Opelika Suspends Enforcement of Rental Ordinance

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CONTRIBUTED BY THE CITY OF OPELIKA

OPELIKA —

The city of Opelika is aware of and evaluating the Alabama Supreme Court’s decision in a case involving a challenge to a rental ordinance enacted by Center Point, Alabama. The city is also presently involved in litigation over its own rental ordinance. While the city evaluates the changing legal landscape, it has suspended enforcement of its rental ordinance.

“The city of Opelika will begin determining the best way to move forward in the coming weeks,” said Opelika City Attorney Guy Gunter.

On Sept. 21, 2021, the city of Opelika approved an ordinance adopting a registration and inspection program for residential properties being rented within the city of Opelika. The city of Opelika’s Residential Rental Property Registration and Inspection Ordinance was intended to keep residents of the city of Opelika in safe and comfortable residential rental dwelling units.

“We are extremely disappointed and have deep concerns for the tenants in some of our rental properties,” said Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller. “We are grateful that we do have many landlords who do the right thing.”

Of the inspections processed during the time the ordinance was in effect, city inspectors were able to catch many housing errors, such as windows being nailed shut, lack of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and improperly maintained natural gas fixtures. Most rentals passed after the first inspection.

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