A new rental housing inspection program was approved by a 3-2 vote after a six-hour meeting on Tuesday. | Andrew Epperson/Mustang News

Rebecca Ezrin

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The San Luis Obispo City Council has approved a new rental housing inspection program by a 3-2 vote after a six-hour meeting on Tuesday night.

The program is part of a larger rental inspection ordinance, details of which will be discussed at the next council meeting. Some components of the ordinance that still need to be clarified include exemptions and punishments for rule violations.

The ordinance requires rental homes to be inspected by city officials every three years to ensure Health and Safety Standards are not being violated. The program could be put into place within the next year.

“This is about the minimum expectations — what you expect to get as a tenant, like heating, a door that locks, working smoke detectors. Health and safety is the reason for these types of programs,” Community Development Director Derek Johnson said.

Approximately 30 speakers, most of which were against the program’s establishment, spoke in the public commentary section of the meeting. Some said it violated constitutional rights, such as the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unjust search and seizure by government agencies.

“Frankly, I don’t know why we can’t look at property casualty reports, or self-reporting or anything like that,” San Luis Obispo resident Leslie Halls said. “We really don’t need to start yet another bureaucracy to do this. This is a terrible idea and I hope it will be dropped.”

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