KC Council passes Tenants Bill of Rights

December 12, 2019 - 6:05 pm

The Kansas City Council passed a Tenants Bill of Rights at its session Thursday afternoon.

Both parts of the measure, a resolution and an ordinance, were passed. The Resolution passed 12-1 and the ordinance, 10-2. About 48 percent of the city's residents live in rental homes.

Property owners will be required to provide copies of the Tenants Bill of Rights to tenants. 

Among the provisions in the new ordinance are:

  • The city will establish a Division of Housing and Community Development, which will have the authority to suspend or revoke permits for violations of the ordinance.
  • Owners must disclose past issues with rental properties.
  • Owners must give at least 24 hours notice before entering a tenant's home.
  • Owners may not discriminate based on prior arrests, convictions or evictions.
  • Owners must provide contact information for utilities so tenants can estimate costs.
  • Owners may not discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, mental or physical disability, marital status, familial status, age, sexual orientation or gender identity, gender expression, ethnic background, or being a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Opponents of the Tenants Bill of Rights worry that placing new regulations on landlords will reduce the availablity of rental homes and drive up the cost of rent, thus harming the people the ordinance is designed to help.

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