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New rules proposed for rental property owners in Muncie

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MUNCIE, Ind. -- Changes could be on the way for how rental properties are managed within the city of Muncie.

A proposed ordinance would require all landlords to register their rental property through an online program.  Property owners would submit their contact information including name, address, phone number and acknowledging that the unit is up to code.

About half of the housing units in Muncie are rentals. On a weekly basis, officials receive calls from renters complaining about various issues.  Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler is backing the new ordinance, which he feels is aimed to help.

“We need something like this in place for everybody to have the type of transparency and information that everybody needs,” Tyler said.

If approved landlords would pay a $5 registration fee.

Scott Boyce owns a few rental properties within the city of Muncie and isn’t sold on the new proposed rules.

“It’s just a $5 fee, but it’s a nuisance to all the landlords I would think just to have to register these properties every year,” Boyce said.

Yvonne Gore has been renting a place in Muncie for three years and in that time she admits she’s had problems getting help.

“When something goes wrong and I need some work done or maintenance done, they tell me they’re going to send someone out. I never see the person,” Gore said.

Some landlords feel the city needs to focus on going after those who aren’t following the rules instead of creating a new ordinance for everyone.

The city is planning to hold more meetings before voting on the ordinance next month.  If passed, city officials would be required to send notices to all the rental property owners.  Landlords would have six months to register.  There could be fines up to $1,000 for failing to comply.