Lakewood’s big Rental Housing Safety Program (RHSP) started October 1, 2017. This socialism experiment is already interesting to watch.
It appears Lakewood does not have a 100% accurate accounting of which Lakewood properties are rentals and which are not.
Evidence of this is borne out by the fact that Lakewood has already mistakenly wasted time and money sending letters to citizens directing them to register their rental properties. The problem is some of these letter recipients do not own rental property and therefore are under no legal obligation to be involved with the big safety program.
The Lakewood RHSP letter was simply a blind cast by the City based on their analysis of public records. The letter is a fishing expedition.
There is a flip side to this letter campaign. Yesterday evidence was brought to me that Lakewood has failed to send RHSP letters to people who own rentals in our city. In spite of 86 plus published articles in The Suburban Times and The News Tribune on this subject, the rental owner I spoke with knew nothing of the RHSP, nor had the rental owner received Lakewood’s letter.
I will not disclose this property owner’s name because I refuse to be a part of Lakewood’s assault on local citizen’s Constitutional Rights. I am classifying this rental property owner as a “Confidential Source”.
If Lakewood can get everyone to step forward and register their property, they will then have a more accurate record of which properties are subject to the new RHSP for the current and future adjusted fee structure.
Lakewood’s mandate is analogous to countries run by dictators who have used a similar approach. Mandate that everyone registers their guns. Once that information is of record, double back and work the registrants over by confiscating their guns.
In Lakewood we are not talking about guns. We are talking about rentals. Lakewood will double back on the registered rental property owners and confiscate their time, money, and in some cases rental property.
Charging only $12 per unit is a genius move on Lakewood’s part. Most people will be lulled into registering their properties with the idea that “It is only $12, so why not register?”. Lakewood makes no guarantee how long the skinny registration fee will last.
Should you voluntarily register or not? Should you comply “under protest” including making fee payments “under protest’? What should you do if you own rental property and Lakewood fails to send you a letter? Lakewood has included some penalties in Ordinance 644, so you should take care in making wise choices.
Before you decide what your best course of action is, consider consulting with a real estate attorney.
Like it or not, I do think it wise to consider complying with the law. If a citizen believes the law is unfair, they should comply when they must and then try to change the law rather than suffering the risks involved with being in violation.
The City of Lakewood is coming so you might as well leave your front door unlocked.