West Lafayette works with Indiana Supreme Court for rental inspection program

West Lafayette has a work around to keep its apartment inspection program going.

Posted: May 31, 2019 11:44 PM

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- West Lafayette has a work around to keep its apartment inspection program going.

As we previously reported, it's been in jeopardy since the state supreme court ruled fees for landlords were too high.

But shifting those charges from registration fees to services fees, has provided a new avenue for funding.

West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis said that's important.

"Obviously that doesn't come cheap," said Dennis.

Mayor Dennis is talking about his employees making money during rental inspections.

They are experts who are certified in things like electricity, plumbing, and foundation work.

Dennis said the whole staff has the same goal in mind.

"We want to make sure the apartments are for our students, permanent residents and anyone who is getting involved in a rental property," said Dennis. "We want to make sure they are safe."

Safety is always the number one priority.

The property owner will pay West Lafayette a certain amount based on a few factors. Those include how many people are living in the space and how big the space is.

Dennis added taking a step back and evaluating what the Indiana supreme court ruled helped fix the city's problem.

"We went back and looked at it and we realized the services that we provide weren't technically a registration fee," said Dennis.

It was an inspection fee.

"We never did slow down," said Dennis. "Even though we had to hit the pause button."

Dennis said the city worked with the Indiana Supreme Court every step of the way to make use it's new fees were compliant with that recent ruling.

The proposal will have its first reading at Monday's city council meeting.

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