The city of Austin, Minnesota, is working toward improving its housing legislation, although recent council meetings have brought mixed results, the Austin Daily Herald reports.


In October, city council members voted in favor of an ordinance that would require landlords to register their rental properties in 2012. They would provide the property owner's name, address and phone number, address of the rental property, and information about whether the property owner conducts tenant background screenings and if a written lease exists for the unit.

The registered properties would be submitted into a database made available to fire and police departments. The news source notes in a separate article that this would be beneficial because local emergency services could notify the property owner if a service was called to their establishment.

However, the council recently voted against a fee for registration, while other members believe the registration aspect would only impact "already compliant" landlords, since the negligent ones likely wouldn't register their properties.

"There's no reason to do it if there's just a registration," said councilmember Steve King, as quoted by the media outlet.

Member Jeff Austin added, "We don't need to create another level of bureaucracy here. We don't know that this will create anything except headaches among landlords."