline to be effective in helping renters in need, a city staff member or city volunteer would have to do an excellent job of returning phone calls and emails. A hotline would be an easy thing to accomplish, but a responsible manager would need to be certain the hotline was handled in a first class manner.
Thanks for your input.
David Anderson says
While Loren’s suggestion would appear most appropriate – a hotline by which to effectively “help renters in need” as Joe wrote – that is not apparently of interest to the City Council.
Speaking at the 22:38 minute mark of the July 5, 2016 audio/video record (link provided below) of the July 5, 2016 Public Hearing on Lakewood’s proposed Rental Inspection Program, Lakewood City Mayor Don Anderson, apparently speaking for the council says, “What we’re not doing is we’re not considering anything that has to do with a tenant advocacy program or a landlord/tenant mediation program.”
Ray Curry says
a) Space debris shelter requirement.
b) Terrorist protection (fortified blast doors and windows with splinter reduction materials)
c) CBR shelter (chemical, biological and nuclear warfare shelter), in the event of hostile actions.
d) Dog ate my homework nook.
e) Failure to use common sense penalty corner.
Pat Price says
What a concept. A hotline that could be effective. Seems like that would a little more cost effective than an army of inspectors going out to properties with no problems so the people with bad properties don’t have their feelings hurt that they are being targeted.