NORWAY — The Board of Selectmen unanimously voted to place several edits to the town’s rental ordinance on the annual town meeting warrant in June.
Code Enforcement Officer Scott Tabb said that while he was reading through the town’s rental ordinance, he noticed a number of issues that he wanted to address to bring it up to date.
Tabb said that despite the town’s rental ordinance requiring landlords to apply for certificates of occupancy, “I haven’t found one single application.”
“We don’t have any, or at least I haven’t found any since I started here,” Tabb told the board. “I drafted one up so we can have it be part of the ordinance.”
The certificate of occupancy features the landlord’s contact information and emergency phone numbers, Tabb said, “so it’s important to have these on hand.”
Tabb said that he also wrote up a rental unit checklist, which will be made available for landlords “so they know exactly what we’re looking for in an inspection.”
“Hopefully, what this will do is minimize the time spent in the inspection process,” he said. “There will be no guessing game with the inspection.”
Other edits that Tabb recommended included simplifying some of the wording in the ordinance and adding penalities for not applying for a certificate of occupancy.
“There’s not much in the way of penalties in the rental ordinance,” Tabb said. “To give an example, if a landlord decided to open up an apartment complex and didn’t get a certificate of occupancy, the only thing that happens is they’re asked to come to the Town Office and apply.
“As a landlord, would you take the chance of not having to pay to apply if the only consequence of getting caught is being asked to come in and apply?” Tabb asked.
Town Manager David Holt said that he was pleased with Scott’s initiative and found him to be very diligent and serious about his work.
Holt added that the rental ordinance edits need to “go to a public hearing so people can comment on the edits.”
“After that, it would go to the town meeting as a warrant article,” he said.
Chairman Russell Newcomb asked Tabb if he could print out a copy of the old ordinance and highlight where the changes are being made.
“Those will make up a lot of the questions at a public hearing: what changes are being made,” Newcomb said.
Town Manager David Holt, right, explains to Selectman Thomas Curtis the process in which the rental ordinance edits recommended by Code Enforcement Officer Scott Tabb would be approved during the board’s Thursday evening meeting.