Thursday, January 19, 2012

Yet Another Rental House Fire in Bellingham

Blog entry deleted. See posting of 28 Jan 2012: A Tale of Two Space Heaters.


David Camp said...

If you think granting yet another government agency unconstitutional powers to search private residences will stop house fires, I want some of what you're smoking.

I don't disagree that some kind of licensing program for commercial landlords (say owning 5 or more properties) could be useful. But to endow an unaccountable inspector the right to invade private space governed by a private contract is contrary to the Constitution and would set up yet another opportunity for small people to abuse their authority at our expense.

I have no doubt that your motivations are positive - I disagree profoundly with what I consider to be a dangerous authoritarian solution.

Zonemaven said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment, David. Similar laws to the ordinance being considered here in Bellingham proliferate across the US. To date, there has been no declaration that these laws are unconstitutional. If you look at my blog, in the right hand column there is a list of over 100 cities around the US that have rental licensing and inspection laws. In Washington State, the cities of Prosser, Pasco, Tukwila and Seattle have all adopted some form of licensing and inspection.

Anonymous said...

Mr Camp

Licencing you say "a dangerous authoritarian solution" Give us a break.... Sounds like the only danger is your effort to mountaiize a molehill!!!

Licencing Bellingham landlords is unlikely to result in nazis parading our suburbs

What are you REALLY frightened of? Disclosure of unsavoury situations which proliferate around here? You wouldn't by any chance rent out slum properties would you?

Mold minder

Palamedes said...

Mr. Camp;

I strongly suggest you check the history of some of the many, many thoroughly destructive fires in our nation's mid-sized towns and cities between 1871 and 1905 - between the Great Chicago Fire and the fires that resulted from the San Francisco earthquake.

The situation didn't begin to improve until stringent housing codes, along with concurrently effective enforcement, made builders and owners of their properties responsible for their the basic safety of their property.

The state of Washington already provides the right of municipalities to apply and enforce such codes. All that's required is the will to do so.

There is no need, and no excuse, for such backsliding when the lessons of over a century ago are plain to see and learn from.