Franklin to require code inspections before property sale or lease

Franklin has enacted a new provision in the city’s property maintenance code to require a property owner or a landlord to have their property inspected for code compliance before renting or selling a home or apartment.

Last week, Franklin City Council unanimously approved the ordinance to require the code inspection when selling or leasing a property. This inspection program is expected to increase property values, reduce nuisance and blight, and reduce crime. The ordinance will go into effect on July 21.

City Manager Jonathan Westendorf told Franklin City Council that the city did not have an ordinance to require owners of real estate to obtain a pre-sale inspection and a certificate of occupancy before selling or leasing residential and business properties.

“This will help continue our efforts to clean up the city to make sure people are living and working in safe environments as well as raise property values,” Westendorf said. “This will also decrease sub-standard housing in Franklin.”

Westendorf said the ordinance is modelled after a similar and successful ordinance Oakwood has had since 1968.

There are about 4,000 housing units, of which 30% are rental properties, in Franklin, Westendorf said.

The code inspection will list repairs and other work necessary to eliminate unsafe or hazardous conditions existing and ensure the properties comply with all applicable property, fire and zoning codes, and other ordinances, Westendorf said.

Westendorf said much of the city’s housing and commercial real estate stock primarily consists of older structures which require frequent and proper upkeep and maintenance. The inspection program is designed to enforce property maintenance standards to prevent fires and collapsing structures as many buildings in Franklin are situated close together.

In addition, Westendorf said residential and commercial sellers, buyers, tenants and occupants, as well as the community as a whole, will be protected by the implementation of this inspection program as most people do not know what to specifically look for in order to maintain, or make corrections to assure, a premise’s structural and other safety issues.

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