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Walsh administration favors interior inspections of rental properties, some oppose

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
The Syracuse Common Council at it's meeting Monday

Legislation that would require interior inspections of rental properties in the city of Syracuse is being held. Some on the Syracuse Common Council are divided on the issue.

Councilor Khalid Bey said Mayor Ben Walsh’s administration asked him to hold the legislation so the new corporation counsel could become versed on it over the next two weeks.

“The next agenda, we’ll be right back talking about it," Bey said. "We’ll gage where the administration is. By then, I would think that they will have determined if they need three months, six months to prepare.”

Bey said the start date of the rental registry expansion could be delayed so enforcement measures can be put in place. He said the Walsh administration supports the legislation. But Councilor Joe Carni said he does not.

“As far as I’m concerned right now, it’s not going to be able to be enforced to the best of its ability and it just seems like another money grab,” Carni said.

The law would include a fee to register rental properties.

Bey said an interior inspection would still be driven by complaints and a judicial warrant. But he said the law would provide recourse to some residents who may face backlash from a landlord if they complain about a property.

In a statement, Dep. Mayor Sharon Owens said the administration is supportive of the proposal and is working on final recommendations to ensure effective implementation.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.