Moorpark to hit below-par rentals

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsThere are between 700 and 1,000 rental homes and duplexes and 1,100 apartment units within Moorpark’s city limits, Planning Manager Dave Bobardt said. If the new ordinance is adopted, Moorpark would join Simi Valley as the second eastern Ventura County city to crack down on illegal and unsafe housing. To get a better handle on illegal conversions and combat substandard living conditions, Simi Valley launched a system to track down code violators last year, said Peter Lyons, the city’s deputy planning director. The program has since identified 300 such cases. Moorpark’s proposal, introduced last week, would require an initial inspection of the inside and outside of homes, annual inspections of the homes’ exteriors – unless obvious concerns warrant a look inside – and registration of rental housing units. The proposal will come back to the council for a second reading in a few weeks, but it could be months before an enforcement program is in place. City officials are studying the cost and whether more resources will be needed to administer it. Cities with similar programs charge between $50 and $150 per inspection, which might be enough to sustain the program, according to a city staff report. MOORPARK – More than a year after a fatal Simi Valley fire that left one man dead and a dozen others homeless, the city of Moorpark is going after absentee landlords who unlawfully convert their rental properties for profit. Officials took the first step Wednesday in addressing substandard living conditions by proposing annual inspections to ensure that rental units are safe and up to code, including having working smoke detectors, adequate wiring and working plumbing. “This is meant to protect the renters,” City Councilman Clint Harper said. “We want to make sure a tragedy doesn’t occur in Moorpark like it did in Simi. This is not meant as punitive but to increase safety.” In January 2005, a fire swept through a three-bedroom Cochran Street home crowded with more than a dozen renters living in a converted garage, makeshift bedroom and two trailers. A 23-year-old man was killed and his girlfriend and son were injured. “It’s a safety issue,” Councilwoman Roseann Mikos said. “It’s a step in the right direction to agree that we need to have some kind of a program.” [email protected] (805) 583-7604160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more