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Strengthening Neighborhoods

A 2007 ordinance passed by the Davenport city council in August removes rent-to-own properties from city inspections. Properties considered rent-to-own are those that tenants pay at least three percent of the value of the home as a down payment.

This ordinance will allow landlords and property owners to dump property on vulnerable tenants. Many of these properties, without inspections, are in severe disrepair and are unfit for living, also under rent-to-own agreements tenants are responsible for all repairs to the property. This ordinance allows landlords to take advantage of the poor and vulnerable, who rarely end up owning the properties. Either the tenant makes such low payments they are never able to pay the full mortgage or tenants are evicted after just one late payment, allowing higher turnover of property back to landlords.

This high turnover rate allows landlords to collect several down payments on the same property in a short period of time. On Wednesday, September 19 the issue of the rent-to-own ordinance was brought back to the council for revision. The ordinance originally passed on the consent agenda back in August was revisited to make changes.

Opponents of the ordinance were there, including QCI to voice their thoughts and feelings on the action. Thanks to the involvement of QCI the ordinance was tabled and sent to a council work session where community input will hopefully be a part of the final outcome.

Resources

Predatory Lending brochure