Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

City needs to make a compromise over rental inspections

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“Renters have rights” are the words that come to the minds of most renters around the Oshkosh community when hearing the phrase “your homes will be searched,” even the ones who aren’t aware of their Fourth Amendment rights.

What if I were to tell you that the City of Oshkosh would be going to each of the 12,000 rental locations in the areas surrounding the University to conduct a door-to-door inspection.

As proposed, there will be a visitation charge of $100 for each inspector visit with an additional $45 for the inspection of each unit.

The fees will be charged whether or not the resident allows the inspector access to the property.

John Zarate, the City of Oshkosh’s Chief Building Official, stated in a presentation, conducted on Aug 3 at the Winnebago Housing Coalition meeting, that “special inspection warrants” would be obtained at the discretion of the health and safety department if renters refused access to their home.

Zarate said that if denied access into the rental location, the department would take actions that consist of hiring a locksmith to pick the lock or breaking down the door to gain entry into the renter’s home.

As a student and a young educated adult, I firmly believe that my Fourth Amendment rights are being violated by this new ordinance.

The Fourth Amendment is defined as “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

In my understanding as a senior at UW Oshkosh and second year resident of a rental property, we signed a contract with our landlord that contains stipulations that the property is up to code.

If a problem comes about, we are able to contact our property owner, explain the issue and get it fixed.

Ultimately, having these inspection checks will result in struggling college students having to pay additional fees for the inspections on top of tuition, more than likely a higher monthly rent and unnecessary stress on top of exams, papers, work and everyday life.

As a community and student body, we need to collaborate with the inspections office to come up with a mutual solution for this issue.
Renters are being discriminated against and targeted in comparison to a typical homeowner.

Due to a limited housing selection for upperclassmen, those who choose to live off campus will be forced to comply under these government regulations.

There are many methods that can be used to compromise with the rental community besides these inspections.

Residents shouldn’t have to be threatened or feel intimidated by the city.

Great cities that are functional are those built by working together and they will produce a much more positive and long-term result working for their citizens than against them.

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