The City of Kelso presently is looking at a program which will require landlords to register their Kelso rental properties and frequently have the units inspected. The intent is to force landlords to spend money to keep their units in "good" condition.

As a landlord, I have found fixing these problems is often twice as expensive when the unit is occupied. For occupied units with substantial problems, the solution will be to evict the tenant, do the repairs, then raise the rent to market, which could be a substantial rent increase.

Looking at today's market, the cost of inspection and repairs will be added to the present rent so the tenant, not the landlord, will be paying the cost of the program.

The other problem we need to plan for will occur in the future when we have a market turn down resulting in landlords or homeowners losing their residents to the bank. People looking to purchase these foreclosures will need to have enough money to not only buy the property, but to also do the mandatory fix-up before renting the property.

I think this will keep many small landlords from being able to buy the foreclosed properties resulting in less competition.

Bank-owned vacant properties are one of the biggest negatives for our communities.

Bill Hallanger


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