Thursday, April 23, 2015

Round Two

Amherst Town Hall gets it right

Not since the 'Smoking Ban in Bars War' 15 years ago has the the little college town of Amherst seen such a successful implementation of a new ordinance.

The much needed Rental Permit Bylaw went into effect last year after health & safety problems within the lucrative industry spanning a generation (or two). 

Building Commissioner Rob Morra has issued a heads up email to all 1,353 property owners and managers and is even offering free informational sessions to make the process even easier.

Those who required a "parking plan" in year one will not need one upon renewal as long as the plan remains the same.

 Memo to all rental property owners

And best of all -- with the town getting more and more digitally savvy -- all the paperwork can done online. 

Amherst Building Commissioner Rob Morra (center) at Rental Bylaw Implementation Group 10/28/14


Anonymous said...

...just another form of taxation that the town finally caught up with. How many random inspections/verifications of these "self inspections" did the town conduct last year? I presume their justification was to "ensure compliance of rental properties" with various codes/regulations, but I for one can attest to lack of compliance to the property I rent that was surely said to be, by the owner, "in compliance.". Who cares. I, much like the owner, have insurance, should this beautiful south Amherst abode burn to the ground due to lack of smoke alarms. I'm not buying them. Town of Amherst, well played. Another year, another $100 in the pocket.

Larry Kelley said...

Insurance does you little good if you are dead.

I'm certain if you report a lack of smoke detectors in your apartment the Building Inspector will come calling.

DaveMB said...

Larry, you've reported "100% compliance" with the bylaw, if I'm not mistaken. That would appear to mean that 100% of the rental properties that the town knows about have obtained permits (under threat of fines).

Do you know how the town determined which properties in town were being rented? Known history of renting? Owner with a different address? Unusual number of parked cars? Each of these methods has a different level of intrusiveness, but also a different level of effectiveness.

Larry Kelley said...

Pretty much all of the above.

The online system also allows for "complaints" from neighbors. And Amherst has some very sharp eyed neighbors.

Anonymous said...

I can think of some other communies in history with sharp eyed neighbors.

Pretty soon all Amherst homes will be monitored on the inside by camera or drone and then neighbors wont have to turn in as many criminals as today. They can simply walk their fully licenced and compliant dogs and children without all the worries and dangers of 2015 Amherst.

Praise the overssers, that is what adults locally need.

All houses in Amherst will soon be randomly inspected, not just rentals. I heard of a non rental house used as a meth brewing lab. The town needs to find a way into all homes without a silly warant. The risks outweigh the archaic needs of privacy and ownership. Luckily in Amherst we understand this and the dangers of having activites without oversight.